Frequently Asked Questions

      Wildlife: COYOTES

      Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

      Farris Bryant Building • 620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

      Coyote (Canis latrans)

      Coyotes are medium-sized canids in the same family as dogs, wolves and foxes. They are very adaptable mammals. They are generally salt-and-pepper gray or brown with a thick, bushy tail; long, pointy nose and pointy ears. They weigh between 20 and 35 pounds. When running, they carry their tails low.

      Where are coyotes found?
      When did coyotes first appear in Florida?

      As coyote numbers increase in South Florida, their influence on Florida's indigenous prey species, competing predators, livestock and food crops may become a concern. However, populations of coyotes in North and Central Florida have likely reached their natural limit with little evidence of widespread major ecological impact. Coyote impact on some native wildlife has already been seen in North Florida, where predation on endangered sea turtle eggs is a considerable problem.

      How do coyotes affect the human population?

      Exercising common sense around coyotes is the best protection against encounters. Pet owners should keep their pets on a leash, especially when in wooded areas. Humans should never feed wild animals. Coyotes in particular look for easy sources of food and will become comfortable in urban settings if they are provided with food.

      Are there any benefits to the coyotes' presence in Florida?

      Coyotes may provide an ecological benefit by controlling populations of small predators, such as raccoons, that raid nests and eat eggs. They also prey on crop-eating wildlife. Some biologists believe that coyotes fill the role of red wolves, which have been eradicated from Florida.


      What if a coyote has become a nuisance?

      The FWC can issue a Gun and Light at Night or Steel Trap permit for dealing with coyotes on private property and provide information on nuisance wildlife trappers.

      What are the eating habits of coyotes?

      They adapt easily to situations where food can be taken with little effort on their part. It is extremely important that humans do not feed coyotes.

      What are some of the specific behavioral habits of coyotes?

      Coyotes can occur singly, in pairs or in small, family groups, depending on habitat quality and food supply. Home ranges typically average 10 square miles. The University of Florida is conducting research on coyotes in South Florida. For more information on coyotes, residents may contact their county extension office or visit the FWC website,, which has a section with information about coyotes.


      The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service provides assistance for wildlife encounters by calling 866-487-3297.

      Where can I find more information on the coyote?

      They breed once per year during winter months, denning in thickets, brush piles, hollow logs or burrows. Litters average six pups.

      Coyotes are elusive. They are more active between dusk and dawn (crepuscular), but can be seen anytime during the day or night. They shy away from humans unless food is a factor.

      Coyotes are known to feed on small mammals, lizards, snakes, insects, grasses, fruit (watermelon, persimmons and wild berries), grains, fish and carrion. They can be a major predator on deer fawns and turkey poults. Turkey hunters often attract coyotes when calling turkeys.

      The FWC will determine measures to handle coyotes that become nuisances on a case-by-case basis. If lethal control measures are necessary, they should be directed at specific coyotes or toward coyotes in a specific area. A sighting of a coyote does not constitute a concern, because coyotes do exist and will continue to exist near humans. However, if there is a focused problem, there are allowable methods to target specific nuisance animals and areas, such as using a professional trapper or by contacting local animal control agencies.

      Is it legal to hunt coyotes in Florida?

      Hunting and trapping of coyotes is allowed year-round on private lands in Florida.

      How can people best protect themselves and wildlife from negative encounters with the coyote?

      Increased encounters between humans and coyotes are inevitable in Florida. Several reported attacks on dogs by coyotes have occurred over the past few years in Southwest Florida. There have been several reports of coyote sightings in various parts of the state in 2009. One person was scratched on the face by a coyote while protecting her dog. Another dog was attacked. While coyotes usually prey on small mammals, they are intolerant of foxes and will often attack them. Coyotes may view small dogs as competitors or as prey.

      What are the major ecological impacts of the coyote's increased presence in Florida?

      Coyotes were introduced in Florida for pursuit by hunting dogs as early as the 1920s; however, evidence suggests that range expansion occurred from west to east across the Panhandle then south through peninsular Florida. It is no longer legal to import coyotes from other states.

