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Miami-Dade voters back creation of Pets' Trust

Voters in Miami-Dade overwhelmingly supported a measure that could save the lives of more than 20,000 cats and dogs a year, and set the county on a path to achieve its “no kill’’ goal for the Animal Services Department.

The straw-vote victory on a ballot question to support a small property-tax increase for animal welfare now puts the issue in the hands of the Miami-Dade County Commission.

Commissioners wanted to see whether the public favored the issue in principle, and how enthusiastically.

As of late Tuesday, with 627 of the county’s 829 precincts reporting, voters said yes to the Pets’ Trust, by an almost 2-to-1 margin.

Commissioners are now likely to create the agency, which would augment efforts by Miami-Dade Animal Services Department to reduce pet overpopulation and shelter deaths.

The department takes in about 37,000 unwanted cats and dogs a year.

More than half are never adopted, and end up euthanized. More from Elinor J. Brecher here.