Animal advocates hold protest as dog shelter worries continue in Miami-Dade

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Animal lovers’ worries in Medley continued on Saturday despite previous assurances that everything was under control.

Protesters claim that Miami-Dade Animal Services has 124 dogs at the Medley location living in deplorable conditions.

They were calling for Miami-Dade County officials to remove the animals from being housed in the old Miami-Dade Animal Services building, or make serious efforts to fix the facility.

“The old shelter was deemed deplorable seven years ago. That’s why we have a new shelter in Doral. This old shelter in Medley, there’s no air conditioning, It’s 100 degrees (and) these animals are outside in kennels,” said Rita Schwartz, Co-Founder of The Pets Trust.

Back in July, MDAS let Local 10 News inside the Medley facility and said they’re using every available resource to house the homeless pets since the newer shelter in Doral is at full capacity.

“As you can see, the facility here is really clean. They have food, they have water that they can drink,” said Flora Beal, a representative of Miami-Dade Animal Services told Local 10 News last month.

As far as heat concerns go inside of the facility, MDAS says it’s not as simple as just putting on the A/C since it’s mostly an open-air facility.

“There are fans all around and when you walk through there, you can feel the breeze and the dogs feel that breeze throughout the day,” said Beal.

Local 10 News spoke with animal advocates who weren’t impressed with the tour and said they believe the area was cleaned up for television purposes.

“This is animal abuse to the highest degree and Mayor Daniela Cava is the one responsible for this,” said Schwartz.

According to MDAS, the facility houses dogs that need to be quarantined for medical reasons, are under treatment, or present behavior concerns, and an enrichment team visits the facility twice a week. They also said that all the dogs at the facility are available for adoption.

The advocates have continued to share videos saying they need Levine Cava to see the condition of the shelter where the county is keeping dogs without air conditioners.

They also said MDAS is facing an overpopulation issue and that the county is not doing enough to spay and neuter homeless pets.

On Saturday, MDAS released the following statement in response to the allegations, which you can read below.

“No one is more concerned about the state of animal welfare in our County than the Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department (Animal Services), and we are committed to addressing the surge in shelter population with every available resource. Animal Services has always worked with our community to serve our pets and needs your help now more than ever. Animal Services is fortunate to have launched a number of innovative programs and in 2015 reached the industry standard animal save rate of 90% or more. In 2016, Animal Services opened the industry leading Pet Adoption and Protection Center in Doral at which time all pets and public operations were transferred to the Doral facility. Although the Medley facility no longer provided services to the public, it continued to serve as a secondary location for Animal Services dogs and cats in need of quarantine due to disease or in preparation for out of state transports. Today, as the dog population continues to rise, Animal Services has had to use every available resource to adequately care for shelter pets including housing more pets at the Medley facility. The community and rescue organizations can arrange to visit the shelter and help the Medley pets find their forever loving homes.

We are pleading with the community, rescue organizations and all animal lovers to work with us as we continue to find solutions for our community’s homeless pets!”

Miami-Dade Animal Services

Anyone that’s interested in fostering a pet from the shelter is asked to email:

If you are ready to adopt, all pets are featured online here. You can also visit the MDAS’s Pet Adoption and Protection Center in Doral to arrange a meet and greet.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.