Animal lovers declare war on Mayor Carlos Alvarez's Facebook page

Carlos Alvarez already has a cantankerous billionaire — and 95,000 equally irate voters — trying to get him canned. Now the Miami-Dade County mayor can't even find peace through Farmville: His Facebook page is under attack by animal rights activists.

Even before 2004, when the Humane Society decreed the county shelter was in "appalling" condition, animal lovers have waged jihad on Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) and a kill policy that whacks more than 20,000 animals a year.

In the last couple months, an unruly mob has found a home on the mayor's official Facebook page, where they have clamored — in that grating and incessant way that only animal rights activists can — for a larger Animal Services budget, new facilities, and less or no euthanasia. They've branded the agency's director, Dr. Sara Pizano, "Dr. Death." A sample from a woman named Amy Roman Restucci, sans the ubiquitous all-caps: " This is a disgrace! What is it going to take for you to respond [to] the questions asked here? We are so tired of all the lies!"

Mark Poutenis

Alvarez has the personality of pickled gherkin, so we' re not surprised that he — or an intern; a spokesperson confessed his communications department "assists" him with his Facebook page — didn't handle the spammers with aplomb. First, many of the comments simply disappeared. Then, ten days before Christmas, Alvarez made the bizarre boast that pound dogs, though doomed to die by lethal injection, would at least go out looking like Mr. Rogers. Alvarez's status update: "All shelter dogs and puppies have blankets and sweaters (except aggressive ones and those that have removed them on their own)."

Then Alvarez got testy: "It is unfortunate that so much misinformation has been posted on FB regarding MDAS," he lamented on his page. "Dr. Pizano and her staff are doing the best they can with the resources available."

Predictably, responding only made matters worse. These days, the beleaguered mayor can't post a chirpy update bragging that the county's hotel occupancy is third in the country without two dozen commenters bombing him with demands for a no-kill shelter.

Erasing all those comments didn't work either, it appears. "We did remove posts that were vulgar, profane, or showed inappropriate pictures," allows spokesperson Victoria Mallette. "We want very much to keep the mayor's Facebook page as an outlet for two-way communication and civil dialogue."

 
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30 comments
vicky76
vicky76

I Live clear across the country and just saw this on FB "MDAS IS NOW SPAYING ALL PREGNANT MOMS BEFORE THEY ARE RELEASED TO THEIR RESCUES!!! PLEASE EMAIL AND MAKE PHONE CALLS!!! WE MUST STOP THIS IMMEDIATELY OR BRING THE CAMERAS FOR THEIR RESPONSE TO SUCH A SADISTIC POLICY!!!" Is there any way to check on this or is it just something no one can/will follow up on?

jacky
jacky

Please share with others. The PROTEST against Dr. Death and the torture and animal cruelty will take place FEBRUARY 15 at 11 a.m. at Stephen Clark Center 111 NW 1 ST

WickedCats
WickedCats

Riiiiight. Why then are they banning some people from commenting?

Cheryl
Cheryl

"'Doctor' Sara Pizano, (a veterinarian) presides over cruelty, torture. Including video documented evidence of shelter workers killing cats by shoving needles directly into their hearts as they scream and struggle."

I was not shocked to see this type of behavior, but I am surprised that it is tolerated. Do the right thing and get this "doctor" out of the animal shelter. That is not euthanasia. It is torture, animal abuse, and morally objectionable. I think the shelter should close and be opened under new management. Anyone who stood by to me unless they can show some good reason, which will be difficult, should go willingly. It seems that there should be consequences (perhaps psychiatric commitment) for this type of behavior. Certainly, this doctor should lose her right to practice. Wow!

Vaddergator
Vaddergator

One more reason to vote Mayor Alvarez out of office. Vote "Yes" to recall the mayor on Tuesday March 15. Follow the recall effort on the Facebook page as well.

WickedCats
WickedCats

A few years ago, I called MDAS and asked if they were a no-kill shelter (after reading they were on their website). I was told they were. I came to find out this year due to a slip up in an email with one of it's employees that they ARE a kill shelter. I requested they stop sending me pictures of animals "ready to go" seeing as many of them were likely to be killed. It took 3 months to have them stop sending me those emails.

The place is disgusting. Just because animals are kept there doesn't mean it has to be kept that filthy. Shame on them for killing those animals.

I also contacted them last year about a resident in my apartment complex who was poisoning cats. They did nothing and told me they could do nothing. WTF are they there for then? Is their whole point of existence to kill and not help?

