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Animal advocates move 54 dogs from overcrowded Miami-Dade shelter to Canada

Animal advocates took 54 dogs from an overcrowded shelter in Miami-Dade County to board a plane to Toronto, Canada on Wednesday at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A team of animal advocates took 54 dogs from an overcrowded shelter in Miami-Dade County to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Wednesday and into a plane to fly to Toronto, Canada.

Lorna Mejia-Lopez, the interim director of Miami-Dade Animal Services, said the dogs had been up for adoption in South Florida for too long.

“These are amazing animals,” Mejia-Lopez said, adding she hopes there will be permanent homes for them in Canada.

Wings of Rescue, a nonprofit organization focused on pet-transport operations, operated the flight to deliver the canines to the Dog Tales Rescue, an animal rescue group in Canada.

“The pets are really relaxed usually,” said Ric Browde, the president of Wings of Rescue. “They all go to sleep when we hit 10,000 feet and then when we come back down, it’s like having a plane full of three-year-olds asking, ‘Are we there yet?’”

Rocky waits in Fort Lauderdale to board his flight to Canada on Wednesday morning. (Handout)

Linda Gordon, a Friends of Miami Animals board member, said if the dogs are not adopted in Toronto advocates can take them to a sanctuary in Ontario.

“Miami is overrun with dogs and especially with COVID, people aren’t able to keep their dogs, they are too embarrassed to just take them in and surrender them, so they just let them loose,” Gordon said.

Mejia-Lopez said there are more dogs at the Pet Adoption and Protection Center in Doral available for adoption, fostering, or rescue. For more information about adopting, call 311 or 305-468-5900, or visit this page.

How to help

  • For information about supporting The Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department, visit this page.
  • For information about donating to The Friends of Miami Animals Foundation Inc., visit this page.
  • For information about contributing to The Wings of Rescue, visit this page.
  • For information about helping The Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary, visit this page.

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.