We demand Dr. Sara Pizano be removed as director of Miami Dade Animal Services

Miami Dade Animal Services, under the leadership of Dr. Sara Pizano, is considered to be one of the worst animal shelter facilities in the nation. This establishment is notorious for its dismal kill rates, its lack of appropriate vet care (if any) and its disease-ridden, antiquated building. It%u2019s more likely that an animal will be killed there than adopted, and if they are adopted, they habitually leave sick. In 2010 there were reportedly 35,924 intakes, 20,113 killed and 8,300 adoptions (a 55% kill rate); on the surface this looks like an improvement from 2009's 65% kill rate, but in reality these "improvements" are due to the tireless efforts of rescue groups who save most of the pets who make it out of the shelter..The 50-year-old facility lacks heat and AC. The animals do not receive proper (if any) veterinary care while they wait to be rescued, or, more likely, killed. The facility is a breeding ground for illnesses like Parvo, Distemper, upper respiratory infections and KC (kennel cough). Kennels are not cleaned or disinfected properly and animal waste is rampant, causing an awful smell. There are documented cases of abuse and neglect by shelter staff, including a recent incident where a euthanasia tech was caught heartsticking cats without sedation. This employee was not terminated by Dr. Pizano, only demoted, and his salary is still being paid by tax dollars.

Concerned citizens and No Kill advocates have met with shelter leadership time and time again to discuss the implementation of lifesaving programs. Unfortunately, while Dr. Pizano claims that these programs are in place, the shelter is not seeing any results from these efforts, and said programs (if they exist) are clearly not being implemented properly or with the appropriate effort. Budget cuts and a lack of resources are used as a common excuse for the lack of performance, but Dr. Pizano makes a salary of $144,542 per year including perks. The avenue of negotiation has been exhausted, and now, in order to save the lives of the 20,000 pets who die there each year, we need to replace the majority of current management and replace Pizano with a No Kill leader. Until new leadership is in place, the status quo of killing and neglect will continue. Our tax dollars fund this public institution, it%u2019s up to us to demand change. The leadership will only change when there%u2019s a tipping point of public pressure. We can make it happen. Please sign our petition to remove Dr. Sara Pizano and replace her with an experienced No Kill leader and to replace the dilapidated shelter!
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