Earlier this year, Vice-Mayor Jon Burgess and his family were winners of Scholastic Parent & Child magazine third annual Family of the Year contest and featured on the cover of the June/July 2012 issue. The Burgesses were chosen from hundreds of entries for their consideration and dedication to rescuing and fostering canines in need. The Family of the Year contest celebrates families across the country that are giving back and paying it forward within their communities.
On behalf of Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, the Board of County Commissioners, and the residents of Miami-Dade County, Commissioner Lynda Bell presented Vice-Mayor Jon Burgess with a plaque honoring the Burgess family for their contributions to the community and for winning the Family of the Year award. The Burgess family works closely with a local non-profit organization called This is the Dog!, which is devoted to finding homes for abandoned and stray animals. This is the Dog! is co-headed by Vice-Mayor Burgess’ wife Charelle Burgess, a pet adoption and rescue activist.
“I felt that it was my personal responsibility to come and bring recognition to you, Vice-Mayor Burgess,” said by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bell at the November Homestead City Council meeting where she presented the plaque. “I am very proud of you and your family.”
Vice Mayor Burgess thanked Commissioner Bell for recognizing his family for the work they do with the animals. “Rescuing and helping these animals is very important to us because we firmly believe that the education of humane care of animals and spay/neuter programs are the answer and the hope in stopping pet overpopulation and animal abuse,” said Vice-Mayor Burgess.
Vice-Mayor Burgess took the opportunity to thank all of the voters of Miami-Dade County in this past election for voting yes on ballot #240, resulting in the passing of the Pets’ Trust initiative. Pets' Trust Miami, a ballot item that was co-sponsored by Commissioner Lynda Bell, is a citizens' initiative to improve animal welfare, increase adoptions and decrease overpopulation by providing free and low-cost spay/neuter, low-cost veterinary care and educational programs.