07/12/2013 12:26 pm ET Updated Jul 13, 2013

Miami No-Kill Shelters: Mayor Carlos Gimenez Cuts Program Funding Despite Voter Approval


A $20-per-household tax could have saved the 30,000 animals killed each year in Miami-Dade animal shelters -- but the pups and cats slated for euthanasia may have missed their chance.

"Mayor Carlos Gimenez has killed the Pets Trust," reads an online campaign. "After 483,000 people voted for it, he killed it."

Pets' Trust Miami, which works towards increasing adoptions and decreasing overpopulation at animal shelters via free neuter programs, promoted a no-kill measure that 65 percent of Miamians approved last November.

On Tuesday Gimenez proposed a budget that included a 5.4 percent property-tax rate hike that would cover the $19 million needed for the county to have a no-kill policy at shelters.

Yet he backpedaled the following day, decreasing the tax hike to 4.3 and dedicating only $4 million to animal shelters.

I’m hearing the voice of the people, and so I don’t think it’s good right now to raise the countywide millage,” Gimenez told the Miami Herald.

That $4 million is nowhere near enough, critics say.

"The promise was to help stop the killing," said Michael Rosenberg, founder of the Pets' Trust Miami, told Local 10. "We need to spay and neuter 75,000 animals a year so we don't have more and more animals that keep coming to the shelter to be killed. That's not even part of that new plan."

The mayor will present his budget to Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday.