by Christine Michaels
Like many major cities across the city, Miami Dade county is grappling with an epidemic rate of pets dropped off at the county shelter and euthanized.
One resident took the time to visit the shelter and watched as 15 happy, playful, healthy dogs were put to sleep. Now Michael Rosenberg can not sleep. He has had enough and is spearheading the Pets Trust, fashioned after the popular Children's Trust that voters passed.
The initiative would levy a tax for homeowners anywhere from $13 to $50 per home depending on the home value. In turn the tax would pay for a number of services to reduce the intake of pets at the shelter, reduce the proliferation of feral cats, and offer assistance for spay/neuter surgeries, and training for aggressive or problem behavior pets. There is always a solution. And Michael Rosenberg may be the first person in 20 years to produce a practical plan.
On paper it looks viable. The challenge is getting it on the November ballot. Legislation is a process. A bill needs a sponsor and it must pass the House and the Senate. While the Senate can sponsor an unlimited number of bills, the House Representatives are limited to six. If they have committed to other bills, the Pets Trust may not see light for years.
In the meantime, Michael Rosenberg is working another angle, talking to Miami Dade County Commissioners. According to a Miami Herald article January 14, 2012 by Elinor Brecher,
Rosenberg has since invited county commissioners, who control Animal Services’ $9 million budget, to join him for a day in the euthanasia room. So far, none has accepted. (Taxes now provide 11 percent of the department’s budget. Licenses, fines and fees for medical services, provide the rest).
As the end of the article Rosenberg shares, "After 20 years nothing has changed at Animal services. When is enough, enough?"
How can you help?
- Read the complete article in the Miami Herald that introduces Pets Trust.
- Follow this blog for any and all updates and take action! Thousands of residents have signed the initial petition.