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For Immediate Release:
June 10, 2016
Media Contact:
Manuel Orbis Jr

786-804-0925

Pets for Vets and Teaching Responsible Pet Ownership to Kids


County Commissioners have unanimously adopted two initiatives, sponsored by Commissioner Sosa, to better the lives of Miami-Dade County's pets.

In a move to help connect veterans with pets, Commissioner Sosa advanced legislation that waives adoption and spay/neuter fees for qualifying individuals. This new initiative is meant to give Miami-Dade County's over 60,000 veterans of war greater access to the health benefits of pet ownership. Recent evidence suggests that bonding with animals greatly reduces stress and the effects associated with PTSD, a condition identified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as afflicting the veteran population.

Additionally, Commissioner Sosa filed legislation to expand the Responsible Pet Ownership Curriculum. The incredibly successful program, an initiative sponsored by Commissioner Sosa in 2013, now teaches over 89,000 elementary school students the principles of responsible pet ownership. This new measure seeks additional funding to bring the program to our community's junior high and high school students.

"I truly believe that our veterans are this community's greatest source of pride, and I know that they will give our pets warm and loving homes," said Commissioner Sosa. "We are forever indebted to them for their service and protection of our freedoms." Continued Commissioner Sosa, "In 2013 when I sponsored the initiative to teach our children the importance of responsible pet ownership I could never have imagined just how great the program would have turned out. It is my hope that we can grow the program to our older students, who can play a larger role in saving animals."

Pets for Vets legislation: http://www.miamidade.gov/govaction/legistarfiles/Matters/Y2016/160987.pdf

Responsible Pet Ownership Curriculum Expansion legislation:
http://www.miamidade.gov/govaction/legistarfiles/Matters/Y2016/160987.pdf