Miami-Dade Pound in Shambles

Dog ID #1532160 at the Miami-Dade pound, as pictured on Petharbor,com.
Dog ID #1532160 at the Miami-Dade pound, as pictured on Petharbor,com.

The Miami-Dade pound killed roughly 40% of the pets in its care in 2012 according to a local news report.  The figure represents approximately 12,000 dead dogs and cats of the more than 31,000 taken in by the pound last year.  Miami-Dade kills animals every day of the week, 365 days a year.  Unborn puppies are commonly killed while still in the belly of the mama dog.  Owner surrenders are killed upon intake.  Pets are killed and bagged within view of live animals.  Some rescue groups have been banned.  Pound employee Kathleen Labrada blames overcrowding:

“Generally, the shelter population far exceeds the number of cages that we have,” said Kathleen Labrada.

Gee if only there was some proven way to effectively reduce intake while increasing live outcomes for animal shelters.

And she blames the public:

“With more than 30,000 animals coming into this shelter every year, we have more animals right now than we have homes. Until we get our community behind us and supporting the shelter and only adopting, I don’t see things getting better.”

Glad to see Miami-Dade is still waving that old-school “The Killings Will Continue Until Morale Improves” banner.  Because that’s worked out great so far.

Not surprisingly, shelter pet advocates have a different take on the killings at Miami-Dade:

“We don’t have a shelter, we have a killing facility,” said Ailyn Deno of Coastal Boxer Rescue.


“We literally have to fight with the shelter,” she said. “We have to beg them, ‘Please let me take this dog today because it needs help.'”

Deno says she has documented at least five animals her rescue promised to take that were killed before they were supposed to be, and before her group could get them out of the shelter.

This seems like a good time to underscore the point that if Miami-Dade would release pets to rescue groups willing to save them, it would reduce overcrowding in the shelter.  If anyone cares about a little thing like that.  I mean, I realize killing also frees up cage space but I just wanted to mention the possibility of live release, in case anyone at the pound might be interested.

When the reporter asked about the recent firing of a veterinarian who was reportedly sacked after oops-killing a cat with a rescue hold, Ms. Labrada laughed and denied there was any connection.  She did however concede that the pound had thrown rescuers one teeny tiny bone this year:

Animals used to be put down starting at 7 a.m. — too early for some last-minute hold requests to be processed. As of late January, cats and dogs are now put down starting at 11 a.m.

“That was in direct response to the complaints from rescue that the holds weren’t being processed,” Labrada said.

Miami-Dade must be so proud.  We gave our kill techs the morning off!  Now don’t ask for anything else or you’ll really be sorry.

The Miami-Dade County Commission will hold a final vote on Tuesday, June 4 on a shelter funding referendum which was passed overwhelmingly by citizens last November. The initiative will provide nearly $20 million in annual taxpayer funding for programs aimed at reducing shelter intake, such as low and no cost neuter, as well as programs aimed at increasing live release such as an expanded foster program.  The meeting is open to the public.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

25 thoughts on “Miami-Dade Pound in Shambles

  1. MiamiDade has decided to give animals away for free today. Yep, FREE to any dogfighter, hoarder, abuser, class B dealer, scumbag who wants ’em. If you can’t afford an adoption fee and can’t afford to responsibly care for them, they’ll just give them to you for FREE and good luck. Well, hey, it’s one way to reduce the population. HORRIBLE and SICKENING.

    1. I have no problem with waiving adoption fees for pets. Hopefully the shelter is employing its normal adoption screening methods which should include a photo ID and an online check for animal cruelty convictions.

