For Immediate Release:
November 16, 2012

Media Contact:
Olga Vega

Ordinance in response to community outcry, provides enforcement of civil penalty for keeping dogs on rooftop

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
An ordinance approved by the Miami-Dade County Public Safety and Healthcare Administration Committee on November 14th, 2012, prohibits the keeping of dogs on rooftops and provides authority for enforcement by a civil penalty of $500.00. Commissioner José “Pepe” Díaz sponsored said ordinance in response to the community outcry that was raised concerns of animal cruelty with the case of “Burro”, the dog that came into the limelight in late July of 2012, after being kept by its owners on the rooftop of a business warehouse, enduring the scorching heat of the South Florida summer for security purposes.

Where previously it was not unlawful to have a dog on a rooftop as long as it has water, food and shelter; now it shall be unlawful to house, maintain, keep, or otherwise have a dog on the rooftop of any building, as per Section 5-21.1 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. However, it is provided under this ordinance, that it shall not be a violation of this section for a dog to temporarily accompany a responsible party on the rooftop.

“The safety of our residents and all animals in Miami-Dade County is a concern and priority for my colleagues and me, at the Board of County Commissioners” said Commissioner José “Pepe” Díaz as he added “we hope that the general public understands the importance of adhering to this and other ordinances pertaining to the safety and care of animals in our community, especially those preventing animal cruelty.”

This ordinance will move forward to the Board of County Commissioners for a final vote in December.


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