MIAMI (CBSMiami) – You’ve probably heard of Occupy Miami but Saturday, it was BARKupy Miami that filled Tropical Park with four-legged friends and their owners fighting for the right to vote on laws that would save animals.

BARKupy Miami is sponsored by a coalition of animal lovers who support a Miami-Dade Pets’ Trust, modeled after The Children’s Trust, which would fund the Animal Services Department to improve the welfare of animals and end shelter deaths of adoptable pets.

Pets’ Trust organizer Michael Rosenberg, of Kendall, notes that “each year, over 20,000 animals are killed at Miami-Dade Animal Services, our county’s only public shelter.”

Rosenberg says Pets’ Trust has developed life-saving legislation that will fund programs that will solve the issues facing our community’s animals: over population, lack of affordable spay/neuter programs, no effective pet retention programs, and limited educational programs for our community.

barkupy miami Animal Lovers Join Forces For BARKupy Miami

(Source: CBS4) One of the man dogs at Tropical Park for the BARKupy Miami event on Saturday, February 11, 2012.

The coalition’s first goal is winning the right to vote on a trust from the Florida Legislature.

But before they can vote, the governor and the legislature have to grant the residents of Miami-Dade County the ability to put it on the official ballot.

“The message we have today is for everyone to call the Governor and allow us to vote in Dade County if we want, or don’t want a Pets’ Trust”, Rosenberg told CBS4 News.

The County will not manage the trust.

Saturday’s event featured speakers such as UM President Donna Shalala who brought her rescue dog named “Sweetie”, State Rep. Ana Rivas Logan and Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill.

“I think this is an effort to help save thousands and thousands of animals at really a minimal cost and all we’re asking here is the opportunity to vote to help these animals,” Magill told CBS4 News. “We’re not asking people to vote for any money, just to put it on a ballot so that the public can vote as to whether they want to help thousands and thousands of animals.”

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