MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Commissioners are scheduled to vote on a plan this Tuesday to reduce the county’s animal overpopulation.
Each year, more than half of the 37,000 animals that end up at the shelter die there because no one wants them. The “no-kill” goal, introduced by Animal Services Department Director Alex Muñoz, is to reduce euthanasia to 10 percent, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
The Pet Trust will provide Mayor Carlos Gimenez the ability to build the funding into his upcoming budget, based on an additional $10 per $100,000 property tax assessment.
If passed, $20 million would go to clinics which offer free or low-cost spay and neuter and veterinary care services, run by nonprofits. It would also pay for more veterinarians and vet techs at Animal Services, more off-site adoption events and keep a mobile clinic on the road seven days a week.
Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a member of the Florida senate and a former Miami-Dade County Commissioner, told the committee that Miami-Dade’s 167 veterinary hospitals will use a voucher system for extra sterilizations. It’s unclear what a voucher would pay, but Miami-Dade Animal Services charges $30 for dogs and $15 for cats. Vets typically charge $300 to $600 for dog sterilization, according to the Herald.
Muñoz told the commission that so far this year, the dog “save rate’’ is nearly 80 percent and cats are up to 60 percent.
If the clinics can start sterilizing at least 1,500 cats and dogs every year, Pet Trust proponents say the death rate at the county’s animal shelter should soon begin to fall because fewer strays would be reproducing in the streets, slowing the shelter intake, according to the paper.
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