FoMA Pet Food Distribution on May 23, 2023

On May 23rd, a collaborative effort took place between several organizations to address the needs of pet owners in the community. FoMA, an animal welfare non-profit, joined forces with Chewy, a pet food company, the Animal Welfare Club of Miami-Dade College of Homestead, This Is The Dog, another non-profit organization, Farmshare, and the Humane Society of the United States. Their mission was to distribute over 3,000 pounds of pet food to individuals facing financial constraints.

The event showcased the power of community collaboration and a shared commitment to animal welfare. By combining the resources and expertise of these diverse organizations, they were able to make a substantial impact. Pet owners who may have been struggling to provide for their beloved companions were given much-needed support, ensuring that both pets and their owners could continue to thrive together.

The initiative not only focused on addressing the immediate needs of pet owners but also aimed to raise awareness about the importance of animal welfare. By joining forces, the organizations demonstrated the strength of unity and the positive change that can be achieved when like-minded individuals and groups work together towards a common goal. Through their joint efforts, they fostered a sense of compassion and community, showing that no one should have to choose between feeding themselves or their furry friends.


Stay tuned for our next food distribution and signup for our newsletter to ensure that you never miss out on an event!

Are You Ready For A Pet

Are You Ready For A Pet

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At FoMA, we want to see all pets find loving homes with families that will care for them forever. 

Before you get a pet make sure you consider all of the responsibilities and the commitment necessary. Read the below and remember, if you’re unsure about making the commitment our pets deserve, it’s better to wait or to foster a pet until you are certain adding a furry best friend to your home is for you. And when bringing a pet home, always adopt. Don’t shop!

1. Are you ready to make a lifetime commitment for the life of your pet?

Dogs can live for 10-15 years, and cats can live up to 20 years! When deciding to get a pet, keep in mind that even if you move, change jobs, get married, have kids, or go through other big life changes, your pets will still need you to keep them safe and loved. Once you bring a pet home, make sure you consider their needs when making life decisions, and plan ahead! Is that something you’re ready for?

2. Are you ready for the financial responsibility?

On average, you can expect to spend around $1000 in the first year of owning a pet, if they are in good health & need only routine care. This takes into account wellness veterinary expenses, vaccinations, food & toys, collars and leashes, adoption fees, crates, and other incidentals. If you travel frequently you may need to invest in a good pet sitter or safe boarding facility, and if your pet has a medical condition or needs training you’ll want to make sure you can provide that, as well. Make sure you also consider the cost of any pet rent or additional fees you may have to pay to your landlord, if you are a renter.

If you decide now is not the time to commit to the financial requirements of pet ownership, fostering can be a great alternative until you’re ready for a pet of your own. Rescues will typically provide the medical care and supplies your foster pet needs while you provide a loving home, and shelters often need fosters to provide temporary homes to young or recovering pets. While the value and joy pets bring to our lives can’t be measured, financial considerations are necessary before bringing a pet home.

3. Do you have the time to give to a pet’s care?

Pets require and deserve our time and care. While everyone may want to have a furry friend, it’s important to consider the time and energy needed for an animal’s health and happiness. Ask yourself: do you have the time and resources to take them out for several walks daily, can you spend time playing with them & providing enrichment, are you able to feed them on a schedule and give them the love and attention they need? Do you work long hours that require you to be away from home for a large part of the day, leaving your pets unattended or having to make arrangements for dog walkers or sitters to pitch in? These are all important questions to ask yourself when considering the quality of life a pet deserves to have when you bring them home.

4. Has there been a long time interest in having a pet, and do you have experience in owning a pet?

We know that owning a pet comes with responsibilities, so it’s important you ensure this is a well-thought-out decision. Ask the hard questions: Could this just be short term interest from a cute video or photo? Have you thought about the responsibilities of bringing a pet into your family? Have you owned a pet before? Is everyone in the household committed to taking a pet into the home and making sure they are safe and loved? You need to make sure you consider all aspects of pet ownership to ensure you don’t find yourself having to abandon your pet at a shelter if “things don’t work out”. And never, ever abandon a pet on the street!

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Anyone who wants to can be a good pet owner, whether or not they have previous experience. But, it’s important to consider all aspects of owning a pet before bringing a pet home .