      Range expansion can be attributed to the coyote's nonspecific needs in habitat and food; large litter size and short gestation time; and decreased competition across its range from other predators.

      Coyote sightings are becoming a common occurrence on Florida's landscape. According to a 2007 FWC report, the presence of coyotes has been documented in all 67 Florida counties.

      In the past 100 years, the range of the coyote has expanded throughout the eastern United States as their natural predators, such as the wolf and panther, have been virtually eradicated. As their competitors were removed, populations of prey, such as deer, have increased.

      Wildlife: RACCOONS

      Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

      Farris Bryant Building • 620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600


      The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is about the size of a small dog, and is most notable for its black mask and bushy ringed tail. Raccoons are common throughout the state and occur everywhere there are trees, the cavities of which they often use. Raccoons are omnivorous feeding on fruits, plant material, eggs, crustaceans, small animals, and garbage. Raccoons usually become active in the late afternoon and throughout the night.Problem raccoons are usually the result of chronic feeding by humans. Wild raccoons accustomed to being fed will generally lose their natural fear of humans and seek to move closer to their food source--your house. Once raccoons take up residence in your attic or outbuildings they can become very destructive and difficult to remove. Prevention is the key to dealing with raccoon problems.

      Do not feed raccoons!

      It is illegal to place or offer food or garbage in a way that it attracts raccoons and creates a public nuisance. (Rule 68A-4.001 (3)). Do what you can to eliminate their artificial food sources. Bring in pet food at night and secure trash cans by either fastening the lid tightly or enclosing them in lockable bins. Make sure bird feeders are not accessible to raccoons (i.e., squirrel-proofed). Raccoons should not be handled by inexperienced individuals because of the risk of rabies infection. It is lawful for landowners to humanely destroy or live-trap nuisance raccoons without a permit from the FWC, but if the raccoon is trapped, it must either be released on the same piece of property where it was captured, or it must be humanely destroyed. It is unlawful to relocate nuisance-wildlife in Florida. Relocating wildlife is seldom biologically sound, and the animal often does not survive. You can receive technical assistance for raccoon problems by contacting your nearest FWC regional office.

      Phone • 850-488-4676

      Where Do I Get Wildlife Information?

      Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

      Animal Welfare History

      The History of Animal Welfare in Manatee County

      In 1975, at the direction of Florida State Statute, an ordinance was adopted to prohibit the fighting of animals. The laws relating to animals were handled by law enforcement. Animal Control did not exist. A few cages and a small building were on the site of the current facility.
      In 1986, a new Animal Control Center was constructed with the ability to shelter 120 dogs and 100 cats. This was a new beginning for Animal Control.

      In 1999, the title of Animal Control was officially changed to Animal Services for a more positive role and public image. In 2022, that title was changed to Animal Welfare to reflect the broadening scope of helping pet owners and the homeless pets in the community.

      In mid 1990, a new animal ordinance was adopted and the Department of Animal Control was officially changed to the Division of Animal Control under the direction of the Department of Public Safety.

      In late 1980, an entire animal ordinance was adopted to include animals at large, rabies control, licensing, and providing for the adoption and redemption of animals. Animal Control was formed as a Department under the direction of the County Administrator’s Office.

      An animal ordinance was not in existence until 1971 when the County Commissioners adopted the prohibition of dogs at large in platted subdivisions. 

      What is Rabies?

      What is Rabies?

      Rabies is an acute and deadly viral infection of the central nervous system. It is one of the most terrifying diseases known to man. Although rabies in humans is rare in the United States, as many as 18,000 Americans get rabies shots each year because they have been in contact with animals that may be rabid (rabies-infected). In 1998 according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only one person died of rabies in this country.Rabies is caused by a virus that is in the saliva of infected animals, and it is usually transmitted by bites from infected animals. All warm-blooded animals can get rabies, and some may serve as natural reservoirs of the virus.Rabies is found in all of the United States, except Hawaii, and in many other countries around the world, including Canada and Mexico. The disease may be absent from large areas for many years, and then reappear suddenly or gradually by invasion from bordering countries or by the introduction of an infected animal.

