Pets Trust is now up to the voters

Pepe Sal makes pals with Mayor Carlos Gimenez, then speaks up to Commissioners to help strays. (Photos by Liam Crotty Photography)

A campaign to help save homeless animals advanced another step, thanks to “Pepe Sal,” Michael Rosenberg, Roberta Schwartz, Lindsay Gordon, Dee Chess and many other folks who waved signs and lobbied the County Commission on behalf of Miami-Dade’s unwanted strays.


The November 6 general election ballot will carry a non-binding vote to see if citizens will okay a fiscal 2013 millage increase (0.1079) that could greatly expand care for Miami-Dade’s exploding population of dogs, cats and exotic pets.


They include strays like Pepe who turned up when the Pets Trust group lobbied at a previous Commission meeting and was adopted as a symbol for the cause.  (Pepe is now ‘Pepe Sal’ to honor Sally Heyman, sponsor of the Commission measure).


The Pets Trust story actually had its incubation when Rosenberg adopted a kitten from the Miami-Dade Animal Shelter, unaware it had already contracted a sickness that took its life in just four days.  He later forced himself to watch the euthanasia practice that exterminates 30,000 or more strays each year, awakening a passion to do something about saving innocent animals.


“Did you know we now have an estimated 460,000 cats in the county that can produce litters of a dozen or more?”  Rosenberg posed during in a television interview the day the Commission put a non-binding referendum on the ballot by a 13-0 vote.


During the past year, the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations president attracted others to help formulate and promote the trust idea (based on the county’s Children’s Trust social services).  A similar Pets Trust would open two super spay/neuter clinics to perform up to 100,000 free and low-cost surgeries each year with low cost veterinary service, pet assistance and extensive multi-cultural educational programs.


Do homeowners have the heart to subsidize up to $20 million yearly or 10 cents per $1,000 valuation to initiate the bare essentials of humane treatment for its animal population?


A year’s effort has won a special victory for Rosenberg & its support team, all of whom deserve a civic pat-on-the-back to accompany a chorus of yelps, mee-owwws, chirps and moos, too!


East Kendall folks hear from State Representative candidates in District 26 (redrawn from SW Dade to the Keys) from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, as well as those seeking Community Council 12 seats. Open to the public at the Dice House in Continental Park, 10000 SW 82 Avenue, sponsored by EKHO, East Kendall Homeowners Organization.


Youfit Health Clubs announces the fall opening of a 12,000 sq. ft. health center in The Crossings Shopping Village at SW 134 Avenue and SW 112th Street, designed to take the stress out of working out, sez its press release, adding that the chain with no-contract, $10-per-month membership fees has 38 other locations throughout Florida but only one other location in Miami-Dade County.


Comish Lynda Bell hosts her Second Annual “Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway” for underprivileged schoolchildren in District 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 28 at South Dade Park, 28151 SW 164 Ave. To help the cause, call her office at 305-378-6677.


Bowling for Rhinos set from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27 at Bird Bowl, annual fundraiser sponsored by MetroZoo folks who are members of the American Association of Zoo Keeperson. A $25 fee includes shoes, bowling, pizza and more! All funds benefit rhino conservation projects, including four species and habitats.


Wildlife protection closer to home found habitat preservationists applauding a recent federal court decision reinstating land for critically-endangered Florida panthers. Decision overturned a 2007 move by the National Park Service to permit off-road vehicles on more than 20 miles of trails in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve. The lawsuit was brought by Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, U. S. Humane Society, National Parks Conservation Assn, Wilderness Society, etc.


Yogi Berra lives! Channel 7 TV intern warning about I-595 traffic detour: “If you must drive here anytime Sunday, make sure you don’t come into this area.”


And don’t forget that the locally made film, “Hidden Rage,” about bullying and violence in schools, is now out on DVD and available just about everywhere.



Thought for the Day:


No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. – Mark Twain


We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. – William Faulkner


Good can imagine Evil, but Evil cannot imagine Good. – W. H. Auden


Richard Yager  contributed to this column.

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

1 Comment on "Pets Trust is now up to the voters"

  1. Gail Flandes | July 29, 2012 at 5:16 am | Reply

    Thank you Pets Ttrust for all your efforts. Now we must all work to see this come to fruition.

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