Stray animals in Miami-Dade county will soon have a new home come fall of 2015. County Animal Services broke ground Friday on a new facility that would double the amount of space it has now.
Every year, Animal Services cares for more than 27,000 homeless dogs and cats, but that volume has pushed the current facility to its capacity.
Getting to this point, though, has been a bit of a battle.
In 2012, 65 percent of voters supported increasing the property tax rate to provide additional funding for animal services. That financial boost would have allowed the county to implement a no-kill policy, but Mayor Carlos Gimenez did not accommodate the $19 million Animal Services administrators asked for in the budget.
Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz sponsored the county’s no-kill ordinance back in 2012. Even though the county is not yet a no-kill zone, he’s sees this new shelter as a crucial stepping stone in the right direction.
“We’re doing everything: spay, neutering and education,” he says, “all the things that are needed. But this is a big part of it because once you have this center working full thrust… it will just make it all come together.”
The facility will include features like individual pens and ventilation systems to prevent the spread of disease as well as a dedicated adoption area.