Animal activists protested the living conditions of an American bulldog Wednesday, saying that its new home inside of a produce building is no better than the rooftop it was once housed on.
“Basically this place is a focal point for what exactly is wrong with the existing animal care and control laws that are in the books now,” Jerry Edelman said.
About a dozen activists held signs outside of the G & G Produce facility where the dog was originally discovered by Metrorail users.
Miami-Dade Animal Services, which has received calls about the issue since June 2011, said the rooftop condition was “unorthodox,” but not unlawful. The dog’s owner recently moved the animal indoors after an agreement with City of Miami code compliance and police.
But on Wednesday, activists said they found more to worry about.
“What’s disturbed me is I see a male dog that’s not neutered, I see a female dog that’s not spayed with her nipples hanging out, I see a food bowl with flies all over it, filthy, there’s no food in it, just flies, and we see no water," said Amy Roman, the protest's organizer. “I don’t know if there is air conditioning or anything, so for me, roof or in here, I don’t see how animal control is following up with these dogs at all.”
The activists told NBC 6 that just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.
“So now we’re here to implement stricter laws with more specific guidelines and protections for the animals, because if I can’t live on a roof like this, then no animal should be forced to live like this,” Roman said.
The protesters requested a meeting with Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and tried to call G & G Produce management to see if they could take the dog into their own hands, but said they got no answer.
“I don’t know what else to do,” Roman said. “I mean we’re going to contact the Health Department next and see what’s going on inside the building. I mean what are these dogs protecting that they need them on a roof? Vegetables?”
A man driving by the protest told the group that the owner of the building usually works in the mornings and is gone for the rest of the day.
“However long it takes, we’ll be here. If it’s not today, we’ll keep coming back,” Roman said.