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Baltimore County News

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Sets goal of 20,000 in 2017 with opening of new spay/neuter facility in southwest area 

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today that the Animal Services Division of the Baltimore County Department of Health has reached an important milestone by performing their 10,000th spay/neuter procedure since opening an on-site surgical suite in the Fall of 2013. This is a significant accomplishment which advances the public health goal of reducing the population of homeless animals throughout Baltimore County.

Kamenetz also announced the opening on December 3 of the County’s second satellite spay/neuter location in Southwest Area Park in Baltimore Highlands, and that the County has set a new goal of altering 20,000 cats and dogs in 2017.

“We have made tremendous strides in upgrading Animal Services and reducing the population of stray animals in our communities, and with our new low-cost spay/neuter facilities in three locations around the County, we are determined to reach the goal of doubling our positive results by altering 20,000 animals in the next calendar year,” Kamenetz said.

Before the County began performing spay/neuter surgeries on shelter animals in the Fall of 2013 at its main facility in Baldwin, people who adopted pets from the County’s animal shelter were provided with vouchers to help offset the cost of having their animal altered elsewhere. Since then, over 6,300 animals have been altered at Baldwin.  Last summer, the County’s Dundalk spay/neuter facility opened, and has performed in excess of 3,800 spay/neuter procedures.

“My Council colleagues and I welcome the new westside facility that will make it much more convenient for our constituents to avail themselves of low-cost spay/neuter services,” said County Council Chair Vicki Almond.

“I am very pleased by the improvements the County has made to Animal Services, and the new spay/neuter location in Baltimore Highlands is a great expansion of service for pet owners in the southwest area of Baltimore County that will go a long way toward reducing the number of unwanted animals in the future,” said 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk.

Free spay/neuter services for residents in many southwest and southeast zip codes

Baltimore County Animal Services has been awarded a grant from the Maryland Department of Agriculture to cover the costs of altering 1,083 dogs and cats from three specific areas in southwest Baltimore County, including zip codes 21207 (Woodlawn), 21227 (Halethorpe), 21244 (Windsor Mill). Spay/neuter surgeries will be free for residents in those identified areas, until these grant funds are depleted.

At the same time, as part of the promotion for the westside facility, the County will also offer free spay/neuter services for 1,083 dogs and cats from areas in southeast Baltimore County, in zip codes 21222 (Dundalk), 21219 (Edgemere), 21224 (Dundalk), 21221 (Essex), 21237 (Rosedale) and 21220 (Middle River).

Facilities in Dundalk and Baltimore Highlands offer low-cost spay/neuter services for domestic cats and dogs

Baltimore County now has two satellite spay/neuter centers in Dundalk and in Southwest Area Park in Baltimore Highlands, greatly reducing travel time for residents, who previously had to take their pets to the County’s main Animal Services facility in Baldwin to take advantage of the County’s low-cost spay/neuter program.

All three of the County’s Animal Services locations offer spay/neuter services for cats and dogs for the low cost of $20, by appointment only. To encourage responsible pet ownership and decrease overpopulation of unwanted animals, this program includes:

  • Spay/neuter procedure
  • First distemper and rabies shots
  • Deworming
  • A County license
  • Microchip

“My staff and I are very pleased with the results we are seeing in Dundalk and are excited to expand to better serve pet owners and their animals on the County’s westside,” said the County’s Director of Animal Services, Melissa Jones, V.M.D.

County residents may schedule appointments and find more information, including animal restrictions on the County’s website at

Appointments are available now at the new Spay/Neuter Center located at 7702 Dunmanway in Dundalk, at the Southwest Area Park location, located at 3941 Klunk Drive in  Brooklyn, and at the County’s main Animal Services location, 13800 Manor Road in Baldwin. Advance payment by debit or credit card is required. No payment of any type is accepted at the facility.

Pledges regional cooperation

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz issued the following statement on the eve of Mayor-Elect Catherine Pugh's inauguration:

“With congratulations to my good friend Catherine Pugh as she becomes Mayor of the great City of Baltimore, I also reaffirm Baltimore County’s commitment as a regional partner to address issues of job growth, education, transportation, housing and public safety. The future of Baltimore City is bright and I look forward to working with Mayor Pugh to build that future.” 

By Michael Schneider, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks

That guy in red?  Yep, he’s making the rounds of Baltimore County’s parks and nature centers. There’s also Christmas toy bingo, natural ornament making, tree lightings, Kwanza celebrations and holiday crafts galore. Here’s a quick list of holiday goings-on for kids and families. All events are made possible with help from the elves at our County Recreation and Nature Councils. (Thanks, elves!)

