Pets Trust activist ready to spend weekend in cage

Michael Rosenberg is caging himself to call attention to a countywide canine and feline overload.

“I am psyched and ready to go,” declares Pets Trust initiator Michael Rosenberg of Kendall who will cage himself at the county’s Animal Services Shelter, Oct. 5-7.

That’s where euthanasia annually kills two-third’s of the strays taken in by the facility each year. Rosenberg wants his self-imprisonment “to wake up the community” about the killings.

“I want to be the only living thing in a cage when the weekend is over,” Rosenberg stated. “Let’s help make that happen” at the county shelter, just off the Palmetto Expressway at 7401 SW 74 St.

“Most people still do not know that 20,000 dogs and cats are killed annually in Miami-Dade County,” he stated. “Experiencing the same fear these homeless animals may feel is just my way to shock people into positive action.”

To publicize a cause he hopes will turn future strays into protected pets, Rosenberg pictures himself despondently awaiting a fate intended for a “fellow” inmate, which he sent to media and Pets Trust backers. His immediate goal is “to get every single animal in a shelter cage adopted that weekend” by a record crowd of shelter visitors.

The Animal Shelter has reduced its adoption fee to $25 as a special incentive for the three-day period. Regular fees including rabies shots and tags are $65 for puppies under 4 months; $75 for dogs over 4 months; $35 for kittens or cats.

The discovery that the county euthanizes 60-70 adoptable dogs and cats daily sparked the passion in Rosenberg to put a referendum on the ballot. A proposal would create new north and south Miami-Dade clinics supplementing county services with veterinarians who would spay and neuter strays instead of executing them.

The clinics would also offer low-cost services intended to encourage adoptions rather than continue year-to-year killings that maintain a steady average of 20,000- plus of more than 30,000 taken in each year.

Rosenberg estimates the Pets Trust initiative also will “address the estimated 416,000 free-roaming cats” that multiply far beyond control capability, adding to public concerns about transmittal of disease.

Animal advocates and rescuers Rita Schwartz and Lindsay Gorton along with Rosenberg presented their case July 17 to Miami-Dade Commissioners who unanimously approved a non-binding ballot issue (No. 240) on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“A ‘yes’ vote means a start to begin saving lives,” Rosenberg said. “The Commissioners want to see how strongly the people feel about saving animals.”

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