That co-pay has been subsidized this year by two ASPCA grants and donations to the Animal Services Trust Fund. Those funds are scheduled to be depleted by the end of September.
“This program is so important in our community that is desperately lacking donor-subsidized spay/neuter programs,” said Dr. Sara Pizano, director of Miami-Dade Animal Services Department. “For a community of 2.4 million people, there are only about 10,000 subsidized surgeries available.
“Pet owners sleep in their cars outside our shelter gate the night before the first come/first serve surgeries to ensure their pets are sterilized, and many pet owners are turned away each surgery day because the list is full.
“This program needs to expand exponentially, the need and desire is huge,” Dr. Pizano explained.
Last year, 36,000 pets were abandoned at Animal Services and though the department is saving more animals than ever, many are euthanized because there is no one to take them. Donor-subsidized programs in other communities are proving to be the answer to lower shelter intake and thus the number of pets the shelter is forced to euthanize.
Those interested can donate online at www.miamidade.gov/animals or send a check to MDAS, 7401 NW 74 St., Miami, FL 33166, payable to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) adding: “Donation to ASD Trust Fund” in the memo line, with a letter stating the funds should be restricted to the MAC surgery program.
Animal Services is responsible for enforcing Chapter 5 of the Miami-Dade County Code, as well as Florida Statute 828, which deals primarily with animal cruelty issues.
Unlike private shelters that have limitations on the number of pets they accept, Animal Services accepts all dogs and cats. Each year, the shelter impounds 36,000 pets. The goal at Animal Services is to reunite lost pets with their families or find life-long homes for as many animals as possible.
For information visit www.miamidade.gov/animals or call 3-1-1.