Supporters of the NO KILL movement and animal loving volunteers are invited to join forces this Thursday, December 20th at 10:00am at Manatee County Animal Services 305 25th Street, Palmetto for the Build a Bed Party. Volunteers will be building 50 beds for shelter dogs that currently have no beds in their kennels to lie on.
A few months ago, Picture Them Adopted coordinators, Caryn Hodge and Ruth Uecker noticed that many of the shelter dogs at the county shelters did not have beds. The dogs had no choice but to lay on the concrete floor of their cages. This realization put Hodge and Uecker on a mission to get every shelter dog a bed. According to shelter manager, Nikki Bentley, 100 beds would be needed to accomplish this goal. These beds are not the normal beds you think of when you think of dog beds. They are not the ones you can buy at a pet store. Shelter dogs need special chew proof, durable beds. Kuranda beds are what the shelter recommended Hodge and Uecker order. They are made from PVC pipe and marine canvas material and don’t have any rough edges the dogs can get a hold of to chew. They are durable and will last a long time.
Hodge and Uecker, with the help of others spreading the word that beds needed to be purchased, left no stone unturned, no opportunity untapped to get these beds ordered. In order to save on shipping and get a discounted price they had to order a minimum of 50 beds. The first collection took place at the Bayfest festival this past October where they were able to get enough donations to buy 12 beds. Donations for the remainder of the 38 beds came from local business on Anna Maria Island and Bradenton as well as from booths set up at various dog related events like Canine Christmas and the Bully Walk. Just in time for Christmas, the first 50 beds have been ordered and delivered and are ready to be assembled.
Everyone is invited to attend the Build a Bed Party this Thursday at the Palmetto facility of Manatee County Animal Services. Volunteers are encouraged to wear their pajamas to go along with the theme of a slumber party. Pizza and beverages will be served to all those participating compliments of Picture Them Adopted and NO KILL Manatee. Participants are asked to bring a Phillips head screwdriver and an adjustable wrench if they have them. Organizers will have extra ones available. According to shelter staff, the beds are not difficult to put together.
According to Hodge, “People and business owners have been very generous with some even buying two beds. The way I look at it, these dogs are already in a cage at no fault of their own. I feel like we should at least give them something to lie on. You can’t just throw a blanket in there because it gets soiled and they chew on it. These beds are raised up off the floor. As soon as you put a bed in there the dog immediately lays on it, almost like they are saying thanks!” She continues to point out, “efforts such as giving a shelter dog a bed makes them a happier and more well adjusted dog which in turn makes them more adoptable. Wouldn’t you be grumpy if you had to always sleep on the concrete floor?”
Although this is a great step in the direction of getting all shelter dogs a bed, the remaining 50 beds still need to be ordered. The shelter is asking the public to step up and consider buying a bed to help reach the 100 bed goal. The regular rate to order a large bed online, shipping included, is $68.62. These orders can be placed directly through the MCAS website at www.mymanatee.org/pets. On the right hand side of the page you will see donate a Kuranda bed. If you would like to save a little bit you can order them through Caryn Hodge of Picture Them Adopted for a total of only $50.00. Both donations are tax deductible. A receipt will be supplied upon request. For more information on ordering a bed you can contact Caryn Hodge at [email protected] or at 941-713-3105.
Manatee County is the first county in the state of Florida to attempt to become a NO KILL county. While the goal of 91% has not yet been realized, we are confident that through programs such as Picture Them Adopted and Adopt a Bull, we will reach and maintain our goal of becoming a NO KILL community. According to the most recent statistics, the NO KILL percentage is hovering around 85% which is a huge success from the 30% we were last year. For more information on the NO KILL effort contact Nikki Bentley at 742-5933.
Picture Them Adopted, a group of area photographers and dog handlers who volunteer by taking pictures of shelter animals to increase their chance of adoption is proud to be part of the NO KILL effort. For more information on becoming a volunteer photographer or handler for Picture Them Adopted or on volunteering for an area shelter contact Caryn Hodge at 941-713-3105 or [email protected].