      What Animals Usually Get Infected With Rabies?

      Rabies can affect wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, and bats, as well as household pets such as dogs and cats. Vaccination of pets and livestock is the most effective control measure to prevent the disease in these animals and subsequent human exposure. In fact, in the United States, such programs have largely eliminated canine (dog) rabies. In 1998, wild animals accounted for 93 percent of the 7,962 reported animal rabies cases in the United States and Puerto Rico. Rabies in raccoons accounted for 44 percent of cases, skunk rabies for 28.5 percent, bat rabies for 12.5 percent, and fox rabies for 5.5 percent of the cases. Only rarely is rabies found in rabbits, squirrels, rats, and opossums.Health officials are particularly concerned about rabies in raccoons because raccoons are often in close contact with household pets, especially dogs and cats. Increasingly, bats are being shown to be important transmitters of rabies to humans.

      How Can An Animal With Rabies Infect A Person?

      Most people get rabies from being bitten by a rabid animal. Rarely, if a person has broken skin, like a scratch, which comes in contact with animal saliva full of rabies virus, that person may get infected. But rabies also can be spread in the air, as has occurred in caves where infected bats live.

      Dog Bite Prevention

      Any dog can bite...

      Even the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest pup can bite if provoked. Most people are bitten by their own dog or one they know. Some owners actually promote aggression in their dogs or allow aggression to go unchecked.Although media reports and rumors often give the impression that certain breeds of dog are more likely to bite, there is little scientific evidence to support those claims.From nips to bites to actual attacks, dog bites are a serious problem. Dog bite victims requiring medical attention in the United States number approximately 800,000 annually. Countless more bite injuries go untreated. On average, about a dozen people die each year from dog bite injuries. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to address this problem.

      Who's being bitten?

      The number of recorded dog bite injuries is significantly higher in children than adults. The elderly and home service providers such as mail carriers and meter readers are also high on the list of frequent dog bite victims. CAUTION: Never leave a baby or child alone with a dog.

      What's a dog owner to do?

      Carefully select your pet. Puppies should not be obtained on impulse. Before and after selection, your veterinarian is your best source for information about behavior, health and suitability.Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals. Gradually expose your puppy to a variety of situations under controlled circumstances; continue that exposure on a regular basis as your dog gets older. Don't put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.Wait until your child is older. Because so many dog bite injuries happen to young children, it is suggested that parents wait to get a dog until children are older than 4 years of age.Train your dog. The basic commands "sit," "stay," "no," and "come" can be incorporated into fun activities that build a bond of obedience and trust between pets and people. Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war. Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases. Parasite control and other health care are important because how your dog feels directly affects how it behaves.Spay or neuter your pet. The available science suggests neutered dogs may be less likely to bite.Be a responsible pet owner. License your dog with your community as required. Obey leash laws. If you have a fenced yard, make sure the gates are secure. Dogs are social animals; spending time with your pet is important. Dogs that are frequently left alone have a greater chance of developing behavioral problems. Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.Be alert. Know your dog. Be alert to signs of illness. Also watch for signs your dog is uncomfortable or behaving aggressively.

      How can my family and I avoid being bitten?

      Be cautious around strange dogs and treat your own pet with respect. Because children are the most common victims of dog bites, parents and caregivers should never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog. Teach children – including toddlers – to be careful around pets.

      Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things. Don't give them a reason to be come excited or aggressive. Never disturb a dog that's caring for puppies, sleeping or eating. Never reach through or over a fence to pet a dog.
      Dogs can be protective of their territory, and may interpret your action as a threat.If a dog approaches to sniff you, stay still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat. Note: This is a .pdf file and requires Adobe Acrobat reader.

      Download this document in Español.

      Dogs are wonderful companions. By acting responsibly, owners not only reduce dog bite injuries, but also enhance the relationship they have with their dog.

      If someone else's dog bit you, first seek medical treatment for your wound. Next, contact authorities and tell them everything you can about the dog: the owner's name, if you know it; the color and size of the dog; where you encountered the dog; and if, where, and when you've seen it before. These details may help animal-control officers locate the dog. In addition, consider asking your physician if post-exposure rabies prophylaxis may be necessary.

