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The shocking truth about Miami-Dade Animal Services

ALERT: The shocking truth about Miami-Dade Animal Services - WRITE
Please send protest emails and forward this alert widely.
Sample letter and email addresses are below.

Miami-Dade County Animal Services routinely kills all dogs and cats only because their owners sign euthanasia request forms. Animal Services doesn't require veterinarians to examine these animals, so there is no way for anyone to really know if the animals being killed are healthy, incurably ill or aren't in any pain at all. Recently, Roxy, a starved dog who gave her all to nurse her puppies, was killed after her owner signed a euthanasia request. She could have been sent to a rescue group or adopted by an individual. Although adoption rates have increased at the shelter, they could be even higher if animals with euthanasia requests who were healthy or had treatable conditions were given a chance to be rescued or adopted.

When the animals have no euthanasia requests, Animal Services' rules require that sick and injured strays and animals surrendered by their owners be given "treatment plans." These animals must be examined by a veterinarian and may be given immediate treatment. They can be sent to rescues for medical fostering. In contrast, Animal Services regularly kills dog and cat surrenders with euthanasia requests who may be adoptable. 

Animal Services' euthanasia request form currently says the department has the right not to kill a healthy animal whose owner requests euthanasia. But they have yet to document that they've saved even one life. The department is thinking about revising the form's wording to say they have the right not to kill an animal. However, even if Animal Services makes this revision, they are still not making a commitment to stop killing all animals whose owners request euthanasia. They don't even have a mechanism in place to determine which animals with euthanasia requests are sick, and which ones are healthy. Animal Services claims they don't have the "proper tools" to diagnose animals with euthanasia requests. Yet, they diagnose sick and injured strays and surrendered animals who don't have euthanasia requests.

There's no good reason for Animal Services to treat cats and dogs with euthanasia requests any differently from other animals. The law doesn't require Animal Services to kill these animals. In Florida, animals are property. Once an owner surrenders an animal for euthanasia, the animal becomes the property of Animal Services, which can do with the animal as it sees fit.

So what's going on at Animal Services? Why are cats and dogs with euthanasia requests not given the same chance at adoption as other animals at the shelter? Is there no room for these animals? Many people have seen empty cages at the shelter. Sick or injured animals with euthanasia requests could go into one of these cages or go to rescues who foster animals with medical conditions.

"Euthanasia should only be performed as a last resort to end suffering, not as a matter of convenience," said Mark Kumpf, a past president of the National Animal Control Association and current director of the Animal Resource Center in Dayton, Ohio. Miami-Dade County Animal Services receives many euthanasia requests for animals who are healthy or have treatable illnesses and injuries. These animals should be given a fair chance at having permanent homes. Remember Roxy.

- Margery Glickman, member Miami-Dade County Animal Services Volunteer Committee, shelter volunteer, animal protection activist.

Please ask the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, his staff and the County Commission to insist that Animal Services treat all animals fairly.

EMAIL ADDRESSES AND SAMPLE LETTER ARE BELOW:

calvare@miamidade.gov, mayor@miamidade.gov, gburg@miamidade.gov, am13@miamidade.gov, vmallette@miamidade.gov, District12@miamidade.gov, sosa@miamidade.gov, DennisMoss@miamidade.gov, District7@miamidade.gov, District8@miamidade.gov, District4@miamidade.gov, District10@miamidade.gov, District3@miamidade.gov, district11@miamidade.gov, district5@miamidade.gov, district2@miamidade.gov, district1@miamidade.gov

SAMPLE LETTER (Please personalize):

Dear Mayor Alvarez, Mr. Burgess, Mr. Mu�oz, Ms. Mallette and County Commissioners:

I strenuously object to Miami-Dade Animal Services routinely killing all dogs and cats only because their owners sign euthanasia request forms. Please instruct Animal Services to give these animals a fair chance at being adopted. Animal Services doesn't require veterinarians to examine these animals, so there is no way for anyone to really know if the animals being killed are healthy, incurably ill or aren't in any pain at all. Recently, Roxy, a starved dog who gave her all to nurse her puppies, was killed after her owner signed a euthanasia request. She could have been sent to a rescue group or adopted by an individual. Although adoption rates have increased at the shelter, they could be even higher if animals with euthanasia requests, who were healthy or had treatable conditions were given a chance to be rescued or adopted.

When the animals have no euthanasia requests, Animal Services' rules require that sick and injured strays and animals surrendered by their owners be given "treatment plans." These animals must be examined by a veterinarian and may be given immediate treatment. They can be sent to rescues for medical fostering. In contrast, Animal Services regularly kills dog and cat surrenders with euthanasia requests who may be adoptable. 

Animal Services' euthanasia request form currently says the department has the right not to kill a healthy animal whose owner requests euthanasia. But they have yet to document that they've saved even one life. The department is thinking about revising the form's wording to say they have the right not to kill an animal. However, even if Animal Services makes this revision, they are still not making a commitment to stop killing all animals whose owners request euthanasia. They don't even have a mechanism in place to determine which animals with euthanasia requests are sick, and which ones are healthy. Animal Services claims they don't have the "proper tools" to diagnose animals with euthanasia requests. Yet, they diagnose sick and injured strays and surrendered animals who don't have euthanasia requests.

There's no good reason for Animal Services to treat cats and dogs with euthanasia requests any differently from other animals. The law doesn't require Animal Services to kill these animals. In Florida, animals are property. Once an owner surrenders an animal for euthanasia, the animal becomes the property of Animal Services, which can do with the animal as it sees fit.

So what's going on at Animal Services? Why are cats and dogs with euthanasia requests not given the same chance at adoption as other animals at the shelter? Is there no room for these animals? Many people have seen empty cages at the shelter. Sick or injured animals with euthanasia requests could go into one of these cages or go to rescues who foster animals with medical conditions.

"Euthanasia should only be performed as a last resort to end suffering, not as a matter of convenience," said Mark Kumpf, a past president of the National Animal Control Association and current director of the Animal Resource Center in Dayton, Ohio. Miami-Dade County Animal Services receives many euthanasia requests for animals who are healthy or have treatable illnesses and injuries. These animals should be given a fair chance at having permanent homes.

Sincerely,


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