Monthly Archives: January 2017

No-kill policy works for humane society

Humane Society of Manatee County’s board of directors recruited Denise Deisler two years ago for the specific purpose of transitioning the organization to a no-kill facility.

Deisler had successfully transitioned the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Richmond, Va., from a high euthanasia rate to a no-kill facility.

Deisler is quick to note that she didn’t swoop in and turn the local humane society into a no-kill shelter. “My hat goes off to the board of directors for doing great legwork,” she said. “This board did strategic planning studies. They visited organizations, including the Richmond SPCA, that are not killing animals and had some major points already properly aligned before they recruited me.”

The board believed a no-kill community was possible. After researching other no-kill communities, the board identified missing ingredients in its own organization.

The first missing ingredient was that Manatee County did not have an affordable spay/neuter clinic.

“It just wasn’t here,” said Deisler. “There was a small mobile unit that would come in on contract, but there was nothing affordable or accessible to the public.”

The second missing ingredient was support for the organizations working to trap-neuter-release feral cats. Volunteers trapping feral cats had to pay private veterinarians to spay or neuter the animals. There was no affordable alternative.

So, the humane society stepped up to the plate on both counts.

The organization began by offering a Feral Sunday program, working with TNR groups to provide free spay/neuter services.

“We paid for the medical oversight, staffed our clinic with volunteer veterinarians and for the first time a number of organizations set aside all differences and came together,” said Deisler. “It was a very important step for our community.”

The organization is unique in that it maintains a full time medical staff, so it is able to open its clinic to the public with affordable service rates. Grant money helps them provide clinic services Monday through Friday. It has since stopped the Feral Sunday program and let TNR caregivers bring in feral cats without an appointment.

Providing the TNR program doubled the number of feral cats being spayed or neutered. “One of the leading contributors to kill rates in Florida is the babies feral cats have,” she explained. “Well-intentioned people pick up the kittens, and if they aren’t weaned they can’t be socialized or sent back into its feral cat community. A feral cat’s odds of getting out of a shelter alive is one in four. ”

Deisler noted that Florida’s mild climate enables cats to reproduce all year long, while in northern, colder climates a cat might only produce one litter of kittens. Anna Maria Island and Cortez, for example, have sizable feral cat populations.

“If we don’t want to pick up and euthanize cats, then we need to stop them from reproducing,” she said.

When the humane society takes care of a feral cat, the staff clips a v-shaped notch into its ear. This signals that the cat is part of a feral community and has been spayed/neutered and vaccinated.

Deisler has established a partnership with Manatee County Animal Services regarding feral cats. She said that in the past, when a cat with a notch in its ear was picked up by animal services, it was an automatic death sentence.

“The notch immediately signaled that the cat was feral and unadoptable,” she explained.

However, the humane society requires all the feral cats to be given a microchip. The microchip makes it possible to identify the neighborhood the cat came from, and most feral cat communities have a caregiver within the neighborhood looking after them, be it a homeowner or business owner.

Deisler said in the past year animal services has agreed to call the humane society when it picks up a feral cat with a notched ear instead of euthanizing it.

“We have already invested the money to vaccinate and alter the cat. Shelters are already stressed out about limited space and no one will adopt a feral cat.

“But a cat with a notched ear already has a home,” said Deisler. “So now the notch serves as a get-out-of-jail-free card instead of a death sentence.”

Deisler said there is no question the TNR efforts made in the past two years save lives.

She said in the two years the clinic has been open and a proactive TNR program has been in place, that the number of animals going to animal services has been reduced 20 percent.

“That’s 1,000 cats and dogs that did not go to a shelter,” she said.

Deisler believes that adopting animals alone is not what it takes to become a successful no-kill community.     She pointed out there are dozens of organizations pulling animals from animal services and adopting them out. She notes that Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton also does a fabulous job, with adoption rates averaging more than 1,000 adoptions annually.

Deisler explained that by law an animal picked up without any identification has a minimum of five days in at animal services before it is at risk for euthanization. An animal with identification is kept in the shelter a minimum of 10 days.

“Prevention is the most cost-effective way to reduce the number of animals in the shelter, so that the shelter doesn’t become overburdened,” she said.