      If your own dog bit you, confine it immediately and call your veterinarian to check your dog's vaccination records. Consult with your veterinarian about your dog's aggressive action. Your veterinarian can examine your dog to make sure it is healthy, and can help you with information or training that may prevent more bites.

      IF YOU are bitten...

      Consult your veterinarian for advice about dog behavior that will help prevent similar problems in the future.

      Provide important information including your name, address and information about your dog's most recent rabies vaccination. If your dog does not have a current rabies vaccination, it may be necessary to quarantine it or even euthanize it for rabies testing. The person bitten may need to undergo post-exposure prophylaxis.
      Comply with local ordinances regarding reporting of dog bites.

      Restrain the dog immediately. Separate the dog from the scene of the attack. Confine the dog. Check on the victim's condition. Wash wounds with soap and water. Unseen damage can occur with bites, and can lead to complications. Professional medical advice should be sought to evaluate bite wounds and the risk of rabies or other infections. Call 911 if a response by paramedics is required.

      Even if the bite can be explained (e.g., someone stepped on your dog's tail), it's important to take responsibility for your dog's actions by taking these steps:

      What should I do if my dog bites someone?

      If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.

      If you are threatened by a dog, remain calm.
      Don't scream or yell. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don't turn and run.

      Don't run past a dog.

      Other tips that may prevent or stop a dog attack...

      Children must be taught NOT to approach strange dogs or try to pet dogs by reaching through fences. Teach children to ask permission from the dog's owner before petting the dog.

      Be alert for potentially dangerous situations.

      What is Parvo?

      Canine Parvo Virus

      It is impossible to avoid parvo virus. It's everywhere. You could bring it home without even knowing it. The delivery person could bring it to your house. Your children, the neighbor borrowing a cup of sugar, anyone! The best chance your dog or puppy has of fighting parvo is through immunization. Remember, the best protection is to VACCINATE, and to seek immediate veterinary care if the dog or puppy is sick.

      Preventing infection can be achieved by decreasing the risk of exposure to the virus and by a sound vaccination program. Likely contaminated environments can be disinfected with chlorine bleach, diluted one ounce in one quart of water. Because the virus is present in most outdoor areas, eliminating exposure can be almost impossible, but puppies can be kept fairly restricted until their vaccination series is complete. All puppies are temporarily protected by maternal antibodies they acquire through nursing. The purpose of a vaccination is to stimulate the body into producing its own, longer-lasting, antibodies.

      The normal incubation period in the animal is from seven (7) to fourteen (14) days after initial exposure. Active excretion of the virus in the feces can begin the third day after exposure, often before clinical signs appear, and may last for one to two weeks after the onset of the disease. Rottweilers and Dobermans, for some reason, appear to be more susceptible than other breeds.

      Treatment for parvo is complicated, involved, and subsequently expensive. Standard treatment includes several days of intravenous fluids, injectable anti-vomiting drugs, antibiotics, and intense supportive care in an isolation ward of a veterinary hospital. Dogs that have survived parvo can get it again. In the case of some puppies, a puppy testing negative for parvo one day could succumb to the virus within a matter of days. It strikes fast and without mercy. Without treatment, the victims of parvo often die of dehydration. Veterinarians can only treat the symptoms and try to keep the dog or puppy alive by preventing dehydration and loss of proteins. Because parvo is a virus and not a bacteria, it is unaffected by antibiotics, but many veterinarians use antibiotics in conjunction with the fluids to treat any secondary infections that could result from the damage the parvo virus does.

      Dogs and puppies can contract parvo even if they never leave their yards. Parvo virus, despite what you may hear, is NOT an airborne virus.

      Parvo is a deadly virus. Do not underestimate it. If your dog or puppy shows any of the symptoms, do not hesitate to seek veterinary care.

