Michael Rosenberg entered his cage at the Miami-Dade Animal Services Shelter at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, vowing to save every homeless dog brought there during the weekend.
During a 55-hour vigil ending at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, Rosenberg, who now calls himself “The Man in a Cage,” estimates he saved at least triple the number of dogs the staff usually has adopted during a two-day weekend.
“But that proved hardly enough, as many dogs came in as were taken out, only illustrating how urgently we need to help the 20,000 to 30,000 homeless strays, roaming our streets every day,” said the Kendall graphics business owner who spent three days and two nights cooped up in a dog cage to help publicize the Pets’ Trust initiative he created.
“I listened to the barks and howls of caged animals, all night long, frightened and alone,” he said after his dramatic attempt to encourage voters to support the “Pets’ Trust” cause to reduce homeless canine population with “yes” votes on the Nov. 6 ballot. “I’ll never forget those sounds.”
With up to 100 strays brought to the kennel, staff members estimated Rosenberg spared euthanasia for at least half of them during the two days when his caging brought triple the number of people to the shelter to seek adoptions.
Despite any discomforts, “I didn’t have to eat out of a dish,” he laughed, thanking the staff of Lots of Lox, 14995 S. Dixie Hwy., and owner Steve Paulos for contributing daily meals for him and hamburgers for his fellow canine inmates.
In addition to local television interviews and news coverage, Rosenberg’s kennel caging brought international television celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan from his California home to lend his name in support of Rosenberg’s mission.
Millan posed with stray pets and said he is considering launching a nationwide campaign to initiate the Pets’ Trust idea that would establish tax-supported clinics to shelter, vaccinate, spay/neuter and provide low-cost veterinary services, all directed toward sharply reducing the homeless animal population in the U.S.
Rosenberg even helped a new dog, “Jackie,” due for euanthasia but rescued that weekend when Dr. Juan Bravo brought the stray to his Bravo Animal Clinic at 10901 SW 186 St. for needed surgery and care.
Now, Jackie lives with Dorothy “Dee” Chess of Friends Forever Rescue, a Pets Initiative supporter and rescuer herself who brought the animal home for future adoption (call 786-229-9002, if interested).
“This is an example of what we can do,” Rosenberg said. “It’s all worthwhile if people will vote ‘yes’ (#240) on the ballot’s non-binding referendum to establish two high-volume care clinics in North and South Miami-Dade County.
“Why spend tax money averaging $300 per animal for temporary shelter and care, only to kill them when it only takes $60 to $70 to spare them and bring the homeless problem truly under control?”