Miami-Dade Commission moves closer to 'no kill' vote

'No kill' initiative mired in rhetoric

MIAMI - The county commission took an important step Tuesday to create a "no kill" animal shelter in Miami-Dade County, one that would also provide low-cost spay and neuter services throughout the county.

But the reality of a no kill shelter seems like it won't happen anytime soon.

"What we're doing is just approving a plan to be sent to the mayor with a report based on what the public voted on," said Commission Chair Rebeca Sosa during Tuesday's commission meeting. "At a later date, Commissioner [Jose "Pepe"] Diaz will bring the follow-up, which will be the legislation that will bring the implementation."

"The whole goal here is to save our animals," added Diaz.

Some commissioners voiced reservation, but they generally support creating a "no kill" county animal shelter and providing low-cost spay and neuter services.

"I cannot see putting as a priority $20 million directing the mayor to come back with a budget that includes this," said Commissioner Barbara Jordan.

However, some noted that the ballot question last fall was non-binding.

"Nobody is going to vote to kill animals," said Commissioner Esteban Bovo. "It's just not going to happen. But we need to be crystal clear when we put this language here what it means to the taxpayer."

"It's an impossible problem that has to be addressed and fixed, and 500,000 people said 'yes, let's fix it'" said Pet's Trust Miami Founder Michael Rosenberg. "They said 'let's fix it.' They read it."

The next step is to put this in the form of legislation, get it passed and then to get an appropriation in the county budget for the coming fiscal year. If all of this finally comes to pass, it would cost Miami-Dade taxpayers about $20 per year.

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