If you’ve checked all these boxes and you feel ready to include a pet in your family, please consider adoption first. There are hundreds of lovable pets that sit in community shelters every day, waiting for their forever home & family. When you adopt you not only change their lives, you make room in the shelter for other animals who need a safe haven, or are living on the streets, with nowhere to go. Shelter pets have just as much love to give as their puppy mill counterparts. Be the difference in their story.

Visit the links below to find adoptable, lovable pets in the Miami-Dade area.

Humane Society of Greater Miami
Miami-Dade Animal Services

Help Combat the Shelter Overcrowding Crisis

Intake numbers at the Miami-Dade Animal Shelter are the highest they have been in a long time, with the shelter’s dog population up more than 200% from a year ago and intake closed or managed. As more people return to work or struggle with the aftermath of the pandemic and its challenges, pets are being surrendered to shelters or left on the side of the road. Our four legged friends need help finding their forever homes, families that will still want and love them when the holiday decorations come down. At FoMA we encourage responsible, loving pet ownership every day, and if you are ready to open your home and heart to a pet in need, please read on!

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A Pet is Forever, Not Just For The Holidays:

  • A Pet Is Forever: Every year around the holidays, people give loved ones the best gift of all: a furry friend! The excitement surrounding a new pet is great, but when it isn’t matched with responsible ownership, the result can be heartbreaking for everyone involved. If you’ve gifted or are thinking of getting a dog or cat during the holidays, make sure you’ve done your research first! Welcoming a new member into the family comes with its own list of considerations, so if you want to add a forever friend to your life, check out some of the factors you should consider.


  • A Pet Is A Financial Commitment: Did you know that the average yearly cost of owning a dog can range from $1400-$3400? Or, that caring for a cat can cost $809-$1,1000? These estimates take into account typical expenses: food, vet visits, toys, and other incidentals. But what no one can foresee are the unexpected costs that may arise. For example, when you first bring a furry friend home, there could be damage to floors/carpet/furniture if they aren’t properly managed by you. You could also face unforeseen medical expenses or boarding fees if your pet is injured or you need to go out of town. Are you financially ready to bring a forever friend home and provide for them? If not, consider saving money in advance and creating a cushion for those unforeseen expenses. You don’t need to be wealthy to give your furry friend the home that they deserve, but you do need to be able to care for them year-round.


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  • A Pet Is A Lifestyle Change: When you decide to adopt a pet, their presence in your home won’t be the only change to happen. Your lifestyle will also be impacted with your dogs having to be taken out to go potty three to even five times per day for puppies. Pets have to be fed regularly, as well as bathed and groomed. Annual vet visits are important and must be scheduled, and don’t forget about your fur babies when planning vacations! Before adopting a pet, it is essential to consider where they could stay and who will care for them when you are out of town.


  • A Pet Is A Lifelong Friend: Dogs can live to be over 13 years old, while cats can live upwards of 15 years! Isn’t that incredible?! The bond that can be built between you and your pets is indescribable, and the lifelong friendship that ensues is priceless. But before adopting an animal, it’s important to consider if you are ready for the lifelong commitment for the life of your pet. 


Want To Help Change Lives?:

  • Adopt Today!: The biggest change you can make for pets in need this holiday season is to adopt! If you’re ready to commit to the items discussed above, then you’re most probably ready. There are hundreds of animals that need forever homes.  Help start their year off right! Visit Miami-Dade Animal Services or your local shelter to adopt. And remember, you can always visit our website to learn more! 


  • Purchase Something On The Shelters Amazon Wishlist!: This is the link to the Miami-Dade Animal Services kennel and enrichment wishlist. For the pets that don’t get adopted this season, you can help out by providing them with exciting and enriching toys to brighten their days. There are also some treats on the wishlist (for obvious reasons ;). If you want to help out, click the link and purchase something today! Every toy counts 🙂


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What’s The Problem With The Pet World? Hint: It Isn’t The Shelters

With the holiday season in full swing, it is important to be intentional with our decisions. When we think about giving loved ones the gift of a new pet, we have to carefully consider which businesses we support with our purchase. Although there are some misconceptions about shelters, at FoMA we want to help inform the narrative as to the real issues in the world of all things pets. 

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The Problems with the Pet World: 

  • Pet Stores That Sell Puppies: Despite the convenience and cute puppies in the windows, pet stores that sell puppies run a profit-driven business. Because of the overall lack of awareness about the cruel, inhumane world of puppy mills and because pet stores source their “pets for sale” from puppy mills, unsuspecting buyers have no idea that the cute bundle of fur they are taking home comes from a dirty, unsafe breeding facility.  Eliminating the sale of pets in pet stores is important in helping to put an end to pet overpopulation, and to creating a safe, healthy future for pets everywhere. To learn more, check out this article from the Humane Society of the United States. 

