Director Asks County For New Animal Shelter

MIAMI – (CBS4) – Miami Dade County Animal Shelter officials hope a new site in Doral will help save the lives of thousands of animals each year.

On Monday, the Miami Dade County Commission will decide whether to approve the new site at 3651 NW 79th Avenue. The commission approved the purchase of a new facility back in 2004.

But now that the site has been identified, it needs their approval. The building would cost a total of about $14 million to buy the warehouse and retrofit it for the shelters needs.

“I can only tell you that as a public safety issue that as a compassion issue, this is something that’s long overdue,” said Dr. Sara Pizano, Animal Services Director. “This building needs to happen. It will last us for many decades and it will help us save more animals.”

Pizano said last year they had to euthanize about 20,000 animals for lack of space, illness and other issues. More recently, the shelter closed its dog intake wing to the public after a major distemper outbreak. They are still open for adoptions but there are only slightly more than a dozen dogs left as workers try to clean and renovate the facility.

“The new building would mean a healthier environment for the animals and the staff and the public,” Pizano said. “It would have the appropriate space for the animals so that we could clean in a way that doesn’t jeopardize their health.”

Overcrowding has been an issue for a long time at the Medley shelter. At any time they house anywhere from 250 to 600 animals there. It is hot and only expected to get hotter in the summer months with no air-conditioning at the shelter.

“It’s a sick building,” she said. “It’s impossible to sanitize. The design, lack of ventilation, air flow, lack of air conditioning all leads to the spread of disease.”

The current building was built in the late 1960’s as an animal hospital. It was never designed to house and care for animals at the capacity that it’s being used for today.

“Any kind of upgrade to a better facility sounds good to me,” said Caroline Rhame,” a visitor considering adoption. “I mean if you could have a newer facility with like a cleaner better setup, it sounds perfect.”

Comments

One Comment

  1. Sarah Leddick says:

    Yes, please!!!! We need a more modern air conditioned shelter.Anything to save these animals lives. And vaccinating them on the way in instead of exposing healthy animals to sick ones is absolutely necessary!

  2. BUSTER'S MOMMY says:

    WE IN MIAMI DADE NEED A NEW FACILITY FOR THESE INNOCENT DOGS AND CATS… WE CAN SPEND ALL OF THIS MONEY FOR A BASEBALL STADIUM THAT I PERSONALLY DONT GIVE A HOOT ABOUT, BUT, WE CAN NOT HELP OUR 4-LEGGED BABIES…. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE IN THAT…???

    THEY NEED A NEW FACILITY… WE ADOPTED 3 DOGS FROM THERE… THEY WERE FULL OF TICKS AND FLEAS AND ONE DIED IN A WEEK… BROKE OUR HEARTS… THEY WERE ALL AT OUR VET AS SOON AS WE PICKED THEM UP… FOR CHECK UPS AND TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE HEALTHY AND TO GET RID OF THE TICKS AND FLEAS…

    SO PLEASE LETS DO THE RIGHT THING… HELP THE ANIMALS

    I PERSONALLY HAVE GONE ONLINE TO MIAMI DADE ANIMAL SERVICES AND I HAVE PERSONALLY CONTACTED RESCUE SITES REGARDING DOGS AND THEY REFUSE TO TAKE DOGS FROM MIAMI DADE… THEY ALL SAY THEY ARE SICK DOGS THERE….

    WHY DO WE HAVE SUCH A TERRIBLE SYSTEM FOR OUR DOGS AND CATS…

    LETS DO THE RIGHT THING PEOPE…

    THANK YOU…

    1. GAIN AND AGEIN says:

      Ask GOVERNMENT…

      Dr. Pizano, U need to EARN your SALARY? *****honestly*******

      if YOU CANNOT DO YOUR JOB
      Pls. STEP OUT!!!

  3. Concern says:

    I have rescue animals at the animal control center in Miami. In winter the dogs freeze in summer they cook. Something need to be done!

    1. Sophia says:

      This is totally true. Summer at the Miami Dade Animal Services is Horrible. How would any of you like to be in a hot buiding in Miami with no air and 90 degree plus? It is miserable there. Winter they are on for the most part cement and you all know how cold cement gets in the winter here.

      These animals need the same respect that we give to ourselves. The lady above Buster’s Mommy is also correct. How we can spend millions and millions on sports arenas etc and we dont care of living breathing creatures.

      If this buiding was approved back in 2004, then why has it not be done yet?

      If you think about it, healthier dogs and cats have a better chance of being rescued and adopted from all. If rescue organizations don’t want dogs and cats from Miami, well then that is a major problem.

      There are also prisons through out the USA that use good behavior prisoners to help out with animals. Some of them even work with dogs that can be traned to be dogs to help the blind etc. (SERVICE DOGS) Why are we as a community not looking at the bigger picture here.

      Dogs and Cats have some much compassion, why don’t we meaning you all at the top of our government?

      I wonder if the city commissioners have ever walked about the animal services in the summer and really see how those animals are handing the summer heat etc.? Get out of your A/C and walk the walk so to speak.

      Yes, I am calling you all out. Please help.!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Karina says:

    Dr. Pizano has made an incredible job restoring this facility.
    They have now a pretty efficient operation given the small amount of resources they have.
    In the whole scheme of things, the amount required to safeguard the animals from our community and the future that this investment can represent for the county, not only financially but ethically, makes this an obvious decision.
    I hope that politics and self interests don’t get in the way of what is an obviously positive decision. 20,000 dead animals in one year is a horrible number. Politicians please approve this, it is a necessity, not a luxury.
    You are the only ones responsible for the death of the next 20,000 animals if you say no. Will you kill them?

  5. David M. says:

    Let’s just do it ASAP !!!

  6. TR says:

    STOP !

    STOP WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS !

    If you were spending 14 MILLION why wouldn’t you build a new facility

    specifically designed as an ANIMAL SHELTER ???

    The COMMISSIONERS want to spend 14 Million to purchase a Warehouse and

    the retrofit it ! give us all a break !!!

    WHICH OF THE COMMISSIONERS FAMILY MEMBERS owns this Warehouse?

    THESE COMMISSIONERS have had a free reign to STEAL long enough !!!

    The facilities that are currently used are good enough for now, given the

    ECONOMY …

    THIS IS NOT 2004 … when the COMMISSIONERS had TAX DOLLARS to

    WASTE on every BS project under the sun !

    STOP THE PURCHASE & RECALL THE COMMISSIONERS !

    1. GAIN AND AGAIN says:

      TRUE, SO VERY, VERY, VERY true, TR

  7. carmen says:

    $14 million? Just add air conditioning units to the old building. Spend $14 million on education, instead of wasting it on animals.

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