Miami-Dade Commission Passes No Kill Measure

The Miami-Dade Co Commission voted unanimously yesterday to pass a no kill measure which was very popular with voters last year.  But it doesn’t mean an immediate end to the killing of healthy/treatable shelter pets.  Rather, it’s another yard gained in moving the ball down the field:

Commissioner Jose “Pepe’’ Diaz, the measure’s sponsor, said he would follow up with legislation authorizing Mayor Carlos Gimenez to budget the money that a $10-per-$100,000 property tax increase will generate for animal welfare, perhaps as much as $20 million annually.

And it’s not actually a full yard gained:

But missing from the final plan was a provision that animal activists considered crucial: dedicated, high-volume spay/neuter clinics in low-income parts of town with few veterinary hospitals.

The clinics fell on the chopping block when the South Florida Veterinary Medical Association voiced opposition, claiming its existing members could perform the additional 1500 spay-neuters needed on a weekly basis.  I’m sure they can.  But will anyone in the target markets be able to afford it?

The Miami Herald also reports that the Miami-Dade shelter has killed 30% of the pets in its care so far this year, as opposed to 40% in 2012.  Less killing is better than more killing – but it’s not good enough, and I am not sure when Miami-Dade intends to finally stop the killing.

I will be interested to see how the no kill measure progresses.  It’s unclear to me when county residents can reasonably expect to see any meaningful results – or even if such an expectation is realistic, thanks to the South Florida Veterinary Medical Association killing a key part of the plan.  It’s a shame the county commissioners lacked the commitment to follow through on their promise to let the voters guide the commission’s decision or the courage to stand up to the vets association.  The measure ultimately passed by the commission yesterday is not the one residents voted for and not what animal advocates said they needed in order to make no kill a reality.

 

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16 Comments

  1. Anne S

     /  June 19, 2013

    Miami-Dade also has a pit bull ban in place. So how does that work in their no kill measure? Are bully type dogs automatically deemed unadoptable so those deaths don’t count towards the stats for adoptable pets, or are they sent to other counties?

    Reply
    • Anne,
      That is a good question that people have been asking. I don’t know the answer and haven’t seen it addressed in any of the articles or materials I’ve read regarding the no kill measure. I hope it has indeed been addressed and someone will provide us with the relevant info and links so we can all read about it.

      Reply
    • very good question

      Reply
  2. Unfortunately, I think this isn’t really moving the ball forward at all. I think it’s a bit of political lip service and pandering. A similar thing happened in Maryland with the spay/neuter bill. Some of the key components of the bill (targeting specific demographics and geographics) got amended out of the bill. It will be good for shelters and rescues, but not much help to low income neighborhoods. Back to Miami-Dade, though…coupled with the breed ban still in place, I’m afraid this is a lot of work for not much gain for the animals. I hope I’m wrong though.

    Reply
  3. EmilyS

     /  June 19, 2013

    Since dogs identified as “pit bulls” will continue to be killed, is there any way to interpret this as OTHER than a fraud and an example of how the term “no kill” can mean whatever its proponents say it means? I’m sure they will say “no kill of adoptable dogs” and since “pit bulls” are unadoptable, they can be killed under this “no kill” regime. Want to game your statistics? Just call ANY short haired dog you can’t/won’t adopt out a “pit bull” and it will magically disappear from your record of “success”

    The question for no kill advocates: are you going to let them get away with this perversion?

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  June 19, 2013

      “Perversion”. Good word. Appropriate and suitable to the situation.

      Reply
    • EmilyS and all. Yes, you are exactly right. Accuse me of always bringing things back to me-me-me if you wish, but this is EXACTLY the nonsense Prince George’s County is trying to feed us here in Maryland. A number of true “no kill” proponents, myself included, have been invited to be members of a “roundtable” convened by the Department of Environmental Resources (which oversees Animal Control) to discuss the county’s desire to be a “national model” of sheltering and indeed, the entire No Kill movement. We tell them that “no kill” means 90% of the animals that come in alive go out alive. Period. The county, however, interprets “No Kill” as a “save rate” of 90% AFTER subtracting pit bulls, feral cats, and animals who have experienced – get this – “no community interest”. We even caught them cooking their books and called them out on it by demanding they immediately start counting ALL animals taken in by the shelter. Why did they stop? Because the county bean counters demanded they reduce their intake numbers! Did the shelter interpret that as a call to implement programs to reduce intake and encourage pet retention? Heck no. The shelter simply stopped counting pit bulls (15-20% of dog intake) and feral cats (at least 20-25% of cat intake). Needless to say, the leadership is the stumbling block to success and is so far still firmly entrenched. We are fighting an uphill battle to even make them understand that No Kill isn’t about data manipulation, it’s about ACTUALLY saving more lives.

      If they spent half as much time and effort trying to save more lives as they do devising ways to cook their books we might have a real revolution here.

      Increasing the number of animals that get out alive in any shelter is of course a laudible goal. But to allow Miami-Dade, FL, Prince George’s, MD, or ANY jurisdiction to pat themselves on the back claiming they achieved a 90% save rate while they are actually manipulating the data to kill animals and hoodwink the public is an affront and a perversion. I know I don’t want them to get away with manipulating the No Kill Movement this way.

      Reply
      • This is an important conversation to have and I’m glad we are having it here. I would like to clarify that Miami-Dade has never claimed to save 90% of its pets, AFAIK. I agree we need more information from locals on exactly how they intend to deal with Pitbulls due to the ban. If the plan is to transfer every Pitbull at the pound out of the county, that is surely going to be a hardship on neighboring counties. If the plan is to simply pretend they don’t exist and exclude them from the intake numbers, that’s a non-starter IMO. But I haven’t yet heard what the plan is, assuming one exists.

  4. Miami Dade’s pit bull ban came up for a vote just this past August. The voters chose to allow it to remain in place for the time being. No telling how long that might be.

    Reply
  5. There’s also that pesky “pit bull” ban.

    Reply
  6. ATTN RESCUES and others– MIAMI-Dade Animal Services, No Kill Nation in partnership with Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation (MCABSL) will be forming a team of dedicated volunteers. These volunteers will be trained to socialize and/or fix behavioral issues with “bully” breeds and larger, harder to adopt dogs.
    MDAS like most shelters has an abundance of black, large and bully breeds.

    In addition we are actively looking for a pit bull/large dog transport organization along with shelter/rescue partner up north or Midwest.

    Reply
  7. Clarice

     /  July 11, 2013

    Mayor Gimenez will drop a request to raise a portion of the tax rate to fully fund a plan to stop killing dogs and cats at the county’s shelter which added up to a $19 million according to the paper.

    Instead, Gimenez said the animal services department would get $4 million from within the budget for implementing a scaled-back version of the no-kill shelter plan.

    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/07/10/mayor-scales-back-property-tax-rate-hike-after-criticism/

    Reply

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