Sometimes it’s important to focus on the positive. A few highlights from the week:
New animal shelter. On Monday, the Miami-Dade County Commission voted to spend $6 million to purchase a property in Doral to be used for a new animal shelter (constructing the facility will cost an additional $7 million). When it opens late next year, the shelter will be much larger than the current county shelter– a building in desperate need of updating. Of course, no shelter could be big enough to house all the animals taken in at Miami-Dade Animal Services (over 35,000 cats and dogs last year!). Other steps are necessary to decrease the numbers of homeless animals in Florida.
Spay & neuter ordinance. On Wednesday, Daytona Beach city commissioners took an important step in the right direction when they gave initial approval to a “mandatory” spay and neuter ordinance. The ordinance would require all dogs or cats in the city to be sterilized, but there would be exceptions for show dogs, service dogs, and animals owned by licensed breeders. A final vote on the ordinance is scheduled for April 20. Similar ordinances are already in effect in Volusia County and the cities of South Daytona, Ormond Beach, Holly Hill, DeLand and Ponce Inlet.
Solitary circus elephant. Nosey, a long-suffering elephant who is currently traveling with the Piccadilly Circus, has been mentioned many times on this blog. This week we learned that the circus’ request to perform in Minneapolis in May was denied by the city, in part because the circus had not supplied required records related to the care of its animals! Visit ARFF’s website to learn how you can help Nosey.
Legislative progress. It’s been a pretty good week in Tallahassee. This morning, House Bill 125, which would protect animals from sexual abuse, was approved by its final committee. The bill is now ready for a vote by the full Florida House of Representatives (a companion bill has already passed the Florida Senate). Also this week, legislators adopted a resolution declaring April to be “Adopt a Shelter Pet Month.” The resolution, sponsored by Senator Dennis Jones and Representative Mark Pafford, is symbolic, but still nice. Visit ARFF’s website to learn the status of other animal protection bills.