Overcrowding crisis at pet shelters in Miami-Dade

In fact, scientific studies support the transformative power of pets in people’s lives, as they reduce stress and anxiety, help combat depression, strengthen the immune system and even improve heart health. Also reduce the risk of diseases.

However, in miami dade A worrying situation is being recorded that is similar to that reported by authorities in other county and state jurisdictions across the country: many people forced to be separated from their best friends, the affectionate ‘Rocky’, the restless ‘Max’ Has been done The playful ‘Linda’, or the cat ‘Minnie’ who used to make mischief with a ball of thread, and not because they wanted to, but out of necessity.

Because of this, the county’s two public shelters are currently over capacity. According to the Miami-Dade Animal Department, two events may have had a strong impact as determining factors.

epidemic of COVID-19 The sterilization program was suspended for about a year, and today the dog population in the community is high. Furthermore, perhaps the burden of overweight, inflation and shortages falls primarily on low-paid residents, which would be another cause of animal abandonment.


Annette Jose, director of the Miami-Dade Animal Department, spoke to Diario Las Americas. In exclusive statements to our newspaper, the official said that the main headquarters located in Doral has a maximum occupancy capacity of 350 dogs and 100 cats.

“But right now we have in Doral, including the old Medley shelter, that we had to use, over 600 dogs“, he commented.

The pet overpopulation led the agency once again to the shelter located in the city of Medley, also owned by the county, which closed its doors to the public in 2016 after construction of the new center in Doral.

Jose said that “The old shelter in Madeley was being used only for the quarantine of dogs That was being taken to other places or to people who were very sick and we had to isolate them from others, but at the same time we had to use it even more.

The increase in the number of pets in the county’s care led the agency to turn more frequently to its “partners” in the field of animal protection, which are organizations of various nature with shelters in both Florida and the United States. . In other states in the country, and even in Canada.

In such a situation, on Saturday 17th February… 35 dogs were airlifted to Massachusetts, “At that location, these pets already had families waiting for them,” he said.


The director of the county agency also mentioned the motivations that led to the suspension of sterilization surgeries during the pandemic.

“It is because of the overpopulation epidemic that we had to stop doing sterilization surgeries, because we had to leave all the equipment used in the clinic to the hospitals.

“There was a crisis of COVID patients in hospitals, and by stopping sterilizations to help hospitals, Now we are seeing the resultsWhich is overpopulated,” he said.

Dog sterilization is a surgical procedure that prevents the animal from reproducing. Depending on the gender and owner’s preferences, there are different sterilization techniques. Some of the most common are castration, vasectomy, tubal ligation or chemical sterilization.

At this time, Animal Services Miami-Dade is offering free sterilization, including vaccination and a microchip.,


The economic condition of the country, increase in the price of housing rent and return to work centers after the COVID pandemic have also been linked as possible factors for people getting rid of their pets.

“Many people had to change homes. Instead of living in a house with a courtyard, they are now in an apartment. We are seeing that the rent is very high. All this affects a person if he wants to have a pet,” Jose said.

According to recent data collected by local real estate agencies, andCities like Miami, Orlando and Tampa have seen the average cost of rent increase by 15% to 23% in recent years,

But the cost of owning a dog or cat also has a significant impact on a family or individual’s budget.

Inflation has affected the price of dog food in the United States, as production, transportation, and distribution costs have increased. According to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), annual inflation in the United States was 6.8% in November 2023, the highest since 1982.

Jose cited the “return to normality” in labor matters post-COVID as an issue that could have an impact on pet abandonment.

“Many people have returned to work or are also working in other places outside the county or country they are traveling more, and they cannot handle the responsibility of raising a dog at home. And given this change in lifestyle, we’re seeing more dogs coming in here,” he said.


This DIARIO LAS AMERICAS report was inspired by complaints from some readers, who noted that mass euthanasia procedures were being performed due to overcrowding in the county’s shelters.

Regarding this aspect, Jose emphasized that “We never use euthanasia to make room, We are fortunate that we are a country with many resources. “One of them is Medley, who takes care of and feeds the dogs, despite being an older shelter than the one in Doral.”

In their words, pets are “only” put to sleep when they are “very sick, they are suffering a lot and humanely we don’t want them to suffer any more.” This procedure is also chosen when “the dog is very aggressive because it has been trained that way and the veterinarian determines that there is no possibility of rehabilitation.”

Data provided by that county agency indicate that Miami-Dade Animal Department is “nationally recognized as a life-saving shelter.”, More than 90% lives are saved.”

Facing overcrowding in its shelters, Miami-Dade Animal Services held a special adoption event in mid-January, hoping to find permanent homes for approximately 150 dogs.

According to official figures, Small pets or puppies are easier to adoptHowever, adults or older people may take longer. It may take up to a year for some adult dogs to be placed in a permanent home.

If you would like to adopt a pet, you can visit Animal Services Miami-Dade at 3599 NW 79th Avenue, Doral, FL 33122. You can also go online at https://www.miamidade.gov/global/animals.



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