The Miami-Dade County Commission adopted landmark legislation sponsored by Commissioner José “Pepe” Díaz during its July 3 meeting designating the Miami- Dade County Animal Services Department Shelter as a “no kill’ facility.
“Pet owners and animal lovers throughout Miami-Dade have been waiting for a ‘no kill’ policy to be implemented at our Animal Services Department,” Commissioner Diaz said.
“The No Kill Equation provides alternatives to euthanizing animals by partnering with community organizations and reaching out to residents about the importance of sterilizing their pets to decrease our stray population. As a pet owner myself, I look forward to seeing this plan in action in the coming months,” he added.
“As the proud owner of two wonderful pets, including a rescue dog, I’m pleased the county commission has adopted this policy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I hope this will further encourage residents to visit our shelter, adopt these loving animals and give them permanent, new homes.”
Becoming a “no kill” shelter means having a 90 percent or better rate of animals saved at the county’s animal shelter due to specific programs developed by the “no kill” movement in the United States, which provides alternatives to animal shelter euthanasia. The resolution is modeled after the No Kill Equation, a program model which changes the way shelters operate and provides the animal-loving public an integral role in that operation.
A forthcoming mayor’s report will be consistent with the No Kill Equation and include:
• Comprehensive Adoption Programs;
• Free-Roaming Cat Trap/Neuter/Return Programs;
• High-Volume, Affordable Spay/Neuter Services;
• Large-Scale Volunteer Foster Care Programs;
• Rescue Group Transfers;
• Proactive Pet Retention Programs;
• Proactive Pet Redemptions;
• Medical and Behavioral Programs;
• Public Relations/Community Involvement, and
• Volunteer Programs.
Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department director Alex Muñoz has embraced these ideas and wants to expand on the work already being done by the shelter, which last year saved a large majority of stray and abandoned dogs.
“A lot more work is needed to reduce the number of cats brought to the shelter and increase the number of cats adopted,” Muñoz said. “The implementation of ‘no kill’ programs will require the development and implementation of new programs and the expansion of current efforts. The shelter cannot do this alone and like other successful communities, we need our residents’ help.”