The humane society has reduced the number of animals it shelters by putting retention programs in place. If a pet owner comes to surrender an animal the humane society won’t automatically take it. First, staff members will ask about the owner’s circumstances. If it is a matter of food, then the owner will be directed to free food from the organization’s food pantry. If the animal has a behavioral problem, staff members offer training services.

“We understand giving up an animal is a tough decision,” said Deisler. “Generally if someone comes to us it’s because they care about what happens to the animal, and, a third of the time, just by talking about the extenuating circumstances the owner is able to keep the animal.

“Most of the time people are willing to work to keep the animal, they just don’t know it’s an option,” said Deisler.

Deisler said she is willing to help Manatee County government implement similar services.

She said kill rates can be reduced to a minimal number with affordable clinic services, a proactive TNR program, retention programs, and by utilizing foster families to care for animals. Using foster families frees up space in shelters.

One of the changes in working with animal services Deisler insisted upon was opening up the ability to transfer animals out of the county shelter to any legally operating non-profit organization.

Before 2010, only Bishop and the humane society could transfer animals. Deisler lobbied to have the ordinance changed, and, in the past year transfer rates have increased.

Overall, the programs the humane society put in place have enabled it to stop killing animals, with the exception of those that are not medically treatable.

Between October and December 2010, the humane society euthanized three animals, returned five to owners and adopted out 130 animals while only taking in 126.

The organization has reduced the number of animals surrendered by owners by at least 30 percent and has increased the number of spay/neuter surgeries from 3,000 to 10,000.

The organization publishes its statistics as well as a breakdown of its income and expenses online at

Easy as pie

The folks at the Pines Trailer Park in Bradenton Beach put on a yard sale Feb. 26 that included loads of pies and a luncheon in the clubhouse. Linda Maerker and Mary Ann Kohl prepared pie slices for sale in the clubhouse kitchen, where lunch was cooking on the stove. Kohl made two strawberry pies that were so delicious looking they sold right off the bat. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

Woman pleads not guilty in school incident

A Bradenton Beach woman arrested for allegedly exposing her breasts at Bayshore High School has pleaded not guilty.

Laura Campanello, 43, faces a second-degree misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. If prosecuted and convicted, she could be sentenced to as many as 60 days in jail.

Campanello, through attorney Mark Lipinski, also is seeking to subpoena videotape from the Bradenton school.

The motion states that Campanello and her husband were at the school to talk with a counselor about their son.

Campanello was arrested at about 11:20 a.m. Feb. 14.

A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report states that a school resource officer went to the school office because Campanello was yelling that another adult visiting the school “was showing too much breast.”

The officer said when Campanello and two other women stepped inside a room, Campanello continued to complain about another woman’s cleavage and then pulled her blouse down to expose her breasts.

Cortez man arrested for alleged threat

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a Cortez man for allegedly making threatening phone calls to a relative.

The man, William Troy Spidle, 50, of Cortez, was arrested Feb. 24 after a deputy allegedly overheard a telephone call between Spidle and the female relation.

A report said the deputy was at the relative’s home listening to Spidle on a speaker phone.

The caller allegedly told the woman, “Sometime tonight, I am going to take everything I can from you, including your life. I never thought I would have to say this, but this is what I need to do.”

The relative told deputies she feared the caller would carry out the threats.

In a second conversation, the caller said he had been kicked out of the Salvation Army for substance use and that he was waiting for a ride.

The MCSO picked up Spidle at the Salvation Army in Bradenton. He faces a misdemeanor charge of making harassing phone calls.

Mike Quinn is the publisher of

LA police suspect Viens is dead

Authorities suspect a former Anna Maria Island woman who disappeared in October 2009 is dead after finding blood splatter in her bedroom.

Dawn Marie Viens, who would be 40, disappeared from Lomita, Calif., on Oct. 18, 2009.

Recently investigators found blood in the home she had shared with husband David Viens.

After that discovery, and with authorities now identifying him as a “person of interest” in his wife’s disappearance, David Viens, 47, jumped from a 100-foot cliff following a high-speed police chase to the coast.

As of Islander press time, he remained in critical condition after being flown by a helicopter to the hospital.

The Viens lived on Anna Maria Island several years ago. They owned a home in Holmes Beach and operated the Beach City Market in Bradenton Beach.

