dog adoption

South Florida Has an Abandoned Dog Problem: Animal Shelter Officials

Broward County Animal Care director, Emily Wood, says the shelter is full of abandoned pets.

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Broward County Animal Care, commonly known as the animal shelter, is full of dogs, and they’re almost all abandoned pets.

“We are over capacity,” said Emily Wood, director of the agency. “Animals left in backyards, animals whose caretakers are overwhelmed and they’ve gotten out of a fence, those sorts of things, we have almost 120 animals in our building, almost all of them are from situations like that.”

Wood says Miami-Dade County is experiencing the same situation at their shelter.

“A lot of people took the dogs during covid and when their lives got back to normal, they got busy, they didn’t have time for them anymore,” said Lori Jacoby, an animal rescue volunteer.

Jacoby says it’s a sign of the times. The dogs at the shelter shouldn’t be there, but when rent goes sky high, sometimes pets get left behind when people move out. That appears to be what happened to one of Jacoby’s rescue dogs in Miami.

“He was left tied to the stairwell, a young couple saw it there, left overnight, so they asked the manager of the apartments, what’s the story with this dog and he said they left, they didn’t want the dog,” Jacoby explained.

So, she brought the dog to a rescue facility in Palm Beach County. Jacoby also brought an abandoned dog to Bradenton recently, part of a network of rescue agencies around the state.

“We’re all connected, we’re having to reach a little further to get dogs placed,” Jacoby explained.

When it comes to getting these dogs adopted, size really does matter. At the shelters you’ll notice most of the dogs are big. The little guys get adopted out much faster.

“A lot of our dogs are over 40 or 50 pounds and there’s a lot of restrictions to even adopt those pets out if we’re trying to find them a new home, homeowners associations, homeowners insurances, lots of limitations,” Wood said.

The dogs are desperate for foster care. You can volunteer to give them temporary homes, which relieves pressure at the shelters and might just give you a new best friend.

If you’re interested in adopting a dog, Broward Animal Care is having a Father’s Day special this Sunday. All dog adoptions will be free of charge.

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