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Nonprofit 'Pooches In Pines' Keeps Lost Animals Close To Home For Better Chance Of Being Found

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PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – Dotty is stray dog found in Pembroke Pines. She didn't go to the county animal shelter, instead a Pines police officer took her to Pooches in Pines.

It's a non-profit, volunteer run outfit that's set up at police headquarters.

The goal is to keep lost animals close to home — increasing their chances of being reunited with their families.

"We'll go out and hang signs in the area where the dog was found," said Pooches in Pines President Stacy Jurgens. "80% of the time people see the signs, call and come out and get the dog."

The City of Hollywood voted unanimously to endorse a plan modeled after Pooches in Pines, but it will be called HART — Hollywood Animal Rescue Team.

The idea is similar, to keep animals out of big county shelters, find their families and also work on the feral cat population.

"To assist with stray, cats," explained City of Hollywood Spokesperson Joann Hussey, "injured or orphaned animal to try to reunify with owners and potentially find a permanent home," she said.

Hollywood's plan is to set up shop near "Hollywoof Park" off Johnson street and I-95, renovating a concessions building to put in an 8 kennel shelter.

City officials want to take a closer look at any possible financial impact — the plan is to operate with two current employees, volunteers, donations and very little city money.

"The idea is to offer an additional services for Hollywood residents," explained Hussey, "use some fo the park impact fees that are already being collected, as well as local donations, corporate sponsors and the like."

Quan and Shawnise live in Hollywood.  They were walking their dogs at Hollywood Park. They like the concept.

"There's a lot of dog owners that would enjoy the fact that if their dog was to get lost they can just go around the corner to pick it up," said Quan.

Once the commission takes a final look at any potential financial impact renovation can begin and the doors should open in about 6 months.

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