Community Newspapers has followed the journey of the Pets’ Trust for years. In 2012, almost 500,000 people, 65 per cent of the voters, said ‘YES’ to a slight increase in property taxes to create a life-saving program for our pets, our cats and dogs. The initiative was to help stem the animal overpopulation problem and to stop the killing of so many animals at the shelter. Unfortunately, elected officials did not honor the Vote of the People and the Pets’ Trust programs were never implemented. Community Newspapers decided to ask Michael Rosenberg, founder of the Pets’ Trust and a candidate for County Commissioner in District Seven (7), what it would mean for the animals and the animal-lovers in our Community if he were elected. His commentary is below.
I was shocked when I first heard those numbers, 20,000. It was 2011 when I first learned that Miami-Dade County Animal Services had been killing (they called it “euthanizing”) 20,000 healthy dogs and cats per year; not for one year, but for DECADES. They were killed to create space for the never-ending intake of animals that were coming to the shelter on a daily basis; averaging over 100 per day. As the shelter only held about 450 animals, it was obvious that a lot of killing would be needed to have space for the new arrivals. So, every day, about 60-70 unlucky animals were taken from their cages, thinking they were going home, only to find themselves in the most horrible room you can imagine, and put to death! Think about it … 60-70 PER DAY … for DECADES!!!
The most important part of the Pets’ Trust Program is an extensive, high-volume Spay/Neuter Program with a goal of performing 125,000 surgeries a year. As the Plan was never implemented, we are not even close to those numbers; and, as animal activists will tell you, the problem continues to get worse. As a reminder of the Pets’ Trust story, here is the link to the movie, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker, Joe Cardona, in conjunction with the Miami Herald and PBS.
Also … a special treat. The soundtrack from the movie.
The Pets’ Trust has fought hard these past eight years to convince our current Mayor and Commissioners to enact and implement what the people voted for. They have not done it! If elected, and as Commissioner, I would be relentless in my battle to not only fiercely protect our animals, but, also, to fight to Honor our Vote. Remember, 500,000 of us, We the People, voted for the Pets’ Trust and were not listened to!
Of course, there are many other issues and I have addressed most of them in various writings and forums, but when it comes to the love we have for our animals, and standing up for our Democracy, the Pets’ Trust Movement was an example of people coming together from all walks of life, from every ethnicity, from every socio-economic level, with the purpose of telling our Government what WE want and our Government did not listen!
As Commissioner, I will always listen, and, with your support, the Pets’ Trust will finally happen and the Voice of the People will finally be heard.