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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Commissioners want to make sure adopted animals are placed in safe, loving homes.

This week, the board passed an ordinance designed to prevent people found guilty of animal abuse from adopting pets from the County’s Pet Adoption and Protection Center and from the County’s shelter partners.

Potential pet adopters will be checked against a database of criminal court records.

The ordinance also strengthens the Animal Service Department’s authority to protect animals from harm.

The ordinance took many months to develop and was a collaboration that included State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle and her team that prosecutes animal abuse cases, and involved significant input from the Animal Services Department and the ASPCA among others.

The ordinance will take effect in 180 days to allow sufficient time to create the database tools needed to ensure a quick and timely review of the court records involving crimes against animals.

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