Spay and Neuter Awareness Month

spaying and neutering pets Miami

Spay and Neuter Awareness Month: South Florida Edition

South Florida Taking Action: Affordable Ways to Provide Spaying and Neutering Services for Stray Dogs and Cats in Miami and beyond.

Cities tend to be a place where stray dogs and cats roam like they are one of us. When jogging the Miami Beach boardwalk, our dog runners have observed cats gathering like people enjoying the weather and the view.  At a stop light in Wynwood we’ve witnessed a stray dog casually crossing the street acting like an everyday pedestrian on the way to an art studio. In this fast-paced metropolis that is Miami, people are becoming more and more aware of the serious overpopulation of stray cats and dogs.

Alarming Facts about Pet Overpopulation:

  • “Each day 10,000 humans are born in the United States – and each day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born.  As long as these birth rates exist, there will never be enough homes for the animals.”  
  • Miami-Dade County brings in 100 cats and dogs per day and almost 27,000 per year!
  • Miami-Dade County has more than 300,000 homeless cats.
  • Cats begin breeding at four months, can produce four litters per year with up to six kittens in each litter.
  • Dogs begin breeding between 6 – 12 months, can produce two litters per year with an average of five to six puppies in each litter. (Information varies widely among breeds)

How can you help the continuing overpopulation?

  • Neuter or spay your pet or neighborhood stray!
  • Become educated and know your facts.
  • Volunteer or donate to your local rescue or clinic.

Affordable Spay & Neuter Clinics Available in South Florida (Broward and Miami-Dade County):

Stray Aid & Rescue, Inc is a mobile neuter and spay clinic that is conquering Broward County one stray at a time. They are a non-profit organization offering affordable, high-volume and quality spaying and neutering services.  They also promote adoption of pets from shelters, rescue groups, and not for profit rescue organizations.  How it works: Visit their website http://www.strayaid.org to look up hours of operations and location (typically located behind the Boomerang Thrift Store in Wilton Manors).  Walk-ups or appointments are accepted.  This clinic only offers neutering surgeries, not vaccinations & microchipping, and is a 501 © non profit, no-kill organization.

Spay and Neuter Florida is a public service sponsored by CEASE (The Coalition of Educated Alternatives to Senseless Euthanasia, Inc.).  Their goal is to provide an avenue of help to the general public on where to find neuter and spaying services. How it works:  Visit their website http://www.flaspay.com/home.html and type in the county in which you live.  From there the website will direct you to all affordable neutering and spaying operations within your county. This site does not offer services, but provides information on how to find them! Website also available in Spanish.

Humane Society of Greater Miami has been in business in Miami-Dade County since 1936!  This facility promotes adoption, spay and neuter programs, and attempts to place ALL cats and dogs into homes.  They have two locations: North Dade Clinic in North Miami Beach (Soffer and Fine Adoption Center) and the South Dade Clinic at Cutler Bay.  How it Works: for more information on scheduling, pricing and education visit their website at the http://www.humanesocietymiami.org/ 501 © non-profit.

Miami-Dade Animal Services offers spay/neuter services for dogs and cats at a low cost. Be sure to check qualifications for animals, hours and days for surgeries (limited space available).  How it Works: Appointments can be scheduled online at http://www.miamidade.gov/animals/   and walk ins are accepted.  Available to Miami Dade residents only. This clinic offers neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping. 501 © non-profit.

Before bringing your pet or stray to a clinic, call and make sure the animal is qualified.  If it is too young or does not weigh enough it may be turned down for a service. Pricing for these programs begin at $15.00 and ranges through to $100 plus.  Support the cause, help lower the population, and spay and neuter your pet!

Learn more about spaying and neutering your pets:

http://www.peteducation.com/
http://www.humanesocietymiami.org/
http://www.miamidade.gov/animals/
http://www.flaspay.com/home.html
http://www.strayaid.org

Finding Rover App: Facial Recognition to Find Lost Dogs in Miami

Finding Rover App Partners with Miami-Dade Animal Services

We are excited to share that Miami-Dade Animal Services has partnered with Finding Rover, a free mobile app that uses facial recognition to help pet parents find their lost dogs. Animal Services’ database of dogs is integrated into the app, making it easier for users of the app to search for their dogs. Miami-Dade Animal Services director Alex Munoz hopes this app will help the center become a no-kill shelter. We hope that happens, regardless, but the app certainly seems to be a powerful tool to bring that to fruition a little more quickly!