  • Puppy Mills: Puppy mills are cruel breeding facilities whose sole purpose is profit. Animals live in horrific conditions, and often are not humanely cared for, living in filth, not properly fed or exercised and producing litter after litter until they outlive their usefulness. Read more about why we need to help put an end to puppy mills in our September blog


  • Misinformation: Having a pet is a significant responsibility. It is one of the biggest gifts in life, but requires commitment and work to ensure that your pet is safe, happy, and healthy.   If you decide you aren’t ready for a pet right now, it’s better to understand the commitment before bringing a furry friend home!  One thing you don’t want to do is gift or get a pet that ends up abandoned in a shelter or having to be surrendered just a few weeks later. So, if you are thinking about bringing a pet home, do your homework first to make sure that you (and your pet) aren’t getting more than you bargained for.


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How We Can Fix Some Of These Problems:

  • Support Shelters: Without animal shelters, communities all over the country would be even more overrun with homeless animals than they are currently. Animal shelters care for, house, feed, enrich the lives of, and advocate for homeless pets everywhere. They seek loving homes for these pets, and the amount of behind-the scenes work and time that they invest is incredible. Shelters are a crucial conduit between homeless pets and their forever homes. But they can’t do it alone and our shelters need us –if you want to get involved, consider donating to or volunteering at the animal shelter in your county.

  • Say No To Puppy Mills and Tell Others: It is clear that puppy mills are inhumane institutions, so this holiday season and beyond, if you are going to get a new pet, check your local shelter first!  Pets that come from shelters deserve the same amount of love and care as pets that come from breeders. Often, they are infinitely more grateful too! If you are thinking about adding a new best friend to the family, visit your local shelter, not the pet store. And tell your friends and family to do the same. Please.


  • Join the Friend Zone!: At FoMA, we have made it our mission to help end pet homelessness in the Miami-Dade area. We work towards this initiative every day in a variety of ways, whether it be through partnerships with organizations like The Underline and Wings of Rescue, projects like the WOW Mobile that provides free wellness care to owned pets in Miami-Dade County, through our weekly participation in virtual adoption events, or any of our other, impactful initiatives. We can’t do it alone though. We rely on the support of generous donors. Be part of the change: click here to sign up for the Friend Zone now!



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Volunteering: Get Involved Today!

We love creating positive change for the animals in Miami-Dade County, but we’re often short-handed–which is why we need the help of others in the community. Volunteers are one of our greatest assets, and we depend on their assistance to continue our fight against animal homelessness and needless suffering. If you want to commit to making a change, read below to learn more about volunteering and how you can join the fight today.

Why You Should Volunteer With FoMA & MDAS: 

  • Improve Your Mood and Reduce Stress: Being around animals has been proven to lower stress levels and improve overall health. Keeping active when running around and playing with them is also good for your health. Owning a pet amplifies these effects, but by volunteering you still experience some health benefits while also improving the lives of animals in the shelter. 


  • Help Animals Who Really Need You: By volunteering to help animals in shelters, you are making a difference. When playing and spending time with homeless furry friends, you are enriching their lives and helping develop a sense of love and belonging before they find their forever homes. The impact you could make on their lives is huge. And we are pretty sure that you will find yourself positively impacted as well! 


  • We Need You, But More Importantly, the Animals Need You: Shelters cannot function without the help of volunteers. The number of animals brought to shelters daily continues to grow, especially as people struggle with the economic and other effects of the pandemic. We need your help to ease the burden on shelters, and to keep the animals happy and their lives enriched. If you want to make an impact, sign up to volunteer today! 

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How To Get Involved:


  • Keep An Eye Out: Year-round we host various volunteer opportunities with some of our partners. In October we hosted our annual Volunteer Fair with Miami-Dade County Animal Services. This event served as an opportunity for people to come out and learn more about different volunteering needs and to sign up as volunteers. Check out our posts about the Volunteer Fair on social media. We will always promote any big volunteer events on those platforms, so make sure you’re following our social accounts to stay up to date!


  • Visit Our Website: To sign up to volunteer, visit our website and fill out a quick form to help us pair you up with the most appropriate experience. 


