Hundreds of animal lovers gathered at Tropical Park Saturday to rally behind the idea of a Pets Trust in Miami-Dade County to advocate on behalf of the area’s furry ones.
“We have animal overpopulation and we have lack of understanding of the commitment that it takes to take care of an animal,” said advocate Yvonne Grassie. “We know what the solutions are. The solutions are spay-neuter and education.”
Grassie was among those who came up with the idea for the trust. She is hoping state lawmakers approve putting the issue on a ballot and leaving it up Miami-Dade taxpayers to vote up or down.
“Only $13-$15 would come out of your property taxes each year for the Pets Trust, much like money from your property taxes is earmarked for the Children’s Trust.”
State lawmakers who agree with the idea in principle admit it will be a tough sell, but are willing to leave it up to locals to decide what they want to do with their tax dollars.
“Way too many animals are abandoned by the people who go out and pick them up and pay for them or adopt them. And then they let them loose on the streets. And at the end of the day the taxpayers are picking up that tab anyway,” said State Representative Ana Rivas-Logan.
Those in attendance were expectedly in favor of the proposal.
“I’ve signed the petition and encouraged all my friends to sign the petition. Hopefully we can get a lot of support here today because I think it’s a brilliant idea,” said Ilona Anderson, a self-described pet lover.
Brad Duval agreed.
“I think there’s a lot of need for a little more responsibility in Florida with dogs. There’s too many strays running in the streets,” he explained. “I think it’s good to have them fixed. (It) promotes a little more responsibility with the owners, too.”
“Now if we could just generate the funds and raise the money to be able to do the spay-neuter program and do the education program, we should be able to resolve this issue,” added Grassie.