Manatee Animal Services chief steps down

Manatee County, Florida -- Manatee County Animal services is experiencing some need changes following the seizure of more than a hundred animals from Napier Animal Sanctuary.

Manatee Animal Services has been under public scrutiny since April 2014. They have a no kill community concept and in the past 15 months they've had a 90% save rate. But they've also had some 'mistakes and difficulties'.

Photos: Raid at Napier's Animal Sanctuary

In one particular case, officials transferred hundreds of animals to Napier Animal Sanctuary so they wouldn't be put down, but then they were seized back because of alleged abuse and neglected there. The owners were arrested.

So what's being done to make sure something like that doesn't happen again?

10 News has learned that the Animal Services Chief Kris Weiskopf is stepping aside and a former Director of Public Safety, Bill Hutchinson, is taking over. They say this is just the first of many changes to come.

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Hutchison said, "The adoption rate in the county needs to be better, the facilities need to be better-the one now doesn't lend itself to a full fledged adoption, reestablishing goals."

An independent audit is also looking at how things can be better. That feedback should come in October.

See also:

Hurricane shelter focuses on special needs

Owners of animal sanctuary face more charges

Felony charge for vet who gave dog date rape drug during surgery

Napier Animal Sanctuary veterinarian arrested


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