  • Next Steps: When you sign up to volunteer with FoMA and Miami-Dade Animal Services, you are committing to the welfare of homeless and abandoned pets in our community. You will be required to participate in a short orientation and training, and then you will be on-boarded and ready to go! Once you have submitted your application and completed the training and on-boarding process, you can expect to create incredible memories and fall in love with multiple shelter babies. Don’t say we didn’t warn you ?.

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Why Are Puppy Mills Bad? Reasons You Should Adopt, Not Shop

Puppy mills are inhumane breeding facilities whose sole purpose is producing as many puppies as possible, all for profit. Focused only on generating money, they have no concern for the welfare of the mothers or puppies, subjecting them to horrifying conditions. Puppy Mill Awareness Day was September 17th, but the need for awareness and action exists year round. Read more below about how you can join us in this fight against the inhumane conditions in puppy mills.

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What Puppy Mills Look Like & Why They Should Be Put Out of Business:

  • Inhumane Conditions for Puppies: Dogs in puppy mills live in some of the most heinous conditions imaginable. Often dogs are kept in cramped cages with no room to exercise or even move freely. If food and water is provided for them, it is often unclean and contaminated with bacteria, leading to sick and malnourished puppies. Puppies in mills are often found with bleeding or swollen paws from improper living quarters and lack of treatment. Additionally, given the small size of their enclosures, these puppies often live in their own urine and feces. 


  • Terrible Treatment of Mother Dogs: Female dogs in puppy mills spend their entire lives in cramped cages. They are often bred constantly, with little to no recovery time between litters. When the puppy mill owners decide that the female dogs have been “used” enough and can no longer reproduce, they are killed. 


  • There Are So Many Shelter Pets That Need Love: It is estimated that 2.6 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year. When you buy puppies at pet stores or online, they are likely from puppy mills. Ready for another staggering number? Roughly 1 million animals are killed in shelters each year. These shelter pets deserve just as much love as a puppy you would buy from a pet store. As a community it is our responsibility to work together and make a change.

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How Can You Help With Puppy Mill Rescue?:

  • Use Your Voice: Some people are unaware of the inhumane conditions in puppy mills, or they do not realize that the cute little pooch in the store actually came from a mill. If they did, they surely would not add to the suffering of the animals or help these businesses prosper by buying one of their puppies. Through research and sharing information with others, we can raise awareness and help educate the public about this important issue. If you want to be an advocate against puppy mills, and are hoping for more guidance on next steps, click here to read The Humane Society of the United States’ advocacy guide. 


  • Research Your Local Pet Store: Not all pet stores sell puppies, but those that do typically buy their puppies from mills. If your local pet store sells puppies, it might be worth a visit. But never to buy a puppy. Encourage them to become Puppy-Friendly Pet Stores with the help and support of The Humane Society of the United States, and of FoMA. You always have a friend and fellow advocate in the Miami-Dade area, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you need some extra support in your Puppy Mill Awareness advocacy. 


  • Reach Out to Your Legislators: This might sound a bit intimidating. But when an issue is this significant, taking it straight to the law makers is one of the best courses of action to effect change. Puppy mills are not illegal in a majority of states, and with very little oversight there are legal loopholes that enable people to run puppy mills. By contacting your local legislators and stressing the importance of this issue, you can help create change in your community. And how incredible would it be to know you saved helpless animals with your efforts? If you need to find out who the legislators are in your area, or how to contact them, click here


  • Write a Letter to The Editor: By writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, you are taking your voice and advocacy to the next level. Newspapers have resources you might not, so in sending a letter to be published about the cruelty of puppy mills and why they should be put out of business, you could reach audiences you never dreamed of before!


  • Donate Today: At FoMA, we work hard every day to improve animal welfare in our community. We use our platform to aid in this mission in a variety of ways, and are tapped in to a multitude of resources–both locally and nationally- that share our goals. By donating to our cause today, you can help us continue the fight against animal cruelty and pet homelessness everywhere. Join us today.

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Honoring Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

On August 28th, Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, we celebrate the lives of dogs and other pets that we loved and lost. While the passing of a beloved furry friend can be tremendously hard, the Rainbow Bridge extends the hope of reuniting with our furry friends after we too have moved on. If you are struggling with the loss of a pet, or one of your four-legged friends is nearing this difficult stage, we have some ideas to help you memorialize them and keep their memory alive.

