Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Carmel on the Case: Pet Referendum
Also among the winners on election day, unwanted and lost pets in Miami-Dade County. Voters sending a clear message to the county commission: They are willing to pay a little extra in taxes to save the lives of dogs and cats. 7's Carmel Cafiero explains.
About 20,000 a year are put to death because no one wants them. But now there is hope one day this could become a "no kill" facility.
Miami-Dade voters have sent a message they are willing to pay on average $20 more a year in taxes to fund the pets' trust, an effort to cut down on the number of unwanted cats and dogs in our community.
Maria Swann voted yes.
Maria Swann: "There is not reason to have animals killed daily when they can be spayed and neutered and trying to help them. I think it's the least we can do. We are there voice. If we cannot help them then who will?"
Michael Rosenberg: "It cost $300 to kill an animal and $60 to spay or neuter."
The pets' trust is the brainchild of businessman Michael Rosenberg who spent a weekend in a cage at Animal Services to bring attention to the daily life and death struggle at the shelter.
Today he's happy voters are willing to pay extra for the animals.
Michael Rosenberg: "So you put your $10, your $5, your $50, your $30 and you add it all up, there's this huge pool of the community this is our community that decided to step up and do this."
The money from the tax increase about $20-million would be used to fund spay and neuter programs and low cost veterinary care and to help qualified rescue groups. And while the money will not be part of the budget of animal services, a volunteer board will be in charge of that director Alex Munoz is in favor of the trust.
Alex Munoz: "I think it shows a great caring for our community for the pets and the issue that we have every day on pet homelessness. I think its a vote of confidence too for the efforts that have been underway and for working with the community in the future."
The next step is up to the county commission to implement the tax, but no matter how soon it acts, it will be too late for many of the animals in this report.