How to Use Finding Rover:

  • First, register online for the app; you can do this through the Apple Store, Google Play store, or even via your desktop. You can register via Facebook; all you need is to input your zip code.
  • Take a front-facing photo of your pet (the app comes equipped with a “barking” button to get your pup’s attention- clever!). Mark the nose and the eyes, as shown in the video above, and then upload it.
  • If your dog is ever lost, post your dog as lost in the app. Members within a 10-mile radius will be notified.
  • Anyone who finds your dog should take a photo and add it to the app, where the facial recognition technology will do the work. If the dog is recognized (there is a 99% accuracy rating), your information will pop up and then whoever found the lost dog can text or call you to arrange pick-up without having to take the dog to the shelter.

This app is the brainchild of John Polimeno, who worked with the University of Utah for over a year to get the algorithms and tech right. We hope that you all register your pups today; it’s free at the time of this posting, and could really help prevent or alleviate the heartache of searching for a lost dog in this big city. Of course, we hope you have ALL microchipped your pets! This app should not be a substitute for that! We also hope that they add cats to their app soon.

Photography with a Soul: MaxNorman Pet Photography

John Bouma MaxNorman studio pet photography Miami homeless dogs

Dog walker Flavia was recently a part of a group of volunteers that helped photographer John Bouma from MaxNorman Pet Photography take photos of the homeless dogs and cats at Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS). It was such an amazing, inspiring experience to help these animals look great for their portraits. Without John’s help, and the help of other photographers who volunteer their time, the public likely won’t see these dogs and cats, which makes it much less likely that they will be adopted.

The volunteers helped John take pictures of the kittens because while kittens get adopted quickly, the photos on the MDAS website didn’t do them justice. They also helped him take the larger dogs out of the kennels and into the sunlight for amazing shots. Big dogs are harder to adopt; most people who walk into animal services want a smaller dog. More than one person grew teary-eyed seeing all of those dogs and knowing that of all the beautiful pups that they met, 20 percent don’t make it.

The Dogs Were So Happy to Have Human Contact

The dogs at MDAS don’t get a lot of playtime unless a volunteer takes them out, so when they finally do get out, it’s awesome to see them zip around and have fun. The pet lover community is trying to do so much for the dogs. And while we’re sure that Miami-Dade Animal Services is trying to do its best for the animals, we feel that there is so much potential for improvement there.

MDAS Needs Your Help!

For example, the appliances need to be updated. The building does not have central air conditioning- instead, they use industrial fans. The dogs all live in outside kennels. Unfortunately, most people don’t even know where the big dog area is. And when we were on our way to the park/area to take photos, we had to walk by the sick dogs, which is not ideal for sanitary purposes. We’re sure they wouldn’t mind donations.

How to Volunteer at Miami-Dade County Animal Services:

There are so many animals that need homes at in Miami. MDAS needs volunteers to help walk the dogs, clean them, play with them, and feed them. Your best option is to ask the staff what kind of volunteers they need. This position would be great for filling community service hours for kids in high school. You can learn more about volunteering or even fostering a dog or cat on their website.

In our experience: When you volunteer at MDAS, you have to walk into the main building and speak with the volunteer coordinator. He or she will sign you up as a volunteer, make you sign a waiver or release form, and then give you a brief tour and a t-shirt.

We encourage you to take a moment to bring love and cheer to these poor pups’ and cats’ lives. We especially believe in volunteering with John because his images help fuel adoptions. Please head over to the MDAS website today to adopt a beautiful dog or cat today!

The Sweetest Human Award Goes to MaxNorman Photography

We were thrilled to meet John because he is clearly a huge animal lover and a brilliant photographer. What we love the most is that John donates $25 from each pet portrait session to local animal rescues.  

John’s “Pet Portrait Sessions” are an hour long, and can take place at your house or a scenic location nearby. His photo package is $150, and includes high resolution, retouched digital copies of all photos selected from the session on a CD, with around 25-30 images. You also receive a $25 print credit toward the purchase of prints and merchandise in the online store. We have already recommended him to our dog walking clients and they have been thrilled with the photos… and we’ve signed up for ours, as well. Let us know what you think of him if you do have your photos taken!

Image: MaxNorman Pet Photography