Pets’ Trust Miami sent this email to candidates for Mayor and Commission; their answers are below:

In 2012, almost 500,000 people, 65% of the voters, said “yes” to the Pets’ Trust which involved a slight increase in our property taxes.  The Pets’ Trust issue was the last question on an eleven page ballot, yet it had the fourth highest amount of votes after President, Senator, and a senior citizen tax break.  People sought out the Pets’ Trust question on that ballot.  The vote was non-binding due to Florida law and property tax questions, however, the commissioner and Mayor of 2012 said they would honor the vote.  They did not.  They said, "the people did not know what they were voting for".  We are hoping that the new commissioners and mayor will not feel the same…that our votes don’t count.  We wanted to ask and get a video response.

So, we are asking potential new commissioners and new mayor to answer the question: 

If  you are elected, will you honor the votes of the 500,000 people that voted for the Pets’ Trust and implement the programs they voted for, and would you commit to honoring the votes of the people in future elections? 


We recommend Alex Penelas for Miami-Dade County Mayor. His promise to implement The Pets’ Trust and honor the voice of the people is clear.

Alexander “Alex” Penelas

Without ambiguity, Mr. Penelas said, “When the people speak it’s the job of those in elected office to listen and to implement exactly what the people are saying”. He said he would “fully implement” The Pets’ Trust and adhere to voters wishes. He has our wholehearted recommendation.

Daniella Levine Cava

Ms. Levine Cava acknowledges that The Pets’ Trust supporters helped her win her seat on the Commission. But her answer here is to champion pet-friendly policies, not implement the separate Pets’ Trust. She says we need reforms in our adoption programs and increased funding for animal protection. But again, no promise to implement The Pets’ Trust or honor the votes of the people.

Xavier L. Suarez

Mr. Suarez appears to support The Pets’ Trust but we leave it to our readers to interpret his words themselves. We interpret his statement to mean that he might or might not implement a Pets’ Trust that would be separate from the county’s Animal Services department, and clearly the Pets’ Trust initiative was to be completely separate from the Animal Services department.

County Commission

Miami-Dade County Commissioners don’t have the power to implement The Pets’ Trust, only the Mayor can do that through the budget. But County Commissioners have tremendous influence in the budget process; they have direct access to the Mayor and can fight for programs they want included. And because seven commissioners need to approve the final budget before it’s implemented (nine if there’s a mayoral veto) the mayor is motivated to be open to their ideas and programs.

District 7 Candidates

We recommend Michael Rosenberg for County Commission in District 7. He is the only candidate for District 7 who clearly and unequivocally supports The Pets’ Trust exactly as proposed and approved by the voters.

Michael Rosenberg

Candidates Lerner and Regalado both said no to honoring the vote in the video below.

The Miami Foundation invited the four District 7 candidates to their forum; only three participated. Here are the candidates’ responses to a question regarding The Pets’ Trust.

District 9 Candidates

Marlon Hill

When you ask Candidate for Commissioner in District 9, Marlon Hill, a
question, you get an answer that is clear and understandable.  This is what
we need in a County Commissioner.   

The Pets’ Trust appreciates your commitment to Democracy and our animals!

Other Recommendations

School Board Member, District 7

We recommend Lubby Navarro For School Board in District 7. Please review her website at Ms. Navarro has served her district well these past four years. She is very involved in the community and is very hands on with her constituents. Her staff is excellent with following-up making sure that all issues are received and understand by her office. She is also tireless in her work habits. We recommend Lubby Navarro for School Board District Seven. She well-deserves another term in office.

School Board Member, District 9

We recommend Justin Koren For School Board in District 9. Please review his website at Also, please watch this 30-second introduction to Justin. Dr. Justin Koren brings a youthful energy and excitement to his campaign for School Board in District Nine. We’ve watched him in various forums and see the makings of a young Alberto Carvalho with his style of direct talk to answers.  In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if Dr. Koren one day is Superintendent!  We recommend Dr. Justin Koren for School Board in District Nine.