Mtruji9235
Mtruji9235

Ms. Mallette states "We did remove posts that were vulgar, profane, or showed inappropriate pictures," allows spokesperson Victoria Mallette. "We want very much to keep the mayor's Facebook page as an outlet for two-way"

This was not and is not the case. My post were removed and I NEVER used vulgar or profane language. My post started disappearing when I asked one simple question. Mr. Alvarez, you state that there is simply not enough money to up-date the shelter forget about a new one. However, please explain how you gave a millionaire, millions of tax dollars to build a stadium?

NATinFL
NATinFL

I carefully followed Mayor Alvarez Facebook page the weekend before Christmas. There were hundreds and possibly thousands of people writing comments ... asking questions ... seeking support from the Mayor. All types of people ... all unified in their concern for animals at MDAS. One by one people simply disappeared from the page. Prior comments were deleted. Involved people were no longer making new comments. They were ... as was I ... BLOCKED from communicating. No longer able to post comments or questions. All prior input simply discarded. An outpouring of compassion. Our voices silenced. So sad.

Rsqdoc60
Rsqdoc60

I have been doing dog rescue for over 20 years on a national level. The Miami Dade shelter is the ONLY one with conditions so appalling that many rescuers will not pull a dog from there at all because of the high risk and rate of infectious diseases.Other rescuers that do pull from there feel the dogs need a two week incubation period before they can be put in private foster homes.In fact ,we only know 2 vets and one kennel that will board dogs that come directly out of Miami Dade..Thus,many adoptable dogs just die because there is no place for them to go.

The source of this sad state of affairs also lays at the feet of owners that do not vaccinate their dogs and that let them run loose. Anyone living in Miami should be warned not to relinquish a dog they love to this shelter and should be scared silly if their dog gets loose and ends up there without any identification.

Elvislover
Elvislover

MDAS, I have no more words for you. This shelter is one of the worse that there is. Many people have been following the exploits of MDAS and the Floyd shelter. People have open their mouths and media has been contacted at various times...A...s most government run facilities, many, many things get swept under the carpet, they spin the situation or just cover it up. MDAS makes it so difficult for anyone to adopt one of their animals of course they are always full and need to kill wonderful animals for more room. If you can get them to answer the phone they throw you on hold for 30, 60, 90 minutes and may or may not get back to the phone. This prevents other callers from getting through to adopt.They put up all kinds of obstacles/rules to pull and only want pre-approved rescues/people to pull the animals out. Are they alone in the appalling way they treat animals? No, of course not. They are definitely not in business for the best interest of the defenseless animals that is for sure. At the minimum you would think, and I this hate to use this word, "person" that murdered these animals and caused such pain, suffering and agony to these innocent creatures, would be fired for his actions and to give society at least the impression that they do care about the animals. A civil action case should be brought against the individual as well as the person in charge that has no regard for animal welfare.

Darlene
Darlene

Seems to me the more I learn about this shelter the worse it gets! There so many animals unnecessary euthanized and also in an unlawful way if in a hurry! This is a crime! The laws should extend to all the animal caretakers and much more hash! MDAS has far to many serious complaints to be over looked.

Sadelanghorne
Sadelanghorne

Margery does not know what she is talking about and has obviously never been to MDAS and also does not do rescue work around same. Margery is spreading disinformation but we are confident that most people will realize that Margery is probably Dr. Pizano herself and Dr. Pizano is on her way out whether she likes it or not!

Hopigirl
Hopigirl

My post was removed from Carlos' s page Cannot take the heat which is nothing but the truth

margery
margery

Miami-Dade County Animal Services routinely kills all dogs and cats only because their owners sign euthanasia request forms. Animal Services doesn't require veterinarians or veterinary technicians to examine these animals, so there is no way for anyone to really know if the animals being killed are healthy, incurably ill or aren't in any pain at all. Animal Services rules require that pets with euthanasia requests be killed ASAP or within 30 minutes. Recently, Roxy, a starved dog who gave her all to nurse her puppies, was killed after her owner signed a euthanasia request. She could have been sent to a rescue group or adopted by an individual. Although adoption rates have increased at the shelter, they could be even higher if animals with euthanasia requests who were healthy or had treatable conditions were given a chance to be rescued or adopted.

When the animals have no euthanasia requests, Animal Services' rules require that sick and injured strays and animals surrendered by their owners be given "treatment plans." These animals must be examined by a veterinarian and may be given immediate treatment. They can be sent to rescues for medical fostering. In contrast, Animal Services regularly kills dog and cat surrenders with euthanasia requests who may be adoptable.

