MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Kendall businessman is putting the spotlight on South Florida's homeless pet crisis by spending the weekend in a cage at Miami-Dade Animal Services.
Michael Rosenberg is the founder of Pets' Trust Miami and will spend the weekend in a cage on behalf of the Pets' Trust Initiative which is on the November 6th ballot.
He was surrendered, just like thousands of unwanted pets each year, into a cage at 5:00 p.m. Friday and will remain housed in a concrete, chain-link cage for two nights, while Animal Services steps up adoption efforts with a weekend goal of finding "forever homes" for the nearly 600 abandoned pets currently in the shelter.
When strays arrive, they're checked for microchips, given vaccines, and that's not all...
"Did you say neutered?" Rosenberg asked jokingly. "I didn't know about that part.
Animal Services is reducing adoption fees to $25 on October 6 & 7.
The Pets' Trust Initiative is meant to gauge public support for a fund that would further the county's commitment to curbing pet overpopulation, and bring down the euthanasia rate at the shelter.
Despite record adoptions and rescues in the past few years, about 20,000 animals are euthanized because there's no space to keep most of them longer than five days. Most are healthy.
On the Nov. 6 ballot, voters will be asked whether property owners should pay an extra $10 per $100,000 of value to keep about 20,000 cats and dogs from dying every year at the shelter.
A "yes'' vote on #240 approves the measure, which advocates say is the only way to meet the county's recently adopted "no kill'' goal: saving 90 percent of shelter animals.
The result wouldn't actually establish the Trust, but would indicate to County Commissioners that citizens favor the concept. The commission would then have to approve it.
"When you have a place you're bringing 150 animals every single day, it's a problem and we can fix it," Rosenberg said.
The Trust would raise about $20 million a year for clinics offering free or low-cost spay/neuter and veterinary care services, administered by nonprofits, not the county. It would also underwrite community campaigns and school curricula promoting responsible pet ownership.
Animal Services administrators have given Rosenberg their blessing and no animals will be displaced to make room for him.
Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department is located at 7401 NW 74th St., Medley. For more information, call 305-418-7127 or visit http://www.miamidade.gov/animals.
For more information on Pets Trust, visit www.petstrustmiami.com.
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