Media Contact:
Lilian Bohorquez

Miami-Dade County Animal Services earns national achievement for success in leveraging life-saving partnerships

MIAMI (May 18, 2017)

The Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department (ASD) has been recognized with a 2017 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo), for its program “Increasing Save Rate at Municipal Animal Shelter through Community Partnerships” in the category of County Administration and Management. NACo awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents.

In 2010, ASD joined forces with the American Society for the Protection against Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) as part of their five year Community Partnership in Miami-Dade County. This strategic partnering allowed ASD the flexibility to build effective evidence-based programming that could be later funded sustainably through County funds.

“Our partnership with the ASPCA leverages each entities’ strong suit and embodies the best aspects of public private initiatives with the goal of achieving greater benefits for the community,” said ASD Director, Alex Muñoz.

At the start of the Community Partnership in 2010, ASD had an annual intake of over 38,000 cats and dogs with a save rate of 40%, by the time ASD’s “graduation” from the ASPCA Community Partnership program in 2016, annual intake was reduced to 30,000 with a save rate of over 90%. Throughout the partnership, ASD demonstrated the ability to implement changes based on many best practices and guidance from its ASPCA partner that helped increase and complement our additional funding programs for increasing live release and the construction of a new facility focused on adoptions and pet wellness.

NACo President Bryan Desloge said, “Counties overcome complex challenges, provide essential services and constantly do more with less. We applaud these Achievement Award-winning counties for outstanding efforts to improve residents’ quality of life.”

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition July 21–24 in Franklin County, Ohio. 

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Award Program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

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Miami-Dade County Animal Services

Every year Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department (Animal Services) provides care and refuge for 28,000 to 30,000 unwanted dogs and cats. Every day, Animal Services staff and volunteers work diligently to find life-long homes for these abandoned animals by facilitating onsite adoptions, hosting off-site adoptions at events and locations throughout the community, and working collaboratively with over 100 rescue organizations and partners that have helped us meet our goal of a 90 percent save rate.

American Society for the Protection against Cruelty to Animals®

Founded in 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

National Association of Counties

The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments.  Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.  Learn more at