In 2005, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office led a raid at the market and home.

David Viens was arrested Jan. 6, 2005, on suspicion of marijuana possession with intent to sell or distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of opium and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He also was arrested on suspicion of trafficking marijuana.

Dawn Viens, at the time, described her husband to law enforcement as a “middle dealer,” according to newspaper archives.

On April 5, 2005, the state attorney dropped all the charges.

In Los Angeles County, the Viens had been operating Thyme Contemporary Cafe for less than a year before Dawn Viens disappeared.

Dawn Viens was last seen leaving the cafe, according to the sheriff’s department.

She did not take her car or more than $600 in cash she had asked a friend to hold.

David Viens told authorities he told his wife to leave home after she refused to enroll in a drug rehabilitation program.

The Viens’ home was examined by a forensics team after David Viens and a girlfriend moved to a new residence.

Sheriff’s detectives told the local newspaper, the Daily Breeze, that the experts “located blood splatter inside the location” and DNA tests were being conducted.

County OKs Start grant

The Manatee County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 22 approved a $10,000 grant to Solutions to Avoid Red Tide Inc.

START, which was founded in 1996, plans to use the money for education and outreach, including beach signs, fact cards, brochures and public service announcements.

The nonprofit’s role is to secure funding for scientific research into red tide, as well as the development of mitigation for red tide and educational programs.

Island police blotter – 03-02-2011

Anna Maria

• Feb. 19, 10005 Gulf Drive, lost property. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received a report from an Illinois man of a lost wallet containing credit cards and cash.

• Feb. 19, 200 block of Elm Avenue, petit theft. The MCSO reported the theft of a garbage can from the curb of a residence.

• Feb. 23, 100 block of Elm Avenue, medical assist. The MCSO responded to a 911 call after a roofer fell 20 feet from a structure. The man was taken to Blake Medical Center by ambulance.

Bradenton Beach

• Feb. 10, 100 block of Third Street South, burglary. A resident reported his SUV was broken into and someone stole his satellite radio equipment.

• Feb. 20, 2500 block of Gulf Drive North, retail theft. The Bradenton Beach Police Department arrested a man accused of stealing an 18-pack of beer from a convenience store.


• Feb. 21, 4600 block of 124th Street, petit theft. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a theft at A.P. Bell Fish Company, where the owners said an unidentified person took $105 from a desk drawer. A suspect first denied taking the money, then admitted the theft to his mother, who offered to return $50 to the company.

Holmes Beach

• Feb. 20, 3900 block of East Bay Drive, theft. The Holmes Beach Police Department received a report of a blue Raleigh bicycle, valued at $400, stolen from outside the Publix Super Market. The bike basket held a Fuji camera, valued at $500.

• Feb. 20, Manatee Avenue on the Anna Maria Island Bridge, traffic. HBPD assisted with controlling traffic following a two-vehicle accident on the bridge. There were no injuries.

Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach police departments and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Sports – 03-02-2011

AMICC NFL teams lock top spots, playoffs loom

The regular season of the Anna Maria Island Community Center NFL Flag Football League is down to the final week of regular-season action. After a week off for spring break, playoffs will get started March 16.

Beach Bums Seahawks are 10-1 in the 8-9 division and are the clear favorites as are the 9-1 Beach Bistro Bears in the 13-16 division. Both teams hold huge leads in the standings and a playoff loss would surely be an upset.

Though the 10-12 AFC-NFC divisions have the only undefeated team in Walter & Associates Steelers at 9-0, Ross Built Vikings are 9-1 and Holy Cow Colts are 9-2, and both could pose a threat. Walter & Associates handled both teams during the regular season, but as ESPN sports anchor Chris Berman says, “That’s why they play the games.”

Speaking of games, this week a 10-12 division battle for last place with Anna Maria Oyster Bar Dolphins over Mr. Spiffy Chargers 20-6 Feb. 23 was a highlight. After trading possessions a couple of times, the Dolphins drew first blood at 12:01 of the first half on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Adam Clark to Reese Helvey. Helvey completed a 22-yard pass to Clark on third down to put the Dolphins in position to score the go-ahead TD.

The Dolphins used a mixture of runs by Helvey and short passes to methodically drive down the field to get into position for Clark’s seven-yard touchdown pass to John Smith. Helvey then ran in the two-point conversion to give the Dolphins a 14-0 lead with less than four minutes to play in the first half.

