Broward voted Tuesday to support the no-kill policy in animal shelters, making it the second county in Florida to carry the policy.
Animal activists exalted the decision although there are no funds to back it.
"It's huge,'' Debi Day, president of No Kill Nation Inc.,told the Sentinel.
Day said that the public showed support in other communities who announced no-kill objectives by volunteering with marketing, helping developing websites and hosting adoption events.
No-kill communities will still put animals to sleep, when they are sick for example, but they work much harder to keep that number down, even to as little as 10 percent, advocates say.
Cynthia Chambers, director of Broward’s environmental control and growth management, and overseer of the animal care department said she was optimistic.
"We're excited,'' said Chambers. “This is a journey. It’s not an end.”
Chambers said Broward was never in a rush to kill the stray animals, but now with approval, she can implement new no-kill programs and direct the staff towards setting new realistic goals.
“It’s one dog at a time,” Chambers told the Sentinel.
According to the Sentinel, 7,409 dogs came to the shelter, with 3,237 euthanized, and 9,593 cats were taken in, with 6,435 euthanized.
A large part of the program is increasing adoptions, cutting down uncontrolled animal reproduction through spays and neuters and working with private shelters.
Owners of disobedient pets that are looking to drop off their pets will be counseled to train the pet so it can be kept, and county animal control officers will spend more time looking for the animal’s owners before taking them to the pound.
Chambers said that they worried that Broward would become a dumping center for unwanted pets for Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, since Broward already is a drop-off for pitbulls since they were banned in Miami-Dade.
The commissioners also worried that the no-kill goal would carry a heavy cost.
"I definitely don't want to be here at budget time raising bus fare on the elderly and children,'' Commissioner Dale Holness said.
But Chambers says that’s not going to happen with the help of pet lovers in the county.
"It's going to take a community to save the lives,'' she said.