Miami-Dade County Becomes 10th Community in ASPCA Partnership

Community Aims to Increase Adoptions, Decrease Euthanasia through Collaboration
October 6, 2010

NEW YORK—Miami-Dade County today became the 10th community currently working with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) to provide positive outcomes for at-risk and homeless pets through a collaborative effort called The ASPCA Partnership.

The ASPCA Partnership includes the following Miami-Dade-area animal welfare agencies: Miami-Dade Animal Services (an open admission public shelter); the Humane Society of Greater Miami (a private, not-for-profit limited admission, adoption-guaranteed facility); and The Cat Network (a local spay/neuter and TNR group).

“These agencies have already displayed tremendous growth potential by working well together on joint adoption events and spay/neuter clinics, which gives us so much hope for the future success of this collaboration,” said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Our partners will continue to build on those accomplishments and affect positive changes for animals most at risk in the Miami-Dade community.”

The ASPCA Partnership will include annual planning meetings with Miami-Dade County partners to determine and monitor goals, strategies and needs. It also includes a grant allocation process, where partner agencies will have the opportunity to apply for substantial grants to address the community’s needs and implement targeted, sustainable programs. The agencies will also have access to ASPCA resources, expertise and guidance, as well as strategic planning support, statistical analysis, training, and participation in ground-breaking research projects.

“On behalf of all the partner agencies, we are looking forward to a collaboration that will ultimately decrease the needless euthanasia of Miami-Dade County’s homeless pets.” said Dr. Sara Pizano, Director of Miami-Dade Animal Services. “We believe this partnership will enable Miami-Dade County to save even more lives.”

Last year, approximately 38,444 homeless animals entered the Miami-Dade County partner agencies. Aside from overcrowding in its shelters, some of the other challenges that Miami-Dade County faces include the need for more lost animals to be reunited with their owners, an increase in targeted spay/neuter, and an increase in pet adoption. “Homelessness is absolutely the number one risk factor for companion animals in the United States,” added Mr. Sayres. “There is no magic solution or ‘quick fix’ to ending the unnecessary euthanasia of unwanted pets, but we do know for certain that collaboration among all groups in a community is essential.”

Since 2007, the ASPCA has been lending its support, financially and through training and other human resources, to communities around the country with the goal of helping them save more animals. The ASPCA’s work focuses a collective effort on sustainable, data-driven plans and programs that engage the community in providing positive outcomes for these animals. Since the ASPCA began its Partner Community program in 2007, approximately three quarters of a million animals have been adopted, returned to owners, or spay/neutered as a result of the exceptional collaboration among partner agencies in each community.

In addition to Miami-Dade County, Fla., the ASPCA’s current Partner Communities are Austin, Texas; Buncombe County, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Cleveland, Ohio; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Sacramento, Calif.; Shelby County, Ala.; Spokane, Wash.; and Tampa, Fla. The ASPCA’s investment in these partnerships—in the form of direct grants, capacity-building, training, ASPCA staff expertise, and strategic planning—varies from a one- to five-year period to address homeless animal issues in each community.

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About Miami-Dade Animal Services Department
Miami-Dade Animal Services strives to reunite lost pets with their families or find life-long homes for as many animals as possible. It also provides affordable spay and neutering services, as well micro-chipping. Animal Services is responsible for enforcing the County’s Chapter V code and Florida Statute 828, which deal primarily with animal cruelty issues. Pet adoptions have steadily increased over the past five years. Each year, the shelter impounds more than 34,000 pets. Related links: www.miamidade.gov/animals or call Miami-Dade’s Answer Center at 3-1-1.

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About The Humane Society of Greater Miami Adopt-A-Pet
The Humane Society of Greater Miami Adopt-A-Pet is a limited admit, adoption guarantee facility dedicated to placing every dog and cat in their care into a loving home, and to promoting responsible pet ownership and spay/neuter programs. For more information: www.humanesocietymiami.org

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About The Cat Network, Inc.
The Cat Network, Inc. is dedicated to humanely reducing cat overpopulation by educating the public about the need to sterilize their pets and strays; providing access to low-cost spay/neuter services for stray, homeless and abandoned cats; helping members in their efforts to place adoptable cats in loving homes; and advocating non-lethal population control and humane public policy. For more information: www.thecatnetwork.org