      Parvo virus or "parvo" is a virus that attacks the lining of the digestive system. It causes dogs and puppies to not be able to absorb nutrients or liquids. Puppies are especially prone to it because they have an immature immune system. When dogs and puppies contract parvo, they often have diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy. Usually they stop eating and develop a foul-smelling, liquid stool that may or may not contain blood. The classic signs of the parvo virus include loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, dehydration, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and, if not treated, eventually death.

      Pets in Cars

      Leaving Your Pet In A Parked Car Can Be A Deadly Mistake

      If your pet has become overheated, you must lower his/her body temperature immediately.
      Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet's head, neck, and chest only.
      Take your pet to a veterinarian right away - it could save your pet's life.
      Taking your pet for a ride may seem like fun, but many pets prefer to spend time with you in the comfort and safety of home. Explore activities that you and your pet can share at home and avoid taking risks by leaving your pet in the car.

      If you must take your pet with you in your car, do so safely; cats should ride in pet carriers, and dogs should ride in travel crates or be on a leash.

      If you see an animal in a car exhibiting any signs of heat stress, call Animal Services or local law enforcement immediately.

      Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

      Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over his/her body to gradually lower the body temperature.

      Be alert to the signs of heat stress; heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue.

      Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car for any period of time. On a warm day, the temperature in a car can reach 120 degrees F in a matter of minutes - even with the windows partially open. Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation when trapped in high temperatures. This is what you should do if your pet is exposed to high temperatures:

      Dog Digging Tips

      How to Solve the Digging Problem

      Digging is a normal behavior for most dogs, but may occur for widely varying reasons. Your dog may be:
      seeking entertainment
      seeking prey
      seeking comfort or protection
      seeking attention
      seeking escape
      However, dogs don’t dig out of spite, revenge or a desire to destroy your yard. Finding ways to make the area where the dog digs unappealing may be effective, however, it’s likely that he’ll just begin digging in other locations or display other unacceptable behavior, such as chewing or barking. A more effective approach is to address the cause of the digging, rather than creating location aversions.

      Seeking Entertainment

      Dogs may dig as a form of self-play when they learn that roots and soil “play back.” Your dog may be digging for entertainment if: He’s left alone in the yard for long periods of time without opportunities for interaction with you
      He’s a puppy or adolescent (under three years old) and doesn’t have other outlets for his energy
      He’s a particularly active type of dog (like the herding or sporting breeds) who needs an active job to be happy
      Teach your dog to fetch a ball or Frisbee and practice with him as often as possible.

      Take an obedience class with your dog and practice daily what you’ve learned.
      For dedicated diggers, provide an “acceptable digging area.” Choose an area of the yard where it’s okay for your dog to dig and cover the area with loose soil or sand. If you catch your dog digging in an unacceptable area, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise, say, “no dig” and take the dog to his designated digging area. When he digs in the approved spot, reward him with praise. Make the unacceptable digging spots unattractive (at least temporarily) by setting sharp rocks or chicken wire into the dirt.
      Recommendations:We recommend that you search for possible signs of pests and then rid your yard of them. Avoid methods that could be toxic or dangerous to your pets.
      Recommendations:We recommend that you provide your dog with other sources for the comfort or protection he seeks.Provide an insulated doghouse. Make sure it affords protection from wind and sun.
      Your dog may still prefer a hole in the ground, in which case you can try the “approved digging area” recommendation described above. Make sure the allowed digging area is in a protected spot.

      Seeking Attention

      Any behavior can become attention-getting behavior if dogs learn that they receive attention for engaging in it (even punishment is a form of attention). Your dog may be digging to get attention if:He digs in your presence
      His other opportunities for interaction with you are limited
      Don’t give your dog attention for digging (remember, even punishment is attention).
      Make sure your dog has sufficient time with you on a daily basis, so he doesn’t have to resort to misbehaving to get your attention.
      Recommendations:We recommend the following in order to keep your dog in the yard while you work on the behavior modifications:Bury chicken wire at the base of the fence (sharp edges rolled under)
      Place large rocks, partially buried, along the bottom of the fence line
      Bury the bottom of the fence one to two feet under the ground
      Lay chain link fencing on the ground (anchored to the bottom of the fence) to make it uncomfortable for your dog to walk near the fence
      Staking a dog out near a hole he’s dug or filling the hole with water. These techniques don’t address the cause of the behavior, or the act of digging.