Many programs are free, so get out and visit your local park or nature center --or try something new across town. There’s so much to do, you better be checking this list more than twice! 

Holiday fun in the parks

Friday, December 2 

  • Holt Park (410-887-5307)  Woodland Creature Workshop  6:30 – 8 p.m.  Ages 6 and up (Free)

Saturday, December 3

  • Cromwell Valley (410-887-2503)  Holiday Open House 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. All ages. (cost)
  • Dundalk-Eastfield (410-887-7155)  Annual Christmas Parade (starts at 4 p.m.)  Santa-In-The-Park follows immediately after the parade.  All ages.
  • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Wreath Making  Noon and 2 p.m.  Ages 14 and up (cost)
  • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Holiday Wreath Making 1 – 3 p.m. Ages 16 and up (cost)
  • Parkville (410-887-5300) 18th Annual Breakfast with Santa 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (cost)

Sunday, December 4

  • Cromwell Valley (410-887-2503)  Holiday Natural Ornaments 1 – 3 p.m.  Ages 8 and up (cost)
  • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Wreath Making  Noon and 2 p.m.  Ages 14 and up (cost)
  • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Holiday Wreath Making 1 – 3 p.m.  Ages 16 and up (cost)

Friday, December 9

  • Holt Park (410-887-5307)  Wreath Making.  7:30 p.m.  Adults (cost)
  • Edgemere-Sparrows Point (410-887-7529) Christmas Tree Lighting  6:30 p.m.  Santa arrives 7 p.m.  (Free)
  • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Holiday Party and Social (Oregon Ridge Members).  6 – 8 p.m. (Free for members)

Saturday, December 10

  • Bear Creek (410-887-7529)  Lunch with Santa and Craft Fair  11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (cost)
  • Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)  Natural Ornaments  Noon – 3 p.m.  All ages (cost)
  • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Holiday Centerpieces & Natural Ornaments  2 – 4 p.m.  Ages 5 and up.  (cost)
  • Marshy Pont Nature Center (410-887-2817)  Wreaths and Natural Ornaments  Noon – 4 p.m. (cost)
  • North Point Village (410-887-7180)  Breakfast with Santa!  9 a.m. – 12 noon.   Ages 12 and under. (cost)
  • North Point Village (410-887-7180)  Christmas Toy BINGO  7 – 9 p.m.  (cost)
  • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Natural Ornament Making  1 – 3 p.m. (cost)
  • Overlea-Fullerton (410-887-5307)  Annual Tree Lighting  7 p.m.

Sunday, December 11

  • Holt Park (410-887-5307)  Old Fashion Holiday Celebration!  Noon – 4 p.m. (cost)
  • Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817) Wreaths and Natural Ornaments  Noon – 4 p.m. (cost)
  • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Natural Ornament Making  1 – 3 p.m. (cost)

Friday, December 16 

  • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Kids Night Out  6 – 9 p.m.  Ages 6 – 12.  (cost)

Saturday, December 17

  • Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)   Winter Solstice Hike and Campfire  6:30 – 8 p.m.  All ages.  (cost)
  • Cromwell Valley (410-887-2503)  Holiday Centerpieces  1 – 2:30 p.m.  Ages 13 and up.  (cost)
  • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  S’mores, Stars & the Winter Solstice  6 – 8 p.m. Ages 5 and up.  (cost)
  • Middle River (410-887-0234)  Breakfast With Santa  8 – 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) All ages. (cost)

Sunday, December 18

  • Cromwell Valley (410-887-2503)  Solstice Candle Making  1 – 3 p.m.  Ages 8 and up.  (cost)
  • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  S’mores, Stars & the Winter Solstice  6 – 8 p.m.  Ages 5 and up.  (cost)

Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30

  • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Winter Break/School’s Out Day Camp   8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Ages 6 – 12. (cost)

Friday, December 30

  • Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum Kwanzaa Celebration  1:30 – 3 p.m. All ages.  (Free)

Sunday, January 1

  • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  First Day Hike  10 a.m. – Noon.  All ages.  (Free)

Saturday, January 7

  • Cromwell Valley  Wintertime Natural Ornaments  1 – 3 p.m.  Ages 8 and up.  (cost)

For event details, contact each park location

A holiday walk in the park

Don’t forget our parks are open sunrise to sunset seven days a week all through the holiday season.  What better way to celebrate than with a crisp walk in the park!  

Nature Centers will be open throughout season, but call for special schedules or closings on December 25 and January 1.

Find your favorite park -- here is a list of Baltimore County parks to explore. 

No matter how you enjoy the season, here’s hoping you can spend part of your time with friends and family at Baltimore County’s parks, recreation and nature centers. There’s a wonderful world to discover out there.


Revised September 26, 2016