In Miami-Dade County, there is only one other guarantee shelter where animals are free from the threat of euthanasia, and it’s located in the far north, in close proximity to Broward County, and about 25 miles north of Paws4You. In previous years, Paws4You transferred approximately 200-300 animals annually from Miami Dade Animal Services and took in less numbers from local residents. Today, due to the location of Paws4You in the South and the increased need to surrender pets, the pressure of accepting animals from the public is a reality we are faced with every day.

The number of animals brought into Miami Dade Animal Services in 2014 was the highest in years–an astounding 30,499. 6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year. And out of this number, 61% of dogs and 75% of cats are killed. USA Today estimates that the total cost imposed on U.S. taxpayers to impound, shelter, euthanize, and dispose of homeless animals is $2 billion. For the past 25 years, the problem has remained constant: More than 20,000 animals are euthanized each year in Miami-Dade County alone. And, more than 90% of them are perfectly healthy and ready to be adopted.

Still, the result is homeless animals that are euthanized because there are more dogs and cats entering shelters than there are people willing to provide them with loving care.

Miami is hailed as a fast-paced, multi-cultural city that thrives on the influx of people and ideas. The downside of this is that with the impermanence of people and different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, the vulnerable populations of animals can easily fall between the cracks leaving them exposed to negligence and abuse.