MIAMI (CBS4) – Howls and meows of agreement may be heard from the Miami-Dade animal control shelter Tuesday, after County Commissioners give expected approval to a plan to improve the life expectancy of dogs and cats taken there.
Each year approximately 37,000 canines and felines make their way to the shelter, and about one-third don’t make it out alive. They are gassed – or, to put it less graphically – “put to sleep.”
Those figures promise to improve under a “No Kill” effort being launched by the county at the behest of animal-loving voters. Miami-Dade voters, by a margin of 65% in favor, approved raising taxes on themselves to reduce the number of pooches and kitties put down.
A homeowner with a house assessed at $200,000 dollars will pay an extra $20 a year to fund the program. 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 to 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.
At the shelter Monday, Brittany Lee held her little white Scottie mix, Heidi – who she brought in for shots – and applauded the effort.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea. I adopted my dog from a shelter, so I’m in full support of having a no kill shelter,” Lee said.
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
Not everyone approves of paying higher taxes, even as much as they might love their animals.
“I’m an animal lover,” said Marcos Morales, who brought his adopted puppy, Luna, in for a checkup at the shelter Tuesday. “But I love my money as well. The more money I can keep, if I can keep the fruits of my labor, that would be great.”
Luna, the brown-eyed puppy, may have let out a little grimace.
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The present, outdated shelter near the Palmetto expressway on Northwest 74th street, is set to be demolished.