This posting is very important as it answers commonly asked questions about stray cats. I had the same questions and learned it's really the responsibility of a community, not the government or Humane Society to help these animals. That is why we need volunteers to continue our efforts to control the cat population.
1. Can't the Humane Society or ASPCA come out and rescue these cats?
Answer: both of these organizations are private entities with different goals. The Humane Society does NOT go out to the community. Rather they accept a very limited number of friendly, healthy pets that owners surrender or can not care for. The Humane Society then will find a new home for that pet.
The ASPCA, addresses a different problem--pets that are neglected or abused. ASPCA does wonderful work to rescue these animals, nurture and rehabilitate them.
Neither organization goes out and traps outdoors cats and kittens.
2. Can't Miami-Dade Animal Services come out and trap and take these cats away?
Answer: Animal Services, as a county-run operation funded by our taxes, only picks up dead or injured animals on public property. They do not trap stray cats (feral or friendly strays).
However, Animal Services shelters will take in any animal, pet or strays. Since the shelter receives approximately 100 cats a day and due to limited space, friendly cats that are not adopted in five days are euthanized. So even if someone has to surrender their pet (dog or cat) because they are moving and the new condo does not accept pets, that dog or cat most likely will be put to sleep.
Therefore it is really the responsibility of a community--both residents and businesses and condo associations to address the issue together. Unfortunately, there are no cat sanctuaries in Miami to relocate the cats to. Trapping any outdoor cats and "relocating" them to an island or park or any other location is illegal under Florida law. It is considered "dumping and abandoning" as it is known that cats will instinctively run away in search of their original "home" where they are likely to get injured, starve or get killed.
The most effective solution is TNR---Trap, Neuter, Release. If an outdoor cat is feral or wild, it should be trapped, taken for sterilization, and released back to the outdoors. This limits new cats from joining the colony as cats are often territorial and this prevents cat population from growing. From there it's easy--just regular feedings and ensuring no cat is injured.
The Cat Network is a wonderful resource. They teach individuals and associations how to humanely trap the cats and where to get low cost sterilization and vaccinations, how to capture kittens, foster them and find them homes. http://www.thecatnetwork.org/