MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Thousands of dogs die every year at Miami-Dade Animal Services because space is limited, too few dogs are adopted, and new animals arrive every day. The numbers have drawn sharp criticism from animal activists, but now the country is moving to make charges.

Starting Monday, the county’s animal services office will start transferring dogs who face euthanasia to shelters outside of the area with a no-kill policy. To start, the numbers will be limited, but Pawsitive 4 Life, a rescue group that has raised money to fund the program, is working with the county.

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Animal services hopes to continuously expand the Transfer Program to eventually include the transfer of hundreds of pets per month.

The dogs will be transferred to shelters in Brevard and Indian River county as well as two shelters in New Jersey.

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“They have all stepped up to take dogs from ASD,” said Alex Muñoz, Director, Animal Services Department

Each year, the shelter takes in 36,000 cats and dogs. Animal Services tries to connect the animals with their owners, but many dogs brought in are strays, abandoned by their owners, or surrendered by people who no longer want them.

“With up to 300-400 animals at the shelter on any given day, the efforts of rescues and adoptions cannot cover the sheer numbers of animals that the County shelter must take in,” Muñoz said.

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The transfer program will mean fewer dogs in Miami-Dade die because of economic reasons and a shortage of space.