Ben Connors got the Chargers on the scoreboard on the next play when he took a handoff from quarterback Emma Monuese and scampered 45 yards for a touchdown to pull to within 14-6.

The second half saw the Dolphins defense hold the Chargers offense at bay, while their offense managed one more touchdown by Helvey to complete the scoring.

Helvey finished with 136 passing yards, 75 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Dolphins, which also received 99 receiving yards and a touchdown from Smith and two touchdown passes and 48 receiving yards from Clark in the victory.

Smith led the defense with four flag pulls, while Leo Tilelli and Helvey finished with three pulls apiece. Clark and Mikey Ellsworth each added interceptions for the Dolphin defense.

Conners led the Chargers on offense with 79 rushing yards, 28 receiving yards and a touchodown, while contributing two flag pulls and an interception on defense. Cooper Hardy and Moneuse also contributed two flag pulls on defense.

Islander takes two gold

Islander Ellen Jones made her track-meet debut a successful one with gold medals in the 800- and 1,500-meter dashes at the Gulf Coast Senior Games competition Feb. 26 at Bayshore High School in Bradenton.

Jones’ victories send her on to the regional competition later in the year.

With no women in the 55-59 age group, Jones was thrown into a group of men and women of a variety of ages, but her time of 4:02 in the 800 meter ranked her eighth nationally in her age group, while her time of 8:03 ranked her seventh nationally for women age 55-59 in the 1,500-meter dash.

Horseshoe news

Three teams emerged from pool play during a crowded field of horseshoe competitiors Feb. 26 at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Rod Bussey and Sam Samuels destroyed Steve Doyle 22-1 in the semifinal game and then did the same to Don Buchholtz and Ron Pepka in the finals, winning by a 23-4 score.

Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.

Key Royale golf news

The team of Terry Westby, Bob Dickenson, Ron Robinson and Don Ledford combined to shoot 47 in a par-three coed golf contest at Key Royale Club Feb. 25. Pat Engman, Judy Christianson, Dean Christianson and Dennis Schavey were a shot back in second place.

Dave Krueger’s 9-under-par 55 earned him first place in the men’s 18-hole, individual-low-net golf match on Feb. 23. John Sagert was one shot back in second place while Gino DiClemente took third with a 59.

Ron Robinson carded a 5-under par 27 to win the men’s 9-hole, individual-low-net game – Feb. 21. Dick Eichorn and Jim Helgeson tied for second place at 29.

AMICC NFL Flag Football League schedule

Adult Division

March 3        5:30            Sato vs. Slim’s

March 3        6:30            Ralph’s vs. Duffy’s Jessie’s

March 3        7:30            Bob Vita vs. MartiniVille

March 3        8:30            Jessie’s vs. BTBC

March 3        9:30            Walter vs. Hanks

13-16 Division

March 2        8 p.m.         Bistro vs. 1st Bank

March 14      7:30 p.m.    Awards

10-12 Division

March 2        7 p.m.         Ross vs. Southern

March 14      7:30 p.m.    Awards

8-9 Division

March 2        6 p.m.         IRE vs. Connelly Marine

March 14      6 p.m.         Awards

5-7 Division

March 14      6 p.m.         Awards

AMICC NFL Flag Football League standings

8-9 Division                                   Won     Loss       Tie

Beach Bums                                    10         1            0

Island Real Estate                           5           6            0

Connelly Marine                               2           9            0

NFC 10-12 Division

Ross Built                                         9           1            0

LPAC                                                  4           4            0

LaPensee Plumbing                       4           5            0

Sandbar                                             2           7            0

Southern Greens                             1           9            0

AFC 10-12 Division

Walter & Assoc.                               9           0            0

Holy Cow                                           9           2            0

Eat Here                                            5           4            0

Oyster Bar                                         2           7            0

Mr. Spiffy                                            1           8            0

13-16 Division

Bistro                                                 9           1            0

BVV&H                                               6           4            0

1st. Bank                                            5           6            0

Mr. Bones                                         1           10          0

Adult Division

Duffy’s                                               6           1            0

Jessie’s                                            6           1            0

MartiniVille                                        6           2            0

Sato Real Estate                             5           2            0

Sun                                                    5           3            0

Hurricane Hanks                             4           3            0

Slim’s Place                                     3           4            0

Walter & Assoc.                               2           5            0

BTBC                                                 2           6            0

Rotten Ralph’s                                1           6            0

Bob Vita                                             0           7            0

Island real estate transactions – 03-02-2011

244 Gladiolus St., Anna Maria, a 1,050 sfla / 1,642 sfur 2bed/2bath/1car home built in 1968 on a 75×101 lot was sold 02/09/11, Bordenave to Patten for $410,000; list $444,900.

