MIAMI - After months of criticism and accusations of mismanagement of the county's animal shelter, Dr. Sara Pizano, the director of Miami-Dade Animal Services has resigned .
"I am very concerned for the future of this Department with respect to the intake trends accompanied by the expected budget cuts," Pizano wrote in her resignation letter to Mayor Carlos Alvarez.
Alex Munoz , who has served as the Assistant County Manager for Animal Services and as Deputy Director of the county Parks and Recreation Department, was appointed as the shelter's new director.
Read: Dr. Pizano?s Resignation Letter Read: Alex Munoz Appointment Read: Dr. Pizano's Thank You And Farewell
Numerous Facebook campaigns launched by animal activists and rescue groups put pressure on Pizano during recent months, calling for her resignation.
On Friday morning, No Kill Nation, a national organization whose goal is to eliminate kill shelters in the U.S., posted the following on their Facebook page:
"This is a dream scenario not only for the people of this county but the obvious; our sheltered companion animals. Dr. Pizano, according to her own records was the trigger-puller for over 115,000 animal deaths within the past 5 years."
"Our tireless efforts for all the animals who do not have their own voice has paid off," Amy Restucci, a Miami-Dade County animal advocate told Local10.com.
"We are the voice of the voiceless. We will continue our fight to ensure that history does not repeat itself. We will work harder than ever to work with legislators to change the laws to protect the animals in the state of Florida," she said.
Advocates say that now that Pizano has stepped down, the real work begins to make sure her replacement has the animals' best interests at heart. Their ultimate goal is to make Miami-Dade Animal Services a No Kill shelter.
Throughout her tenure at MDAS, Pizano stressed the importance of spaying and neutering pets to help prevent the overcrowding at the shelter that she says was responsible for many of the challenges it faced.
In her resignation letter, she she wrote:
"I have put my heart and soul into improving this Department for the animals, the staff and the public but I am now giving you my resignation so I can focus on solutions involving spay/neuter, instead of the symptom."
Watch Local 10 News and refresh Local10.com for updates on this developing story.
Copyright 2011 by Post-Newsweek Stations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed