Animal advocates and rescue groups say they are seeing an increase in abandoned dogs in south Miami-Dade County and that they can't keep up with the sheer volume of dogs being dumped.
Officially, Miami-Dade County Animal Services said stray dog reports have decreased. Still, the number of stray animal reports is more than 11,000.
Two animal rescue groups in Homestead said they are especially concerned with the amount of pet owners dumping their dogs on the side of the road. Charelle Burgess of This is the Dog said that some people think that can leave a dog in the Redlands, “and it’ll be okay.”
“We find animals dumped in these banana tree farms and by the time we get to them; they’re pure bones,” said Mirta Maltes from Chain of Love Abandoned Dog Rescue.
Volunteers from Chain of Love said they drive around daily looking for strays. They said many of the dogs they find survive on the food they give the animals, or scraps from farm workers. Maltes said the facility is already in overflow.
Monday morning, Burgess said a man was seen driving off without a small dog. Burgess believes the dog could have been abandoned because of a skin condition
“Her mother should’ve been spayed so that this owner didn’t have to toss her to the side of the road,” Burgess said.
A pet owner who dumps an animal could face animal cruelty charges. If convicted on a charge of animal cruelty, a pet owner would face up to five years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.