      1. no kidding what GREAT IDEA.. yes some my end up in the wrong hands but many will NOT.. because a few slip through the cracks is no reason no to give the dogs and cats away..hardly “deadly serious’ deadly serious is what happens there NOW

      2. Waiving fees for rescues, reduced fees for public adoptions are fine. While everyone understands that “paying” for your pet is certainly no guarantee of a good home (think of all those costly puppy-mill pet store purchases that end up dumped) “free” all too often translates as “worthless” or “valueless” to many. A financial investment of some degree should have to be made, if only to deter the wholly craven, criminal or crazy people as best one can. There is no perfect scenario here but if “free” is what actually motivates someone to go get a pet, that seems like an undesirable incentive. Do you really trust MiamiDade to exercise due diligence? I have a hard time believing that the records of cruelty convictions represent even a tiny percentage of the actual abuse and cruelty, given the attitude of our injustice system towards animals and the utter lack of prosecutions, much less convictions. For Class B dealers, there are no cruelty convictions; they are in business, albeit the death business.

      3. Maddie’s Fund was sponsoring a big adoption event this weekend, at shelters all over the country. All normal adoption procedures in place, except that Maddie’s Fund paid the adoption fees. I don’t know if Miami-Dade participated, but it sounds like they may have. The pet-killers love to pretend that if fees are waived, all other adoption procedures must have been tossed in the garbage.

  2. So much for Animal Planet portraying this shelter as a wonderful place. I do not watch that channel any longer because every shelter they mis-led the public about is a hell hole

    1. Animal Planet is, to me, a huge disappointment. They make a lot of money off the backs and misery of the animals, when I think they should be educating the public in ways to help them. Not a fan of most of those shows. They also showed the animals cops from the Michigan Humane Society, which has a tremendously high kill rate (don’tcha know that most of the animals are simply “unadoptable”?) The only decent show that I watch is My Cat From Hell ~ and that guy is amazing and helps cats stay in their homes. I believe he also helps cats in shelters.
      So, Animal Planet needs to do some self-reflection, IMHO.

      1. So far as I’ve seen, all of the ‘shelters’ featured on ‘Animal Cops’ have been city or county animal control facilities, all of which have been high-kill. This has been so consistent that, based on the fact the earliest shows – under the title ‘Animal Precinct’ – were about the ASPCA HLE division, I’ve concluded that these shows are essentially propaganda for the ASPCA’s positions on animal control and welfare. Which, no news here, are not progressive.

        Profiling this killers and kill apologists is, I think, Animal Planet’s version of vegan cupcakes.

  3. Ah. More “it’s not our fault we’re not doing our jobs!”

    This is a direct consequence of old-school shelter mentality. The animals are considered a by-product of the community, like waste water and trash, to be “dealt with” as they happen. Apparently, in some areas this mentality will not change until it’s actually spelled out IN WORDS in the shelter job descriptions that safety, care, treatment, and rehoming of pets is the PRIORITY. Because right now, disposal is the priority at these places and anything else that happens to animals (like rehoming) happens incidentally (and often *despite* staff efforts).

  4. not to mention that Miami has a kill all pit bulls rule in place as well as killing other animals

  5. There is something seriously disfuctional in the State of Florida.
    There needs to be a state mandated minimum requirement for taxpayer funded Animal Controls- same as prisons – so these Counties will HAVE to comply with certain standards that the rescues/sanctuaries/shelters are required to uphold by the Dept of Ag and the Health Dept.

    1. One county in Florida did participate, and one of the rescue groups in that county reported that they emptied out their dog room entirely! The last figure I saw said that the event resulted in over 6500 adoptions within the 8 communities that participated nationwide. It’s sickening, though, that there were pets being killed nearby while participating shelters and rescue groups were having record levels of adoptions. I wonder whether shelters such as this one had a chance to participate and chose not to, or whether they weren’t included for some other reason.

    1. To my knowledge, Pets Alive is NOT a shelter, per se, but a rescue/sanctuary. It sounds like they do really good stuff!

    2. No, they weren’t excluded. I know of many rescues in my local area that participated last weekend.

    1. And I noticed that old Harve (ie of Caboodle fame?) is trolling against no-kill in the comments. Those guys must keep pretty busy . . . hopefully no one will listen!

      1. Killing supporters are losing. No kill is winning. In their last gasps, killing supporters troll the internet. Because that’s all they got left.

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