No-kill shelter legislation passes Miami-Dade Public Safety Committee

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MIAMI - Miami-Dade's Public Safety and Healthcare Administration Committee unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz that may lead to Miami-Dade Animal Services becoming a no-kill shelter.

In a no-kill shelter model, 90 percent of the animals housed in a shelter must be saved. Diaz's resolution, which was presented to the city commission on Tuesday, requests that the mayor and administration report back to the commission within 180 days on the financial feasibility to implement a no-kill shelter and other life-saving programs that would support this plan.

  • Additionally, the plan should recognize the No Kill Equation, a model which includes:
  • Comprehensive adoption programs
  • Free-roaming cat trap/neuter/return programs
  • High-volume, affordable spay/neuter services
  • Large-scale volunteer foster care programs
  • Rescue group transfers
  • Proactive pet retention programs
  • Proactive pet redemptions
  • Medical and behavioral programs
  • Public relations/community involvement
  • Volunteer programs

Animal Services Director Alex Muñoz stated that his department has researched other no-kill shelters, such as the City of Austin's, to see what programs and services may benefit Miami-Dade County in its goal to save the majority of the animals that pass through its doors.  He reported that while Animal Services has had many successes, such as a 72 percent save rate for dogs, the department's ultimate mission is to place more animals into loving homes.

Commissioner Lynda Bell also stipulated that her office is working on legislation that could go hand-in-hand with Diaz's proposal, which would allow residential homes with considerable land to become temporary shelters and alleviate the influx of stray pets.

"It's clear that this is an issue many residents are sensitive about," Diaz said. "Our Animal Services Department already does an incredible job of placing pets with families, but if we can do more, it will truly be a win-win for the county and for the animals."

The item has been forwarded to the full Miami-Dade Commission with a favorable recommendation. It will be considered at a later date to be decided.

For more information, please contact Commissioner Diaz's office at 305-599-1200. 

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