Baltimore County News
Euthanasia cut by more than half
Baltimore County’s Animal Services announced statistics that demonstrated an historic drop in the number of animals euthanized, crediting a modern shelter facility, improved community outreach and robust private partnerships. The second quarter live release rates reported to the State are now higher than ever before, 95% for dogs and 87% for cats. These numbers are a significant improvement from years past, with euthanasia cut by more than half. Healthy, adoptable animals are not euthanized at the County’s shelter, which is located in Baldwin.
“This success story is the outcome we sought when we initiated significant changes in the way Baltimore County approached its animal shelter,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Following our strategic plan, we completed a new $6.6 million, 22,400 square shelter, doubling our storage space and providing a modern facility for the animals, and animal adopters. We also revamped our programs and approach. These numbers validate those efforts, and place Baltimore County in the forefront of public animal shelters in the nation. I am very proud of Dr. Jones and her entire team for what they are doing to protect our four-legged friends each and every day.”
“I’d like to congratulate my staff and thank the administration and the community for their support of our growing programs that allow us to provide so many great services to Baltimore County pets and their owners,” said the County’s Director of Animal Services, Melissa Jones, V.M.D.
The County’s new facility, which opened this spring, was custom designed for staff and animals. It greatly enhances the delivery of services to shelter animals and the public and essentially doubles the number of spaces for cats and dogs. New features include an upgraded surgery suite, multiple dog parks and dog walking areas, cat group housing rooms for social play, separate adoption and quarantine areas, and a new centralized chemical sanitizing system.
The ASPCA approximates that nationally, 31% of the dogs entering shelters are euthanized, and 41% of the cats entering shelters are euthanized.
“These historically high live release rates are testament to the tremendous work that has been undertaken by Baltimore County and the staff and management at the Baltimore County Animal Shelter,” said Deborah Stone, Chair of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission. “They are proof that members of the shelter staff care about each and every life. The progress of BCAS is enormously gratifying to the members of the Animal Services Advisory Commission and we look forward to the shelter’s ongoing amazing progress.”
“We are very pleased to partner with Baltimore County Animal Services and are just thrilled with their live release results,” said Christine Sandberg, founder of Rescue Well, a non-profit organization that helps provide support and outreach to in-need pet owners and rescue groups in the area. "BCAS' support of the Coalitions of Rescues - East (CORE) and its members has helped build more synergy than ever before, and the shelter's results show how we are all coming together as a cohesive animal rescue community in the region,” she said.
"These numbers are really encouraging," said Council Chair Vicki Almond. "I am proud of the staff, and I am very proud of the work that the Animal Services Commission has done in helping us to take our shelter to new heights. This is a real success story."
"Wow. I am so pleased to see that the changes we've been working on for several years are getting such positive results," said 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins. "I've visited the shelter many times, and I see improvement every time I am there. Everyone is doing a terrific job. This is great news."
"This is a great example of community activists, the County administration, state legislators, and the staff of Baltimore County Animal Services coming together to significantly improve the care and welfare of animals in the shelter,” said 11th District Delegate Dan Morhaim, M.D.
“I want to thank the County Council and of the members of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission for their partnership and passion in this effort,” Kamenetz said. “This has truly been a team effort.”