Right now, hundreds of abandoned dogs are roaming the Everglades of South Florida. They are hungry, thirsty, injured, sick, pregnant and more. They have been dumped there by their previous owners, often after being neglected and abused for years. These poor, lost souls are left to survive in the harshest of conditions. They are left to battle extreme heat and dehydration, endure mosquito attacks and tick infestations, suffer from heartworm and mange, dodge speeding cars, and fight off poisonous snakes, alligators and other wild animals.
Amy Roman, founder of 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida, and core team member Carol Daniello are on a mission.
Roman’s nonprofit group has rescued more than 700 dogs and 40 cats since it was founded in September 2011, she estimates. But there are hundreds more in need.
“There’s thousands to save,” Roman says. “We rescue the ones we can. Once we capture them, they are putty in my hand. They are tired, they are hungry.”
In Florida, abandoning a pet is a first-degree misdemeanor that can land you in jail up to one year and bring a fine up to $5,000.
Such crimes are rarely prosecuted because it’s tough to track down the owners and not always a top priority for police, says Stephanie Scott, spokeswoman for SPCA International.
SPCA International officials became aware of Roman’s work a year ago and have since awarded her $1,500 in grants.
“We have been really impressed with her work,” Scott says. “It’s a difficult job. It’s dangerous and it takes a lot of effort.”
Roman and her determined band of volunteers are tackling the problem, one dog at a time.
Every month, Roman’s group treks south on Krome Avenue to the Redland area in southern Miami-Dade County in search of abandoned canines near fields and nurseries.
“Our mission is to rescue them, bring them back to health, and show them that not all humans are bad. We want to provide them to know that love and a warm bed are just around the corner. Beyond that, we work to raise awareness about this brutal reality happening right in our community. We have hope that our message will result in alternative solutions as well as more responsible and humane decisions by pet owners. We are a volunteer-only, 501(c)3 organization, fully dependent on our support community to fund our rescues and vet bills for these desperate pups. Please help us make a difference by donating, adopting, fostering and being a voice for these helpless animals. We can’t do this alone. There is power in numbers! We desperately trying to save the hundreds of helpless abandoned dogs in the Florida Everglades, and raise awareness about their plight.”
Amy Roman will be on the Pet Radio Show, Sunday Rescue, June 23, 2013. She will tell the heartwarming story of the puppies and adult dogs she has rescued and rehomed.