Miami-Dade County residents with unaltered dogs attended a free spay and neuter event in Surfside Sunday.
District Four Commissioner Sally Heyman sponsored the surgeries for dogs under 40 pounds at the Town of Surfside City Hall at 9293 Harding Ave. She also partnered with Miami-Dade County Animal Services and local vets, who donated their time.
"I think it's a nationwide problem of what we call ‘littering people’ who allow their cats and dogs to just get pregnant" Heyman said.
Margie Garcia, who brought a family of six Chihuahuas, told NBC 6 South Florida that her case of multiplication all began with one dog.
"Someone must have left a female dog in my yard, and they fell in love and they had a litter of five, which are the ones that are here today, and I had never had a litter so I decided to keep them all," she said.
On Sunday, a total of 25 smaller dogs recovered in cages.
“Responsible pet ownership is essential in the effort to reduce overpopulation of dogs. There are so many abandoned pets daily that end up at the shelter waiting for a loving home, spaying or neutering your pet can help the population of unwanted pets,” said Mayor Gimenez.
The commissioner said part of the reason owners don't spay or neuter their pets is financial. Garcia, for example, said she saved $500.
"It is very expensive to take care of so many animals, and I do have a small child and I was waiting for the opportunity for someone to come along and be a blessing," she said.
Heyman told NBC 6 South Florida she found that some people also don't like to neuter their male dogs. Pet owner Leslie Santos said she didn’t have another choice.
"My problem was that my dog was running away from home every day, so I heard that whenever you do this kind of procedure, they don't behave like that anymore, they slow down on looking around for girls,” she said.