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Celebrating Your Pet on Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day:

1. Hold a Ceremony in Remembrance: Sometimes, in the process of losing a pet, things happen so fast and emotions become so overwhelming that the idea of holding a memorial service is either impractical or unbearable. Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day offers the perfect opportunity to set aside some time to make it up. The ceremony you hold doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, just a chance to really slow down and take some time to remember all of the wonderful times you shared with your pet, celebrating their life and companionship. 

2. Spend Time With Loved Ones: As painful as the loss of our furry friends can be, talking about the great memories you made with your pet can help heal your heart. Being around others who also knew your four-legged friend, and reminiscing about all of their great qualities and the times you spent together, is an essential step in the grieving process. And, an important part of truly honoring your pet’s life. They wouldn’t want you to only remember the end. You can even share your stories with us-as your fellow animal lovers, we are always happy to share in the love! Reach out to us via Instagram or Facebook and tell us what you loved most about your furry friend. 

3. Find a Creative Outlet: Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, participating in the creation of art can be a therapeutic process. So, on Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, consider creating some form of art in memory of your pet. It doesn’t have to be gallery-quality, and it doesn’t even have to be visual. You could create a story, song, poem, or other form of media. The main idea is to use this time to creatively express yourself and your love for your pet. Take your time with it and lean in to the calming and restorative process associated with remembering your pets in this way.

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4. Create a Tribute: Having something professionally made in remembrance of your pet is always a great way to memorialize them as well. This could come in the form of a painting based off of a photograph, a piece of jewelry that reminds you of them, or even a picture in your wallet. Some people also choose to get a memory of their four-legged friend tattooed on them as a forever form of tribute. Whichever form you choose, all tributes are a great way to honor your pet every day.  

5. Visit the Rainbow Bridge Online and Create a Digital Memorial: The Rainbow Bridge is an online memorial area and grief support community where you can pay tribute to your pet in a digital memorial that will live on forever. The website offers many different options to help you memorialize your pet and different products you can purchase to help you along the way. In addition to all of these great resources, a portion of the proceeds from all purchases made on the website go to no-kill animal rescue shelters. 

6. Consider Adopting: The pain of loss can be overwhelming, and sometimes it scares us away from wanting to open up our homes (and hearts) again. But, when you’re ready, adopting another furry friend could be a great way to honor the love you shared with your pet. The companionship we are able to find in our pets is indescribable and, once you have experienced it, to go a day without it is challenging. There are so many animals out there that need a good, loving home. While there will never be a replacement for the pet that you loved and lost, there could be room for new love. Just think about it. And if you decide you want to, visit our website to learn more about how you could adopt today. 

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Help Your Pets “Beat the Heat”

We all like to stay cool during the summertime heat but for your pets, it is a necessity. The sometimes unbearable summer heat can be deadly for pets. With temperatures rising into the 100 degree range some days, it is crucial to know how to keep your pets safe from heat stroke. Luckily for you, FoMA has some suggestions and useful tools to keep your furry friends safe and cool.

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To Keep Your Pets Safe From the Summertime Heat:

  • Be Aware of the Signs of Overheating: The biggest dangers for your pets during the summertime are overheating and heat stroke. Also called hyperthermia, a heat stroke happens when a dog can no longer regulate its body temperature through panting or through its paws. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are at a higher risk of heat stroke because they can’t cool down as effectively by panting. Older and overweight pets are also at a higher risk and these pets should be kept in cool areas as much as possible. If your pet is panting excessively, having trouble breathing, drooling, is listless or has collapsed, these may be signs of overheating. Other serious symptoms include seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.


  • Treating Overheating: If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to immediately move your pet to a cooler area and begin cooling them down with cool water-not cold water though, as rapid cooling can also be dangerous. Position your pet in front of a fan to cool off, check their temperature every few minutes, and give your fur baby some water. If you have access to a pool of water, soak your dog’s feet in it as they have sweat glands in their paws which allow them to cool down. Even after your pet has cooled down it is still important to get to a vet as soon as possible and have them checked to make sure there was no internal damage. 


  • Watch Your Pets for Dehydration: Your furry friends can quickly become dehydrated and dehydration can be even more harmful in the summertime. You can tell if your dog is dehydrated by doing the skin test. Simply lift the skin between the shoulder blades to form a tent, and then drop it. If your dog is dehydrated, it will take longer for the skin to return to normal position. You can also check your dog or cat’s nose and gums. If their nose is dry, and their gums are dry and sticky, they are likely dehydrated. Make sure that you have clean, fresh water accessible at all times for your pets and keep them inside on especially warm days. Even when you are outdoors in the evening, it is important to remember that your pets still need to be hydrated so it’s a good idea to keep a fresh bowl of water outside for them at all times.  


