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Pet surrenders rise as Manatee animal shelters reach capacity

A crisis has hit animal shelters and pet owners across the country, including those in Manatee County.

The number of pets being voluntarily surrendered by their owners is on the rise, and shelters, particularly those that are county-run, are overwhelmed.

According to Hans Wohlgfahrt, Manatee County Animal Service’s outreach and events specialist, MCAS currently houses 272 pets across its three locations – Palmetto Adoption Center, Cat Town Adoption Center and Bishop Animal Shelter. The shelter has taken in over 200 owner surrenders so far this year, a similar number to the first six months of 2021, but one marked by a sudden rise in recent months.

As a result, MCAS is “close to reaching critical capacity.”

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