Starving and with bugs in their fur, six dogs scarf down plates of food on a weedy South Miami-Dade roadside. They stick together at a nursery in Homestead, malnourished and skittish, while neighborhood resident Mirta Maltes drives around and feeds as many as she can. These are only a few of perhaps a hundred in the area.
Dogs are once again being dumped in Homestead and Redland by owners who decide that they cannot or will not keep the pets. While dumping animals in undeveloped areas or the Everglades is not new, the issue has grown worse over the past few years due to the troubled economy. Homeowners in foreclosure often drop their dogs off in South Miami-Dade’s agricultural areas.
The owners might figure the dogs are better off roaming free rather than risking euthanasia at the county pound.
“People think dogs will have a good chance out there,” said Kathy Labroda, enforcement manager for Miami-Dade County Animal Services. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Dogs are domestic animals and not bred or trained to live in the wild. Left to fend for themselves, most end up diseased, eaten by alligators or starving to death. Meanwhile, small packs of skinny, homeless dogs wander the fields and nurseries.
Some areas in and around Hialeah have a similar problem .
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