Disease Epidemic Forces Miami-Dade Animal Services to Temporarily Suspend Many Services

Following an outbreak of infectious diseases in the animal shelter, Miami-Dade Animal Services has announced that they will temporarily suspend numerous services for "no more than two weeks, effective immediately." The shelter will no longer accept the intake of any new dogs. Most stray dog pick-ups will be ceased, as will spay and neutering surgeries for dogs currently at the shelter.

Animal Services said in a release that overcrowding in the shelter has lead to stressful conditions and the spread of infectious diseases, including Parvo and Distempers, among dogs.

Following concerns of a Distemper epidemic at the shelter, the University of Florida's Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program and the ASPCA have recommended that the shelter stop offering numerous services for up to two weeks to reduce the spread of the disease.

Though, according to a release, the shelter will no longer allow the public to surrender their own pets at the shelter. This is a permanent change.

The following services will be affected for up to two weeks:

  • Rabies/Microchip Clinic
  • Intake of all dogs and puppies by the public
  • Stray dog pick up by Animal Control Officers (if unconfined)
  • Spay/Neuter surgery for current shelter dogs and puppies
The following services will continue as normal:

  • Cat and kitten intake, adoption and spay/neuter surgeries
  • Adoption of puppies and dogs with disclaimer regarding Distemper exposure
  • Lost and Found/Return to Owner
  • Investigations (animal cruelty, dangerous dogs, etc.)
  • Purchase of licenses
  • Payment of citations
  • MAC spay/neuter surgery programs for the public's animals

The announcement comes just days after animal activists called for the "recall" of Animal Services director Dr. Sara Pizano.

We've put in a call to Animal Services, and will update when we have more information.

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