Protesters Rally Against Neglect at Manatee Co Animal Services

On December 15, Manatee Co Animal Services in FL impounded an adult mixed breed dog, ID #A069483, who had been shot in the leg.  They sent her to a vet clinic for an xray which confirmed her leg was broken.  No treatment was administered to alleviate the dog’s pain or help her in any way.  She was sent back to the pound.

Manatee Co Animal Services medical record for a dog who had been shot in the leg, as posted on Facebook.
Manatee Co Animal Services medical record for a dog who had been shot in the leg, as posted on Facebook.

On December 16, Manatee Co entered notes in the dog’s record indicating she had received an exam from a vet and her prognosis was poor due to severe injury.  The county put flea poison on the dog, gave her a dewormer and vaccinated her.  No treatment was administered to relieve the dog’s obvious suffering.  The severely injured dog was left in a cage to suffer further on December 17, December 18, December 19, December 20, December 21, December 22, and December 23 – no treatment or vet care of any kind was provided according to county records.  Finally on December 24, a volunteer called a vet who authorized giving the dog a pain pill.

The dog, now in the care of rescuers, has been named Amari.  Animal advocates staged a public protest this week to bring attention to Amari’s neglect by the Manatee Co pound.  They say this is not an isolated incident:

“I’m here for Amari and all the other animals that have been mistreated,” said Tara Tresca, 33, of Bradenton, a rescue group volunteer and the organizer of the rally in front of the historic Manatee County Courthouse, 1115 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. “If we did it, we would be in jail for animal cruelty.”

The pound is investigating itself in the matter. Bill Hutchison, interim director of the Animal Services Division, bravely acknowledged that we have a Constitution in this country and that it contains a First Amendment:

“But I respect their opinion and their right to do what they’re doing, and when we have something to say, we will say it,” Hutchison said, referring to rally participants.

Asked to confirm basic facts of the case, he said Amari was a stray admitted to the county Palmetto animal shelter last month, lame and obviously in distress.

Obviously in distress. I guess that’s one way to describe getting shot and dragging a broken leg around. But he has nothing to say right now. Gotta hear both sides.

(Thanks Clarice for all the links on this story.)

25 thoughts on “Protesters Rally Against Neglect at Manatee Co Animal Services

  1. The photo of this poor dog looks like they didn’t bother to feed her, either. From the links and comments, this is an ongoing issue there and people are fed up with the ugly that is happening there. Glad this girl is with rescue and is doing well. Interesting that the “vet” who took the xray and sent her back to the pound with an untreated broken leg is not held in high regard, either. Sounds like a whole lot of problems.

      1. This was taken from a letter that Huchinson sent to a number of people:

        “Monday we plan to re-open the Downtown Animal Adoption Center for “cats only” and mostly staffed by our volunteers. Sam Wolfe Volunteer Coordinator will be there as our only employee. Through the grapevine we have learned that the “crazies” are planning to protest and disrupt the opening by using the above case as their cause celeb — anything to discredit us. I don’t get it — but I believe they will do it. This sure does fall under the category of no good deed goes unpunished. I thought you should know and as soon as I have more information on the case I promised Commissioners DiSabatino and Whitmore that I will pass it along — for better or for worse.”

        As an fyi, we did protest but across the street from Manatee County Bldg on Manatee Avenue. The protest was held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We are highly insulted a individual who is paid by the taxpayer would call us “crazies”! We are true animal activists. We are demanding the termination of Huchinson as interim Director of Animal Services. We are also demanding the termination of the County Administrator, Ed Hunzenger. Please google his name. You will find he was terminated by another county and then our county hired him.

  2. That vet should be held up to public ridicule and scorn as well. At the very least they should have either told the pound the dog needed actual treatment before transferring back (splint & pain meds at least – actual setting, monitoring, & anti-biotics/pain meds would have been better) – that’s what cared a ‘standard of care’ that a vet is supposed to provide, and if the ‘owner’ (the shitheads at the pound) elects to do nothing, the vet should have reported them to the police to try to set in motion a search for the real owner. And they should have followed up with phone calls about what was happening to the dog. I’d want to know if my vet was acting in such a piss-poor manner – and I wouldn’t keep using them. Here’s hoping this crappy vet looses some clients over this!

