Manatee County Animal Services aims to Clear the Shelter, will offer free pet food next week

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Manatee County Animal Services aims to Clear the Shelter, will offer free pet food next week
Posted on 03/27/2020

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 27, 2020) – Manatee County foster families have stepped up to help Animal Services (MCAS) empty the kennel over the past week. Manatee County residents can help the shelter maintain its record low numbers in coming days.

Local families have adopted all cats and fewer than 40 dogs are in need of a fur-ever home thanks to an influx of foster families helping during the COVID-19 response. MCAS Chief Sarah Brown said there's been an outpouring of local residents wanting to help during a time when the shelter is typically overflowing with animals. Brown pointed out that adopting or fostering a pet is also a good way to avoid the blues when working from home or self isolating.

"MCAS is overwhelmed by the support of the community during this time," said Chief Brown. “So many caring individuals, opening their homes to help a pet in need. We will continue to take foster and adoptions by appointment only. We’re waiving adoption fees and providing food and supplies to our fosters, all in an effort to see more pets find homes."

MCAS to offer free pet food next week

The good news doesn't end there. On Monday MCAS will announce it is providing free dog and cat food to Manatee County residents while supplies last. The hours and location of the pet food giveaway are a way help local pet owners save money during tough times. The hours, location and other details of the pet food giveaway will be announced on MCAS's Facebook page at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 30.

"MCAS has been trying to think of ways to help keep people and pets together," Chief Brown said. "Thanks to our friends at the Florida State Animal Response Coalition, and the Greater Good, we received a large donation of pet food and supplies. We can now help lessen the burden for pet owners, struggling to make ends meet. The best place for a pet is in a home and we want to do whatever we can to assist during these challenging times."

Miscellaneous updates

  • Department of Health staff was scheduled to collect specimens from another 50 potential COVID-19 patients during the second day of collections at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. Fifty more patients will be screened Saturday and limited times are available for Sunday for patients with prescriptions to book appointments.
  • Manatee County patients who may have COVID-19 should call the Manatee Health Line at (941) 242-6649 to speak with an operator about symptoms, travel history and other criteria to determine whether a COVID-19 test is recommended. If testing is recommended, patients are directed to contact their health care provider to get a prescription and then to call DOH Manatee at (941) 748-0747 to book an appointment for the drive-thru testing site. Patients who have booked an appointment should bring the doctor's prescription, a photo ID with name that matches that on the prescription and proof of Manatee County residency (driver’s license, utility bill, etc.).
  • Tonight, March 27 at 11:59 p.m., Lake Manatee Boat Ramp will be temporarily closed. At the same time, Jiggs Landing Boat Ramp will be temporarily closed to motorized launch. Kayaks and canoes can continue to use the launch. The Jiggs Landing concessionaire will reduce daily hours beginning today 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Manatee County strongly encourages those with medical conditions and those over the age of 65 take extra precautions to prevent infection of COVID-19 by staying at home and limiting social gatherings to 10 people or less. Manatee County residents should work remotely as recommended by Governor DeSantis's Executive Order 20-83 and follow the CDC and DOH guidelines for frequent hand washing.

For local updates on the coronavirus, visit or

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.