TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – A bill inspired by the work of Pets’ Trust Miami to reduce the large number of stray cats and dogs in Miami-Dade County has received a thumbs up from a Senate committee this legislative session.

The Senate Agriculture Committee met and advanced “Pet Services and Welfare Programs” proposed by Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Miami, unanimously on Monday.

The program allows counties to create “Pets’ Trusts” that would be similar to the special taxing districts that have been questioned for accountability by Gov. Rick Scott. Voters in a county would have to support the local trust’s ability to impose property taxes, of which about 80 percent of the costs would go for spay and neuter programs.

The committee also backed a measure by Sen. Joe Abruzzo, D-Royal Palm Beach which requires animal shelter operators that receive public money to publish the number of dogs and cats they receive, where the animals come from and what happens to them. The bill also requires that the numbers be available online.

The numbers will be used to determine exactly where overpopulation of dogs and cats are occurring. The published numbers could also help reduce the number of animals euthanized each year.

News Service Florida has contributed to this story.


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