MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Commissioners, on Tuesday, voted to approve The Pets’ Trust, a popular citizen initiative that could save the lives of thousands of unwanted pets.
The commission approved the $20 million funding package for the Animal Services Department which will underwrite high-volume spay/neuter clinics in parts of the county where veterinary care is hard to find or too expensive for residents, and help the county fulfill the “no-kill’’ objective it set last year.
Each year, approximately 37,000 canines and felines make their way to the Miami-Dade Animal Shelter, and about one-third don’t make it out alive.
Approval means that Mayor Carlos Gimenez can build funding for the trust into his upcoming budget, based on a $10-per-$100,000 property tax assessment that voters overwhelmingly supported in a straw ballot last November.
The average property owner will pay $20 a year starting in November. Residents who don’t own property will not have to pay anything.
The goal of the county is to reduce the number of animals euthanized to no more than 10-percent of those that come through the facility. The 10-percent would be animals deemed too old, sick or mean to salvage.
Broward County has strived to reduce the number of animals it kills, but still nearly half don’t make it out alive. Broward, unlike Miami-Dade, hasn’t funded the attempt at no kill.
The Miami-Dade effort will include a multi-pronged approach:
Free and low cost spaying and neutering services.
More veterinarians and medical technicians to do the work
Grants to not for profit organizations to provide more shelters and other services
Increased pet adoption events
A mobile clinic to perform sterilization procedures seven days a week, particularly in lower income neighborhoods lacking affordable veterinarian services
The plan is for animal services to move into a new facility in Doral, allowing it to about double its capacity.
The present, outdated shelter in Medley near the Palmetto expressway on Northwest 74th Street is set to be demolished.