Pet lovers to the rescue
It doesn't help that too many pet owners don't license and tag, don't microchip or otherwise provide identifying information for speedy reunification with their lost critters (or that instead of adopting from shelters, prospective pet owners perpetuate the existence of puppy mills that crank out litters of dubious purebreds).
Standing between thousands of animals and death-by-euthanasia at shelters, are rescue groups: volunteers who troll the cages day after day pulling out purebreds and other adoptable aminals.
If you can't stand the thought of going to the pound to adopt, please consider contacting a rescue group (or visiting your local Humane Society).
A few suggestions: Check out Miami-Dade Rescue Railroad, www.mdrr.org, where you can look at pictures of available pets. The group was recently filmed for a documentary on animal rescue and transport. and Lorraine Ehrhart, a spokesperson, says it could air on Animal Planet.
"We are desperate for new volunteers and would welcome any help you may be able to provide to help get the word out about our unique organization,'' she told me.
Another group with which I'm familiar is Tropical Dawg Golden Retriever Rescue: www.goldenrescuesouthflorida.com. Go there for photos of wonderful Goldens looking for homes.
For lists of rescue groups and shelters in Florida, go to www.bocadogmagazine.com (thanks to Cyndi of Tropical Dawg for the tips).