Practical Issues > Things To Do > Activism
Cruelty at Miami Dade County Animal Services

I have been volunteering at the Miami Dade Animal Services (MDS) since December 2014. I worked twice a week half of the day walking and washing from 10 to 15 dogs. I spent enough time at this place to say that Miami Dade Animal Shelter is but the prison (poorly run) for animals whose only crime is to be abandoned, owner surrounded or taken by the courts from abusive people and practices. As if it was not enough suffering to those dogs to subdue, they are confined by the Miami Dade County Government to filthy cages with no beds, no walking and washing services and with minimum of medical help. Here they seat surrounded by puddles of their own urine and fecal masses until a miracle happen and they get adopted or get taking for a walk or bathing by a volunteer who has enough courage to drive to Medley (Hialiah) to face all this dirt, pain, fear and abuse.

I call it abuse after Fl Stat. Ann 828.13 (2012) Confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, or exercise.

To add to the picture the management of Miami Dade Animal Services does not welcome volunteers. In 3 month of working there I had difficult time to obtain the key to access the cages; each time upon the arrival I had to walk around the shelter trying to situated the volunteer coordinator who is supposed to be in her office and get hold on the keys. Often it would take me awhile to find the coordinator or her supervisor and finally get the keys that would open the cages thus allow me to start helping animals by walking and washing them. During the special events such as staff training the volunteers are not allowed the access to animals and the shelter dogs remain in confinement for days. Pointing to those facts such as difficulty to access to the keys and questioning the luck of access for the volunteers resulted in the termination of my position by the staff manager. I have been appealing the decision of the staff manager by contacting the general manager of Mimi Dade Animal Services Alex Munios.

Alex Munios refused to meet with me in person, and left my e-mail to him unanswered.

I am working on creating the appeal to the higher lever (Miami Dade Mayor). I am also trying to organize the campaign of public support and ask our local government to build the walking/washing service at the Miami Dade Animal Services to end abusive lengthy confinement of the dogs in the cages.

Tatiana Litviakova
MIami Beach

On Monday, March 23, 2015 2:17 PM, "Mejia, Lorna (ASD)" <> wrote:

Tatiana, Pursuant to our conversation, I have taken the time to speak to both Luis Cuellar and Lubia Rodriguez about the incident in question. I have not found any evidence or heard testimony that would contradict their account of the events or interactions the have had with you. On the contrary, I myself was witness to an event on February 16th where you disobeyed the volunteer coordinator. Ms. Lubia Rodriguez advised that the shelter was closed. After been asked to return on another day, kennel staff found you walking through the West Wing of the shelter grounds. It is for these reasons that I will reaffirm Mr. Cuellar’s decision to dismiss you as a volunteer. I will, however, be more than happy to revisit the matter at a later date.

Thank you again for your interest to volunteer with Miami-Dade Animal Services. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me again.

Lorna Mejia
Chief of Shelter Services & Live Release Programs
Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department
7401 NW 74th Street
Medley, Florida 33166
Phone (305) 418-7155 Fax (305) 805-1619
"Delivering Excellence Every Day"

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