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“These are great, sweet, loving dogs that really need a home.” -Gloria Rodriguez, student at Felix Varela Senior High School.
A plea from former Miami Herald staff writer Elinor Brecher:
The Felix Varela High School vet-tech program has to place all of its animals by early June-- foster or adoption-- because of renovations on the classroom and shelter space. There are 80 dogs and puppies. Fostering would be for about three months. Many of these dogs were rescued from horrible abuse/neglect situations.
I wrote about this program several times for the Herald and was dumbstruck with admiration for Yleana Escobar, the teacher who runs it. I've never met a more dedicated educator and rescuer. Her classroom reminds me of old episodes of M*A*S*H. She's the colonel. Everyone of those kids is Hawkeye and Trapper John. Any time -- day, night, weekend, holiday, hurricane-- she and those kids are there caring for animals that come out of horrendous situations of abuse, neglect and abandonment. Miss Escobar is not only teaching these kids skills they'll need to have a satisfying career; she's teaching empathy, compassion, responsibility, selflessness and collaboration. One kid at a time, she is chipping away at Miami-Dade's abysmally low collective conscience about animal welfare (hence the nightmarish intake rate at the county's high-kill shelter and even more nightmarish problem of dumping in the Homestead area).
Please read this excellent story by my former Miami Herald colleague Carli Teproff, spread it around, and if you can, give a dog or puppy safe harbor or a new home.