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Group led by Broward County Vice Mayor Sharief agrees on Proposals to Control Aggressive Dog population in the County

Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief speaks with group formed

Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief speaks with group formed

Group led by Broward County Vice Mayor Sharief agrees on Proposals to Control Aggressive Dog population in the County

Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief speaks with a group formed to find solutions to controlling the aggressive dog population in Broward County.

By  Kimberly Maroe

      Proposals to control the aggressive dog population in Broward County have been finalized and will be discussed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners at an upcoming meeting in May.

The proposals were reached and agreed upon after two meetings held by Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief and a committee she created that included pet owners, behavioral specialists, victims of dog attacks, nonprofit adoption organizations and County Animal Care and Adoption staff.

     “I wanted to find solutions to this problem with Broward County residents, the individuals most involved and dedicated to this issue. In the future, it may take new policies and programs to control the aggressive dog population and dog attacks. After hearing from all sides, we reached a consensus and that’s what I will bring to the full County Commission,” said Vice Mayor Sharief.

     The agreed upon final re-commendations include:

     1) Develop proposed County Commission policy regulating professional and backyard dog breeders. (Currently none exist.)

     2) Recommend an increase in animal control officers in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2014 budget. 3) Recommend the Broward Sheriff’s Office provide training to deputies on animal control trends and best practices.

     4) Recommend the County Commission develop a mandatory “spay/neuter” culture.

     5) Continue to enforce citations and other penalties for irresponsible pet owners.

     “This meeting of Broward residents and key stakeholders agreeing on solutions addessing aggressive dogs and roaming dogs was great. We all walked away in agreement on several items Vice Mayor Sharief will present to the full County Commission,” said Sharron Carmichael of the Humane Society of Broward County.

     “This outcome represents a positive step for dogs of all breeds. Having dogs of a certain breed singled out because of the way they look, without regard to evaluating their individual behavior, puts the focus on the wrong end of the leash. These proposed recommendations, which the Vice Mayor will bring forward, put the responsibility on the dogs’ owners, which is where it belongs,” said Wendy Kaplan from the Best Friends Animal Society.

     In 2012, Broward County Animal Care and Adoption picked up nearly 4,800 stray dogs, with large concentrations found in the southern part of the County bordering Miami-Dade. Additional proposals to increase fines for negligent dog owners will be discussed by the Commission in June.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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