4002 Sixth Ave., Holmes Beach, a 1,504 sfla / 2,894 sfur 3bed/2bath/2car pool home built in 200 on a 65×100 lot was sold 02/03/11, Downey to Simoyne for $408,000; list $400,000.

312 57th St., Holmes Beach, a 1,918 sfla / 2,315 sfur 3bed/2bath/2car land condo with pool built in 2010 was sold 02/11/11, KPI Holdings LLC to Axiotis for $376,000; list $399,500.

220 17th St. N., Unit 39, Bradenton Beach Club, Bradenton Beach, a 1,268 sfla / 1,396 sfur 2bed/2bath condo with shared pools built in 2005 was sold 02/04/11, BBC Bay Side Resort LLC to Muniz for $275,000; list $299,000.

3601 E. Bay Drive, Unit 113, Sandy Pointe, Holmes Beach, a 931 sfla / 1,019 sfur 2bed/2bath condo with shared pool built in 1994 was sold 02/04/11, Rio to Edington for $189,900; list $209,900.

3000 Gulf Drive, Unit 7, Palm Cay, Holmes Beach, a 756 sfur 1bed/1bath condo with shared pool built in 1980 was sold 02/08/11, TKMT LLC to Rubino for $165,000; list $179,000.

611 Gulf Drive, Unit D23. Imperial House, Bradenton Beach, a 854 sfla 2bed/1bath condo in a 55+ community with shared pool built in 1969 was sold 01/31/11, Hersam to Hobbs for $152,500; list $179,900.

Jesse Brisson, broker/associate at Gulf-Bay Realty of Anna Maria, can be reached at 941-778-7244.

Obituaries – 03-02-2011

H. Larkin Osborn

H. Larkin Osborn, 95, of Holmes Beach and Shelby, Mich., died Feb. 23 in Hart, Mich.  He was born Nov. 15, 1915 in Wichita, Kan.

Mr. Osborn attended Wichita High School East, Friends University and Northwestern University.  He served in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps in the Philippines and New Guinea during World War II.

He was employed by Bauman, Finney Co. and Market Research Corporation of America where he was C.F.O. He was a member of Alpha Kappa Tau Fraternity and the Illinois Society of CPAs.  He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Evanston.

No services will be held. Donations may be made to Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, 320 E. Superior, Chicago IL 60611, or Mercy VNS Hospice, 888 Terrace St., Muskegon MI 49440. Condolence may be made online at Arrangements by Harris Funeral Home, Shelby.

Mr. Osborn is survived by wife Marion Marx; children Rochelle Ann and husband Louis Cain, David Larkin and wife Linda, and Robert August and wife Jacqueline; grandchildren Christopher, Lauren Cain and Kristin; great-grandchildren Taylor and Emily; and brother Clifford J.

William L. Sabatini

William L. Sabatini, 88, of Holmes Beach and  formerly of Cheswick, Pa., died Feb. 24. He was born in Rural Ridge June 14, 1922.

Mr. Sabatini served in the U.S. Coast Guard and was a veteran of World War II. He was a coal miner and owner of Sabatini and Varshine, later known as Sabatini Refuse Service. He retired in 1990.

Arrangements were by the Charles B. Jarvie Funeral Home, Inc.

Mr. Sabatini is survived by his wife of 64 years, Lidia; children William and wife Carol of Albuquerque, N.M., Gerald and wife Andrea of Washington Twp., Pa., and Judi and husband Dave D’Amico of Sarver, Pa.; brother John and wife Marge of Rural Ridge, Pa.; and grandchildren Quinn, Angie, Jerry, Jay, Philip, Jillian, Patrick and Julia.