UPDATE (June 28, 4:25 P.M. ET): I just got off the phone with Miami Dade Animal Services, and am able to share some news that is mostly good, though at least a little suspicious-sounding. I am told that Chocolate will not be euthanized tomorrow, as previously reported. In fact, the pup is not currently available for adoption pending an order from a Dade County judge. When precisely that ruling will be handed down remains to be seen. In the meantime, they assure me that Chocolate is being well-treated. Unfortunately, I am 1,200 miles away and would be unable to verify that report even if I lived in South Florida because the dog’s location is “classified.”
UPDATE (June 27, 5:40 P.M. ET): The contact information for the Miami Dade Animal Services, main shelter, is 7401 NW 74th Street, Miami, FL 33166. They can be reached by phone at 305-884-1101, X228, 225, 224, 231, 245, 249.
As you read this, a gorgeous and talented dog sits in a cage in a Miami Beach animal shelter. He is the victim of animal abuse, but his fate is worse than that of his abuser. It has been decreed that if the dog is not adopted by this coming Wednesday, June 29, he will be euthanized.
What makes this injustice that much harder to comprehend is the chain of events that led to the grim prospects now facing the pooch. For several years, the dog whose name is Chocolate (choc-o-LAH-tay), was a fixture on fashionable Lincoln Road, where he worked the streets begging for money. He was trained to do that by his owner, Noe Boo, who is homeless. Not surprisingly, Chocolate has become a sensation among Miami Beach residents and viewers on YouTube.
One might object to the exploitation of this poor animal, but at least one would presume Chocolate was treated well by the man whose daily bread he was earning. Instead, last Tuesday Noe Boo was arrested for animal abuse. A police officer witnessed the man punching and kicking Chocolate, then dragging the dog behind his bicycle. At his hearing, Boo was told by a judge, “You are not to posses any animals of any kind until further order of the court.” He was sentenced to a month in jail.
But so, inexplicably, was Chocolate, who is on death row at a Miami Dade Animal Services shelter. In fact, as stated earlier, Chocolate now faces certain death unless he is claimed, while Noe Boo will be a free man in several weeks.
Miami Dade Animal Services has made headlines before for its itchy lethal injection finger. In February, animal activists protested the shelter, accusing workers of mistreating the animals and claiming that its director, Dr. Sara Pizano, failed to make good faith efforts to unite pets with eligible families before putting them down.
In the meantime, poor Chocolate’s fate hangs in the balance. A local woman, Vicky Tnzi and her friends are trying to save Chocolate’s life, but the clock is running out. A spokeswoman for the shelter is quoted as saying, “If you’re a person who is not very active then maybe Chocolate is the right pet for you.”
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