  • Be Strategic in the Timing of Your Walks and Outdoor Exercise: In the heat of summertime, asphalt temperatures can soar above 143 degrees on an 87 degree day. This temperature can be damaging for your pets’ paws. As a rule of thumb, if it is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pets. Try to walk your pets in the morning and late afternoon or in the evening, when the temperatures are slightly cooler. If you have an at-risk pet and must exercise or go on a long walk during the day, think about putting a cooling jacket on your furry friend. Chewy has a nice cooling vest that could be worth the investment, and if you use our referral link you will receive $20 off your first order and Chewy will donate to our cause! Let’s work together to keep your pets cool and safe this summer! 


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  • DO NOT Shave Your Pets: Although shaving your pets might seem like the obvious move to keep them cool in the summertime, it can actually end up hurting them more than helping them. Your pup has a layered coat that provides protection from overheating and sunburn. Go ahead and trim longer hair, but do not shave it off completely. For your cats, brushing them frequently can prevent problems caused by excessive heat, but they also need their fur for protection from the elements. 


  • NEVER Leave Your Pets in a Hot Car: Because cars magnify heat, on a 90 degree day, the inside of a car can soar to a roasting 130 degrees very quickly. Your pets will try to cool themselves down by panting, but their anxiety levels will rise making the situation even more dangerous. Even running into the grocery store for a few minutes is enough time for heat stroke to set in. Cracking a window does next to nothing for the temperature in the car, not to mention the fact that leaving your pets unattended in a car is illegal in a number of states! Next time you have to run errands, leave your pets at home. They will thank you and you’ll be keeping them safe! 


  • Be Responsible: Above all else, this tip remains the most important one. Be responsible. It is our job as pet owners to ensure the safety and comfort of our fur family, and staying informed on how to keep our pets safe in any scenario should be a number one priority. If you can’t commit to keeping your pets safe, you should think twice about taking on the responsibility of bringing a pet into your home. We want all pets to find their forever homes, but a safe and loving home with responsible pet owners is just as important. Help us ensure the wellbeing of animals in not just Miami-Dade, but all over.

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National Pet Preparedness Month: How to Keep Your Pets Safe

With hurricane season underway, it’s important to think about and plan to keep your pets safe when the weather gets bad. FoMA is here to help by providing some important tips and resources in the Miami-Dade area so your beloved pets aren’t forgotten.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe During a Hurricane

1. Plan Ahead: We know you don’t want to be separated from your family pets and doing some planning on the front end could help prevent that scenario. Stay informed on the weather developments and have an evacuation plan in place. Which route will you take to safely leave your home? Will you be evacuating to a family member’s house in a safe area? A friends? Or will you be staying in a hotel or hurricane shelter instead? These are all important questions to ask yourself before the storm is too close and the situation becomes too dangerous for evacuation. That is the best way to ensure you and your pets are safe.

2. Find a Shelter or Pet Friendly Hotel: If you can’t safely evacuate before the hurricane comes to your area, there are shelters in Miami-Dade County that will allow pets; however, the two listed below do require registration in advance of evacuation for a guaranteed spot, as space is limited. Call the County hotline 3-1-1 to register in advance.

  • The Sunshine Pavilion on the grounds of the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition: 10901 SW 24th St.
  • Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High, 1410 NE 215th St. Aventura.


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3. Purchase a Pet Carrier or Crate: It is always a good idea to have a pet carrier with you when you evacuate, as most shelters require that pets be kept inside a crate or carrier. Remember, having supplies in place before the storm is one of the first steps in effective planning for the safety of your pet . Don’t get caught in a situation where you do not have a crate or carrier and stores are sold out due to high demand. 

4. Keep Up-to-Date ID and Vaccination Records: Make sure that your furry friend has an up-to-date tag with their information and yours, so that in the worst-case scenario that they are separated from you, they could be identified and returned to you. For some of the pet-friendly shelters, up-to-date medical records are also required to show that your pet has been vaccinated, so be sure to get your pet a clean bill of health prior to the storm and keep printed and digital copies with you at all times. Remember that microchipping is the best way to be reunited with your pets if you’re separated.

