Shelter Needs Are Met With a Variety of Opportunities to Volunteer, Donate, and Adopt

Updated on June 12, 2018
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I have created a new career for myself in retirement as an animal advocate. I write articles to create awareness of shelter pets.

Volunteers Provide in a Variety of Ways by Donating Needed Supplies

It takes a village to provide for shelter pets, and several organizations are instrumental in providing needed items for the Manatee County Animal Services shelter in Palmetto, Florida. Nobody's pets are everybody's pets, and communities joining together make a huge difference in the life of these animals while they wait for their forever homes.

The Red Cross of Sarasota is one of the latest organizations to join, with others in the Bradenton area, in providing beds for the shelter pets that reside at Manatee County Animal Services shelter. Jane Sanks is an animal advocate who began a project herself in 2012 to make comfortable pillow beds for needy animals in shelters and rescues. She moved the project to the American Red Cross facility in Sarasota in 2014. There are approximately 15 volunteers who join Jane each month to make the beds. Jane receives supplies from a variety of sources. Each bed is made with soft stuffing and covered with a removable washable cover of fabric that is both beautiful and durable. The beds are distributed to several shelters and rescues. A count of 758 beds were distributed in 2015. An average of 90 beds are made each month, and the group works year round. The Manatee County Animal Services shelter looks forward each month to their delivery of these beds. The pillow beds are used in both kennels and in the new living room area that is now in use at the shelter to help in getting the dogs adapted to living in a future home.

Pillow Beds for Big Dogs

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Pillow beds made monthly from volunteers at the American Red Cross facility in SarasotaLook at the smile when receiving a bed! Soft pillows make a difference when one is waiting for a forever home
Source
Pillow beds made monthly from volunteers at the American Red Cross facility in Sarasota
Pillow beds made monthly from volunteers at the American Red Cross facility in Sarasota | Source
Look at the smile when receiving a bed!
Look at the smile when receiving a bed! | Source
Soft pillows make a difference when one is waiting for a forever home
Soft pillows make a difference when one is waiting for a forever home | Source

Innovative Living Room Space for Shelter Dogs

Dogs that reside at the Manatee County Animal Services shelter have a new living room that is used to help them adapt to a home environment while waiting for their forever home. Volunteers from the group Friends of Manatee County Animal Services provided furniture, rugs, and a comfy chair to complete a living room that resembles a home environment. Large pillow beds are also used in this area where dogs can relax, climb on real furniture, and play in a homelike environment. This living room area is another example of a need being fulfilled by dedicated volunteers who provide a good quality of life for the animals that are waiting to be adopted. Interested persons can learn more about the Friends of Manatee County Animal Services by visiting the sites listed in Resources at the end of this article.

Living Room at Shelter Resembles a Home Environment

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Living room space at shelter aids in helping dogs adapt to a home environment while waiting to be adoptedA resident of MCAS enjoying the living roomEnjoying the couch at the shelter while waiting to be adopted to get a couch of his ownEnjoying the interaction with a volunteer in the Real Life room
Living room space at shelter aids in helping dogs adapt to a home environment while waiting to be adopted
Living room space at shelter aids in helping dogs adapt to a home environment while waiting to be adopted | Source
A resident of MCAS enjoying the living room
A resident of MCAS enjoying the living room | Source
Enjoying the couch at the shelter while waiting to be adopted to get a couch of his own
Enjoying the couch at the shelter while waiting to be adopted to get a couch of his own | Source
Enjoying the interaction with a volunteer in the Real Life room
Enjoying the interaction with a volunteer in the Real Life room | Source

Volunteer Opportunities: Dog Walker, Supervisor for Play Groups, and Help With Socialization

Volunteer help in a variety of ways is needed in addition to donations. Dog walkers provide the dogs with exercise and you as a walker also can benefit from the exercise. Dogs that do not get out of their kennel for walks and play time in the yard become depressed and anxious in the noisy surroundings. Dog walkers are urgently needed to help with this task. Play groups are also in need of help to supervise the dogs while at play each day. You can make a difference in the life of each dog that is waiting to be adopted by volunteering to help. Interested persons may contact the shelter at 941-742-5933 to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Walk a Shelter Dog

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Adoption to Responsible Homes Is Key to the Success of a "No Kill" Shelter

Manatee County Animal Services shelter depends on responsible families who are able to adopt and provide a forever home for these animals that find themselves in the shelter for a variety of reasons. You can find photos and stories written by volunteers about the dogs at a variety of sites. You can find photos of successful adoptions and dogs that are still waiting for their forever homes by visiting the Resources links at the end of this article.

Please open your home to a shelter dog that is waiting for a responsible forever home. Shelter staff and volunteers are always available to help your family choose the perfect new family member. Meet and Greets for your chosen dog can be arranged to ensure that you have chosen the right fit for your family.

A Shelter That Is on the Move to Save Lives

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Volunteer, Donate, and Adopt

What are you called to do to save a life of a deserving animal?

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Resources for Interested Persons Who Wish to Make a Difference

1. www.mymanatee.org/pets

2. www.FOMCAS.org

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