NEW YORK--Fewer homeless kittens and puppies will enter Miami-Dade County, Fla. area shelters thanks to a partnership with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), whose collaboration with the Miami-Dade County community helped increase community-wide spay/neuter surgeries by 33 percent during the first six months of 2011, as compared to the same period last year.
The Miami-Dade community performed 9,875 spay/neuter surgeries, an increase of 2,469 surgeries, as compared to the first two quarters of 2010, when 7,406 surgeries were performed. Increased spay/neuter can help to prevent litters of homeless kittens and puppies from being born and entering the sheltering system. Performing these surgeries also can work to reduce the number of free roaming cats in communities when Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is practiced.
"It is inspiring to see the Miami-Dade make such strides in reducing the number of homeless animals in their community with this growth in spay/neuter surgeries," said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. "An increase of 33 percent should make a tremendous impact on the community, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration and seeing more accomplishments down the road."
Added Alex Muñoz, director of Miami-Dade Animal Services, one of the ASPCA's local partners: "Miami-Dade County is also grateful to the Humane Society of Greater Miami and The Cat Network for their roles in our county's success this quarter. Our rise in numbers could not have been accomplished without the collaboration between the ASPCA and our local partners."
"Spaying and neutering not only helps reduce animal homelessness, but has numerous behavioral and health benefits for these dogs and cats as well," said Laurie Hoffman, associate executive director of the Humane Society of Greater Miami, another ASPCA partner in Miami-Dade. "By combining our efforts, we are able to continue to improve the lives of both animals and people of Miami-Dade," concluded Charlene Grall, president of The Cat Network, one of three partners in Miami-Dade County.
The ASPCA Partnership is a unique collaboration with communities nationwide to increase the live release rate by saving those animals most at risk through sustainable data-driven plans and programs. These engage the community to reunite lost animals with their families, increase adoptions, target spay/neuter and support feral cats and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) initiatives.
Since the partnership began in 2010, the ASPCA has provided more than $390,000 in grant funding to the partner agencies in Miami. In addition to Miami-Dade County, Fla., ASPCA partners have provided positive outcomes for homeless animals in many communities around the country, including Austin, Texas; Buncombe County, N.C.; Charleston County, S.C.; Cleveland, Ohio; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Sacramento, Calif.; Shelby County, Ala.; Spokane, Wash.; and Tallahassee, Fla.