PALMETTO, Fla. (WFLA) – Manatee County Animal Welfare is calling on the community to help take care of an unusual uptick in the number of homeless dogs.

As of Monday evening, there are nearly 100 dogs at the Palmetto Adoption Center.

On any given day, Outreach and Events Specialist Hans Wohlgefahrt said, as many as 15 new dogs are arriving at the shelter.

“When a shelter is as full as it’s been,” Wohlgefahrt said, “it’s kind of a stressful environment for both the pets and staff and volunteers.”

Typically there is an influx of dogs in animal shelters during the summertime. So far this year, MCAW has accepted an average of 300 dogs per month.

“The animals that have been coming into the shelter are strays, so we don’t necessarily know exactly why we’re seeing so many come in so quickly,” Wohlgefahrt said.

With the staff struggling to reunite the stray dogs with their owners, Wohlgefahrt said they are urging more families to consider fostering these pets in their homes.

“The length of fostering is actually the foster’s choice,” he said. “Some people take the dogs home for a long weekend and other for weeks.”

By waiving adoption fees through the end of the month, the hope is that more of these four-legged friends will soon find their forever homes.

“We still have 93 wonderful dogs waiting to make that connection with somebody,” Wohlgefahrt said. “No matter what type of pet you’re looking for, we have such a variety with having that many dogs here.”

The Palmetto Adoption Center is open seven days a week.

You can learn more about the dogs available for adoption and plan your visit to the shelter by going to

The application for becoming a dog foster can be found at