Animal Services' euthanasia request form currently says the department has the right not to kill a healthy animal whose owner requests euthanasia. But they have yet to document that they've saved even one life. The department is thinking about revising the form's wording to say they have the right not to kill an animal. However, even if Animal Services makes this revision, they are still not making a commitment to stop killing all animals whose owners request euthanasia. They don't even have a mechanism in place to determine which animals with euthanasia requests are sick, and which ones are healthy. Animal Services claims they don't have the "proper tools" to diagnose animals with euthanasia requests. Yet, they diagnose sick and injured strays and surrendered animals who don't have euthanasia requests.

There's no good reason for Animal Services to treat cats and dogs with euthanasia requests any differently from other animals. The law doesn't require Animal Services to kill these animals. In Florida, animals are property. Once an owner surrenders an animal for euthanasia, the animal becomes the property of Animal Services, which can do with the animal as it sees fit.

So what's going on at Animal Services? Why are cats and dogs with euthanasia requests not given the same chance at adoption as other animals at the shelter? Is there no room for these animals? Many people have seen empty cages at the shelter. Sick or injured animals with euthanasia requests could go into one of these cages or go to rescues who foster animals with medical conditions.

"Euthanasia should only be performed as a last resort to end suffering, not as a matter of convenience," said Mark Kumpf, a past president of the National Animal Control Association and current director of the Animal Resource Center in Dayton, Ohio. Miami-Dade County Animal Services receives many euthanasia requests for animals who are healthy or have treatable illnesses and injuries. These animals should be given a fair chance at having permanent homes. Remember Roxy.

lc
lc

Animal lovers they are not, they are all animal rights radicals who always resort to vulgar and profane language to attack anyone who is doing the right thing. Not every animal in a shelter would make a suitable pet as the majority of them are too ill or aggressive to be adopted. We know that from the statistics that show 47% of all shelter adoptions will be returned due to the same problems they came in with that were not corrected or told to the adopter by the shelter staff volunteers. As for all of these posts they are being pushed by HSUS volunteers and paid staff members to write harassing comments trying to force their ideas on the general public which is to end all pet ownership by doing away with all dog breeders. The animal rights movement is not animal welfare but is about ending all ownership and property rights over all domestic animals. That is why HSUS push a strict vegan diet that can actually cause death in growing children who don't receive enough VB12.

cetude
cetude

Only 20,000 a year? I live in Polk County and the county is not even half the size of Miami Dade and this county (Polk) killed 20,000 last year. I would say Miami Dade is doing a very good job considering as little as what they killed. No kill shelters? NO CAN DO. Many of these "shelters" are nothing more than hoarders even with tax exempt status, which the dog pound would be far more humane than to languish day after day in a small cage full of feces and stench of urine.

Sadelanghorne
Sadelanghorne

It is funny. Dr. Pizano who runs MDAS is also in charge of the animal cruelty officers and enforcement of our laws re: same. Doubt she will investigate the facility she runs - Animal Cruelty and Code Enforcement should not be part of the Animals Services Division and should go back to the po po.

margery
margery

The truth is that Margery has been to MDAS many times and has volunteered at the shelter. What she wrote is factual and includes quotes from Animal Services' Standard Operating Procedures. It's absurd to think that Margery is Pizano. Margery is one of her critics.

Debi
Debi

Come on? You mean 36,000 pet owners all decided to kill their pets? WAKE UP!

Sadelanghorne
Sadelanghorne

Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Disinformation in the highest form. You should be ashamed of your denial and lying for spreading this crap. I have been there. I KNOW. IT MAKES ME THROW UP EVERY TIME I SEE THAT DAMN FACILITY. I HAVE WORKED WITH GOOD ONES! Sickening - Miss Thang - step out of this conversation with this crap.

NATinFL
NATinFL

lc ... Who is radical? Your remarks are extremist, inaccurate and rambling. Where did you get your facts? Growing children and VB12??? 47% returned? End all pet ownership? WHAT??? Obviously YOU have a hidden agenda to promote.

Debi
Debi

THE majority? Are you on glue?

Sadelanghorne
Sadelanghorne

Liar. I do rescue work and have been there. This is a lie. And I am not a radical. Not at all. Please go to Alaska and have fun with Sara Palin. You sound just like her.

Sadelanghorne
Sadelanghorne

Please go back to Mayor Alvarez' FB page as you work for him and you need to come up with better retorts. At least on this page we won't get deleted because it is the New Times and they love this crap!

Sadelanghorne
Sadelanghorne

Dr. Pizano listed intake at 36,000 and over 20,000 killed in her budget. Do I believer her nos.? NO. Considering the state of MDAS - no info out of there is real. None. Disgusting. SHAME!

 
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