  3. The vet who saw Amari is Dr. Luke Berglund (Beach Vet on Cortez Avenue). He is the contracted vet for the county. We have had many, many run-ins with him. He just killed two other animals that are cause for suspicion. One was a lab mix that was HW+. The dog was five years old and he claimed the dog was High HW+. Yesterday, he killed a cocker spaniel that was sent to him with an ear infection. We are waiting for all the information we have requested through the Sunshine Laws. In the meantime, a protest has been planned for Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Amari’s name. Every one in our area, please show up and bring a sign. Now it appears in two more dog’s name will be included. Dr. Luke Berglund is also the vet for Pet Land. Pet Land is notorious for selling puppy mill animals. We are not going to give up until we have his license pulled and he is put up on charges for animal cruelty.

    1. I didn’t go to vet school but last I heard, there was treatment available for heartworms and for Cocker ears. I wonder if the PetLand puppies fare any better.

      1. petland pups are vetted by the same vet-Beach Vet !! like the page “do you know where your vet us”….

      2. and the answer would be yes. Berglund was suggesting an 86 year old adopt from a local rescue- she had NO family locally and wanted a puppy(as opposed to an older pet). She said that “well Luke Berglund has told me that Petland will adopt to me and they have very nice, well cared for puppies”….. told her “of course he would. some people love money more than anything and some people are selfish enough to buy the lie”….facebook “do you know where your vet is”…..

  4. This is so sad and disgusting. That pound was making progress under Kris Weiskopf. Now he is gone, and it looks like this pound is sliding back into the dark ages. Truly disgusting and yet another example of why we need shelter reform laws to codify that life saving efforts be taken in shelters.

    1. progress? is that what you call it? Weiskopf never was nor would he ever be “No-kill”. Their very expensive consutling team proved that very few if any employees advocated or backed no-kill!! What steps did he follow in No-kill? name them!!
      he was nathan winograd’s poster child but was eventually proven to be a big fraud!

  5. Bett Sundermeyer, I don’t know where you get your information, but we had the same problems under Kris Weiskopf that we are having under Huchinson. No transparency or accountability!

  6. Unbefuckinglieveable.

    They’re right – if any normal citizen did this, it would be cruelty.

    Kudos to them for rallying! I really hope that they get the changes they (and the animals) deserve.

    I wonder if they can file criminal charges with the police for this?

  7. Thank you for helping in this its true if it happened in our home we would be in jail. We are doing another rally at the ver on Cortez Rd at 4pm beach vet clinic there on Cortez by beaches please if you can make it please be there. They killed a dog yesterday that is a persons pet they had two day and killed it because of ear infection please help us help paws!!!!

  8. i would rather be crazy than an apathetic paid animal welfare professional refusing to do my job as an Animal Control official or as a Veterinarian (sworn to do no harm)…….Beach vet should lose their license and Hutchinson should be removed (again) and he should take his staph with him!!

  9. If helping animals make me crazy then I’ve always been crazy lol!!!! And makes about 90% of the world crazy lol!!!!!

  10. Crazy Terri Wonder agrees with all these other crazy people posting on this page. The county waged a major pr campaign last summer and fall to make sure our self-styled “Animal Commissioner” would be re-elected. Part of this campaign included the removal of the previous Animal Services director, Kris Weiskopf, from his job. County Administrator Ed Hunzeker appointed Bill Hutchison as Interim Animal Services Director. So now we have a case of “Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss.” They have made only minor reform. Caring for animals in the shelter’s custody is not part of that reform. So far they have failed to openly acknowledge that an enforcement arm of local government routinely neglects and abuses animals in its custody. Any of of could have a pet get loose, become sick, or become injured, and then wind up in the pound. As citizens and taxpayers, we want to know that our animals will be cared for while in the custody of an agency our taxes support. This is my two-cents. How’s that for “Crazy”?

  11. Considering way “Dr” Luke Bergland takes people’s dogs and without remorse, kills them, you would think he worked for PETA.

  12. Bett Sundermeyer, you are mistaken. Weiskopf sent pets out to the contracted county vet to be killed. When he calculated the save rate, these animals were not listed as being killed. As a result his save rate was inflated. Bogus save rates are no progress.

  13. Please, Everyone who can be there. We are have a rally at Beach Vet. Clinic on Cortez Avenue on Tuesday, January 13th at 4:00 p.m. – 5;30 p.m. in honor of Amari, Sweet Bondie, and Max. Sweet Blondie and Max were both killed for curable diseases last week by Dr. Death. The location is right before you go over the bridge (west) onto Bradenton Beach. We are asking people to wear Orange. Orange is the new Black/White Stripes. Bring a sign – keep it clean. I’ll be there to show people where to park and stand. Show the County we want this Vet released immediately from their contract with the county. Also, make the people of Manatee County, this Vet also takes care of pups/dogs/cats/etc. from Petland on 53rd Street. This business sells puppy mill animals. This is unacceptable.

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