As many as 27,000 cats and dogs are abandoned at Miami-Dade Animal Services each year.

In 2014, Animal Services achieved a combined save rate for cats and dogs of 81.5 percent, bringing the shelter closer than ever to realizing the 90 percent save rate that has become the benchmark of no kill success.

Since adopting no kill policies in 2012 as the guiding principle for providing care and refuge for over 27,000 unwanted dogs and cats, Animal Services’ save rate has continued to grow at unprecedented rates. The save rate for dogs increased from 61 percent in 2010 to 82 percent in 2014 while the save rate for cats increased from 18 percent in 2010 to 81percent in 2014. Becoming a no kill shelter requires the live release of 90 percent of the animals through adoptions, returns to owners or transfers to other no kill facilities.

A $4 million dollar increase in the Animal Services budget — approved by the Board of County Commissioners in 2013 — has enabled the shelter to implement life-saving programs and services that include, but are not limited to; a strong focus on adoptions, an increase in off-site adoption events, Trap-Neuter-Return services for community cats, low cost spay/neuter services, volunteer and foster care training and recruitment, pet retention counseling, improved intake vaccination protocols, on-staff supervisory and treatment veterinarians and transport to guaranteed adoption facilities. Animal Services also enhanced its lost and found services, and currently partners with over 70 local rescue organizations and offers funding to qualified rescue groups who take in at-risk shelter pets.

Animal Services’ efforts have earned recognition and grants from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) and works collaboratively with the Humane Society of Greater Miami and The Cat Network as part of the ASPCA® Community Partnership. A recent grant from Florida Animal Friends enabled Animal Services to offer income-qualified residents in Miami-Dade County free spay/neuter services for the duration of the grant funds.

In 2014, Animal Services was able to save over 20,000 of the over 27,000 dogs and cats abandoned every year at the shelter. In 2015, Animal Services will continue the steadfast implementation of life-saving programs and hopes to move into its new location having achieved its no kill goal.