      Punishment after the fact. Not only does this not address the cause of the behavior, any digging that’s motivated by fear or anxiety will be made worse. Punishment may also cause anxiety in dogs that aren’t currently fearful.

      Regardless of the reason for digging, we don’t recommend:

      He digs along the fence line
      He digs under the fence

      Dogs may escape to get to something, to get somewhere or to get away from something. Your dog may be digging to escape if:

      Seeking Escape

      We recommend that you ignore the behavior.

      Provide plenty of fresh water in a bowl that can’t be tipped over.

      The holes are near foundations of buildings, large shade trees or a water source
      Your dog doesn’t have a shelter or his shelter is exposed to the hot sun or cold winds
      You find evidence that your dog is lying in the holes he digs

      In hot weather, dogs may dig holes in order to lie in the cool dirt. They may also dig to provide themselves with shelter from cold, wind or rain, or to try to find water. Your dog may be digging for protection or comfort if:

      Seeking Comfort or Protection

      The digging is in a very specific area, usually not at the boundaries of the yard
      The digging is at the roots of trees or shrubs
      The digging is in a “path” layout

      Dogs may try to pursue burrowing animals or insects that live in your yard. Your dog may be pursuing prey if:

      Seeking Prey

      Keep interesting toys in the yard to keep your dog busy even when you’re not around (Kong-type toys filled with treats or busy-box toys). Rotating the toys makes them seem new and interesting.

      Teach your dog a few commands and/or tricks. Practice these commands/tricks every day for five to ten minutes.

      Walk your dog regularly. It’s good exercise, mentally and physically, for both of you!

      We recommend expanding your dog’s world and increasing his “people time” the following ways:

      He’s recently seen you “playing” in the dirt (gardening or working in the yard)

      He’s the type of dog (like a terrier) that is bred to dig as part of his “job”

      His environment is relatively barren, without playmates or toys

      Spaying and Neutering is Important

      Spaying or Neutering Is Good for Your Pet

      Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives. Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle.

      Spaying or Neutering Is Good for You

      Neutering cats makes them less likely to spray and mark territory. Unsterilized animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than do those who have been spayed or neutered.
      Neutering makes pets less likely to roam the neighborhood, run away, or get into fights.

      Spaying and Neutering Are Good for the Community

      Irresponsible breeding contributes to the problem of dog bites and attacks.
      Stray pets and homeless animals get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, and frighten or anger people who have no understanding of their misery or needs.
      Spay or neuter surgery carries a one-time cost that is relatively small when one considers its benefits. It's a small price to pay for the health of your pet and the prevention of more unwanted animals.Manatee County Animal Welfare offers a No Cost Spay/Neuter Program for pet owners that meet income guidelines. This program provides a mobile spay/clinic to locations in Manatee County every week. The pet owner must be prequalified and must have an appointment. Click on “FREE Spay and Neuter Program" on the left column. You may also call the Animal Rescue Coalition at (941) 957-1955 ext. 4 to qualify.

      • Some stray animals also scare away or kill birds and wildlife.

      • Animal shelters are overburdened with surplus animals.

      • Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals.

      • Spaying and neutering can make pets less likely to bite.

      • Spaying a dog or cat eliminates her heat cycle. Estrus lasts an average of six to 12 days, often twice a year, in dogs and an average of six to seven days, three or more times a year, in cats. Females in heat can cry incessantly, show nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male animals.

      In 7 years, one female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens!

      In 6 years, one female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies!

      • Spaying and neutering makes pets better, more affectionate companions.

      • Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.

      • Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.

      In addition to saving lives, spaying and neutering can also drastically improve your pet's health and life expectancy. The idea that pets become fat or lazy when they are spayed or neutered is a myth. Sterilized pets lead healthier, longer lives. Spaying a female eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer. Neutering a male reduces the risk of both prostate enlargement and prostate cancer. Neutering also will make your pet more affectionate and less likely to roam, get in fights, or become lost.

