HOMESTEAD (CBS4) – Near the border of where rural meets desolate you’ll see them: Packs of dogs roaming Homestead and Florida City.
The animals are clearly on their own. They look starved, thirsty, and many appear injured. And Everglades National Park ranger Mirta Maltez sees them all the time. She calls out to the dogs around an abandoned house as she gives us a tour on her own time.
“We took out five yesterday and we have five to go.” Maltez says. You could call it her second job, rescuing dogs left behind in South Florida great recession. Some are dumped here wandering the street others left behind in foreclosed homes.
“I could go and fill a bus in Florida City,” said Maltez.
Ironically, on Wednesday she rescued dogs from a home that used to be a dog rescue center. Today Wells Fargo owns it.
Jennifer Woolman at Crossroads Animal Clinic is sympathetic to the situation.
“I don’t want to say that people don’t value their animals. I don’t judge because I know the economy is very, very difficult.” Woolman says.
At her animal clinic in Kendall, Woolman is stepping up. Taking in these foreclosure dogs and nursing them back to health. A task, she says, that can be daunting.
“Everyday. It’s overwhelming everyday,” said Woolman. “My favorite motto is just to remember to breathe because that’s what you have to do.”
She showed CBS4’s David Sutta the two dogs that came from the foreclosed rescue Tuesday because they were in the worst shape. Another boxer is in the mix. She chased after the car as they were pulling away and Woolman didn’t have the heart to leave her behind with the seven others.
“It’s just sad because they are still lives.” says Woolman.
With Miami-Dade’s shelter budget shrinking and a record number of animals, roughly 36,000 last year, coming through the door rescue groups are now changing their strategy to spay and neuter.
“They stop the cycle right before it starts by stopping the birth of all these unwanted neglected pets. We just can’t adopt our way out of the problem. The numbers are incredible,” said Laurie Bloom of the Spay Neuter Miami Foundation. As she pets the dogs roaming a foreclosed rescue she used to work at she tells us things have to change. After 30 years in the business she explains taking the problem on one dog at a time will not work. She’s hoping people will start donating money to the spay and neuter cause to bring the epidemic under control.
For more information on how you can adopt one of the foreclosure dogs go to: www.myanimalsrock.org
If you do not have room to adopt but would like to help the spay and neuter programs at: www.spayneutermiami.com