PALMETTO, Fla. -
Girl Scout Troop 316 is lending a helping hand to man's best friend.
"It is just really fun because they are so cute they are all so adorable," said eleven year old Griffin Heckler.
Manatee County's "No Kill" policy brings more animals in and keeps them around longer. As long as it takes to find a good home. Under the policy no adoptable animals are allowed to be put down.
With more than 150 cats and dogs, workers rely on help from volunteers like Griffin Heckler and her Girl Scout troop.
"You don't have to do too much just one dog makes an entire difference," she said.
The troop is working toward the highest honor a junior girl scout can receive, a Bronze Award.
They're earning it by helping wash and walk the animals.
"They are fearless for one thing I mean going in and getting some of the bigger dogs and walking them and they are enthusiastic about it," said troop volunteer Caryn Hodge.
Animal services is working to find more help and they said adoption is not the only way. With only seven paid employees, they need volunteers to walk, wash or just simply pet animals. Even donations like old newspapers or pet treats help.
"It is worth it just to be able to know these dogs are being cared for," said Heckler.
Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore helped start the "No Kill" policy and is seeing it through. She said currently the county is at a 81 percent save rate. Her goal is 90 percent by October.
"Everybody is getting the fluffy dogs and the nice little small ones and our challenges are to adopt out the larger dogs," she said.
Their volunteer work isn't just about earning another badge. It is about making sure these animals are in good hands until they are in a good home.
"They need your help. So we should help them," said Heckler.
In an effort to help make sure cats and dogs are adopted Animal Services has a program that gives any cat or dog away for free that is not adopted within 90 days. They said the only requirement is that the pet goes to a good home.
During the month of July, Manatee County Animal Services offers any dog or cat for a $35 adoption rate. For more information visit: www.mymanatee.org/pets
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