      Spay and neuter your pet!

      Pooches for the Planet - Scoop that Poop

      And, this video about the importance of preserving our water resources by removing dog waste

      Watch this important video about dog waste

      Barking Dog Problem? What Can I Do?

      The following is directly from Animal Ordinance 06-18

      Section 12: Nuisance Dogs and Cats

      A. Any feces deposited by a dog or cat on public property, public walks, recreation areas, or the private property of others must be immediately removed by the person who has custody or control of the animal unless otherwise authorized by the property owner.

      B. No dog or cat shall materially disturb the peace and quiet or interfere with the howling, meowing, squealing, screaming, or causing other objectionable noise for a which cumulatively exceeds ten (10) minutes within a one hundred twenty (120) minute period of time.

      1. The following illustrations are offered by way of example and not limitation:

      (a) A dog or cat that causes any objectionable noise exceeding ten (10) minutes at any one time such as the dog that barks and barks because it does not want to be outdoors or it sees the dog or cat next door. This persistent barking may be a violation of this Ordinance.

      (b) A dog or cat that causes any objectionable noise cumulatively exceeding ten (10) minutes within a one hundred twenty (120) minute period of time such as the dog that barks for five (5) minutes at someone walking nearby, four (4) minutes at someone riding their bicycle, three (3) minutes at the mailman delivering mail, and two (2) minutes at the birds flying by, all within a two (2) hour time period. This repetitive barking may be a violation of this Ordinance.

      2. Procedures are hereby set forth for the proper enforcement of this part:

      (a) The Division must receive a formal complaint, including the name and address of the complainant in order that verification can be made by the responding Animal Services Officer.

      (b) The responding Animal Services Officer, upon his or her initial response to the location of a reported violation must first issue, or post in a conspicuous place, a courtesy notice of complaint that such a violation of this Section has been reported. By issuance or posting of the notice, it will ensure the owner or custodian of the dog or cat is aware of the reported violation and has 72 hours from the time of issuance or posting to correct the violation.

      (c) If after 72 hours a subsequent complaint is received, a civil citation may be issued as authorized by this Ordinance. Prior to a citation being issued, the Division must be in receipt of affidavits alleging a violation of this Section from the owners or occupants of no less than two different lots or nearby residences or, if the investigating officer has reason to believe a violation exists, that officer’s assessment may replace one of the required affidavits. Each affidavit must be made under oath before an individual authorized by law to take acknowledgements, and must set forth the nature and date of the violation, the owner or custodian of the dog or cat, the address of the violation, and a description of the dog or cat.

      (d) If the reported violation is repetitive, or pre-existing complaints are on file regarding a particular address, and it is evident the same animal owner resides at the reported address, the 72-hour time period may be waived. The animal owner will not receive another notice, and the investigative process may commence.

      C. The owner shall not be found in violation of Subsection B. of this Section, if at the time of the objectionable noise described herein, a person commits a crime, tort or trespass upon premises occupied by the owner of the dog or cat or was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog or cat.

      D. No owner of an animal boarding facility shall be subject to the provision of this section as it relates to dogs or cats which bark, yelp, whine, howl, meow, squeal, scream, or cause other objectionable noise.

      Download this document in Español.

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    Do You Have any other Animal Shelters in the Area?

    If you do not find the dog or cat you are looking for at our shelter, we encourage you to look at the other Manatee County animal shelters....Bishop Animal Shelter - SPCA  Humane Society of Manatee County  Honor Animal Rescue  Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch. (Click for map to shelters)


    Dog Parks? Where are they Located?

    Manatee County is proud to have three dog parks for you and your dog to use. Two are located in Bradenton and the other in Palmetto. The dog parks are maintained by our Parks and Recreation Department Dog Park site. This site provides important information for your visit, including a map and directions.


    SPAY and NEUTER Information

    Call 941-749-3067 to listen to recorded information for FREE and low cost spay and neuter information for your pet! Spay or neuter your pet today!