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5. Hunker Down: If you can’t leave your house to evacuate but are still in a zone with a hurricane watch or warning, make sure you have enough food and water stocked up for you and your pet for at least five days. Dogs drink approximately 1 ounce (⅛ cup of water) of water per pound of body weight a day. So for a 50 pound dog you need around 32 cups of water for five days, or two gallons. Cats drink about 3.5-4.5 ounces of water for every 5 pounds of body weight. So a 10 pound cat would drink about half a water bottle a day (7-9 oz), which would mean about 3 water bottles for 5 days would be a safe amount for your cat. Stock up on emergency supplies and medical supplies ahead of time as well. For your emergency pet kit you should include:

  • Collar and tag(s) with a sturdy leash (include extras)
  • ID tags, microchip ID and rabies tag 
  • Pet medications (ask your vet about keeping extra supplies/medications or a copy of prescriptions for your emergency kit)
  • Medical records and current vaccinations
  • Current photo of each pet with owner to prove ownership in case of separation
  • Manual can opener if your pet eats food from a can
  • Canned or dried pet food to last the 5 or so days recommended
  • Cat litter, liners and a pan
  • Plastic trash bags, newspaper, paper towels and disinfectant for waste and clean up
  • Toys and any special comfort item for even a small amount of stress relief

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6. Breathe: Hurricanes can be frightening, especially when you have loved ones to care for. But with the right preparation, you can weather the storm and come out the other end safely. Use this blog as reference for your pet preparedness needs during a hurricane or any other potential emergencies.

7. Stay Safe: Remember that shelters typically increase the stray hold in Miami Dade to five days during hurricanes and other natural disasters.  So, if you are separated from your pet, immediately notify our County shelter to make sure they know your pup is lost and can facilitate reunion.

Adopting a Senior Dog: What You Need to Know

Adult and senior dogs are often overlooked at shelters with potential adopters largely drawn to puppies or younger dogs. FoMA loves senior pets and believes in giving all pups a chance, and adult and senior pets hold their own special charm!

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Why Adopt an Adult or Senior Dog?

  • Your house will thank you! Older dogs are often already potty trained and don’t require as much supervision or effort with potty training. Even if their potty training needs a little work, older and senior dogs can learn new tricks! Dogs are able to pick up skills quickly with patience and time. They are also more likely to have learned that furniture or shoes are not chew toys and can be easily trained to prefer plushies and tennis balls.
  • They’re fun to relax with!  If you want a furry companion that’s more than willing to spend the day watching Netflix on the couch, an older or senior dog may be the perfect choice for you. Older dogs are calmer and don’t have the boundless energy we often see in puppies. So, if you’re not someone who takes extended daily walks or prefers not to make a trip to the park, an older dog will be fine with a few potty walks and to nap throughout the day.

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  • You have the opportunity to improve their quality of life. Adult and senior dogs that don’t have a chance at a long term home often spend extended time at animal shelters without knowing the companionship and love that comes from having a family. If you decide to adopt an older dog, you’re giving them the chance to feel unconditional love and a sense of security. 
  • They’re great for first-time pet owners.If you’ve never been a dog owner before, adopting an older or senior dog may work in your favor. Older and senior pups can act as your teacher as you learn the ins and outs of being a pet owner. Puppies are often high maintenance and may require much more work and effort, especially if you’re learning from scratch. Older dogs with more neutral temperaments and some training will allow you to learn without dealing with a lot of the stress that can come with trying to train and teach a puppy!
  • They still have so much love to give! Dogs are considered to be “senior” once they reach 7 or 8 years of age, but some dogs can live much longer! Age is often a concern for many potential adopters who want to be able to spend a long time with their new pooch, but don’t let that keep you from adopting an older or senior dog! These pups  have so much love to give and sharing that time with an older best friend may be the perfect solution for a low maintenance doggy home and an older pet in need.

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How Can I Find a List of Adult Dogs for Adoption?

Finding an older dog for adoption is as simple as visiting our website at Just fill out the “Sign Up to Adopt” form, and we can help guide you to find information on older dogs available for adoption. Visiting shelters is also a great way to find a dog that is the right match for you and your family, especially since a lot of the time what you see is what you get with an older dog. If they have a calm demeanor in a chaotic environment like a shelter, chances are they will act the same once you bring them to a more relaxed environment like your home.