by Denise Carey-Costa
Redland, Florida is described as an area of many farms, and a mecca for agriculturists, botanists, and naturalists from around the world. The area is so wildlife friendly it has been designated as a Wild Bird Sanctuary.
But for all its natural beauty, there is a sinister side to Redland. Heartbreaking acts of cruelty to “man’s best friend” are committed daily; cruelty that is beyond comprehension. There in the heart of Redland, unwanted pets are dumped and abandoned to fend for themselves.
For years, individuals have driven to the secluded areas of Redland and thrown dogs and cats from their vehicles. Oftentimes, the dogs run after the car until they can’t run any further and drop from exhaustion. These poor animals, domesticated and used to home life are now sharing the terrain with wild animals including alligators, snakes, spiders, insects and countless other predators. With no source of food, they don’t stand a chance for survival.
Countless dogs are left roaming the area, unattended, struggling to survive. The dogs that are not killed by traffic are poisoned, injured or shot by local workers and residents who don’t want them in their neighborhood. Many of the dogs starve to death or become infested with parasites, mosquito bites, and diseases which leads to their death.
According to Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dog Project, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of abandoned dogs inhabiting the area.
Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dog Project, an official 501(c)3 was formed in 2015 by Ale Ochoa and five of her friends. Ale Ochoa had heard that Redland had become a dumping ground for dogs. When she drove out there to see for herself, she was shocked to see sick, injured, and malnourished dogs everywhere.
She and her friends began feeding the dogs every day. They set up a Facebook page in hopes that Miami Dade County Animal Services would get involved. Unfortunately, they did not take the situation seriously.
However, rescues from other areas answered the call for help and responded to Redland. Twenty volunteers from rescue organizations in Brevard County joined Ochoa and her friends in Redland and saved the lives of 23 dogs.
Volunteers from nonprofit organizations across Florida have rescued more than 130 strays from Redland and relocated them to cities like Orlando and Tampa, Florida.
Rescuers from Brevard also collected more than $20,000.00 in donations to feed, vaccinate and care for the dogs that were rescued.
That was in 2015, but today in 2017 hundreds of dogs are still being dumped in the Redland area.
They continue to face threats of injury, illness, disease, getting hit by cars, and becoming victims of dog fighting. Various rescue groups have tried to help. They have compiled countless haunting photos and videos of dogs, all shapes and sizes, sickly and undernourished sharing bowls of food put out by Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dog Project. The dogs are friendly though many are frightened and run from the rescuers.
The main question is; why isn’t more being done by government agencies such as Miami Dade Animal Services to help these dogs and to eliminate the problem? Why is the responsibility on nonprofit rescue groups such as Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dog Project?
The goals of Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dog Project area simple; to educate the public on the appropriate care of dogs, feeding and providing emergency care for abandoned and free roaming dogs while safely capturing and transferring dogs to reputable non-profit rescue organizations for re-homing, and to raise awareness for the plight of free roaming dogs in Miami-Dade County Florida.
Donations are very much needed to remove abandoned dogs from the dangers they are threatened with and give these terrified animals the safety they deserve so they can live and know full, happy lives.
While many lives have been saved in the Redland, many are still being lost.
To donate to Redland Rock Pit Abandoned Dog Project visit their website https://redlandrockpit.org/.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/redlandrockpitcrew/?fref=ts
There is also a YouTube video showing the tragedy in Redland and the valiant efforts of rescue groups and concerned citizens.
*This story has been reposted from Pet Rescue Report with the author’s permission.
About the Author
Denise Carey-Costa is a journalist, author, and award-winning documentary filmmaker. She was recently awarded the Best Producer Award from the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards for her latest film, Growing up with Hollywood (January, 2016). Her first film Tony’s Tale, Tragedy in Arizona (August 2014) was the winner of eight national film festival awards including several Audience Choice Awards. She has also written numerous children’s books promoting kindness and compassion for all creatures. Among her children’s books are A Tale of Three Tails, Edwin’s Flight, Lucky, and Angelina’s Angel. And her non-fiction piece Tony’s Tale Tragedy in Arizona. She lives in Orlando, Florida, where she works with local rescue shelters.