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Keyword: pet adoption

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.      

 Community Partnerships

“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.”

Topics - Animal Services, men's health and resource parenting

The June edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” highlights the enhanced animal services facility, promotes foster and adoptive parenting and shines a spotlight on the Health Department’s free health screenings for men.  

Could You be a Resource Parent? Learn how becoming a foster or adoptive parent can change lives.

New and Improved Animal Services – Check out the County’s brand new $6.6 million facility and meet some of the cuddly pets you could take home.

Man Up, Check Up, Tune Up! – Find out about the Health Department’s free health screenings for men.

To view streaming video of the show, go to the Hello Baltimore County page at . Click on the menu icon in the upper left of the video screen to select an individual segment.

 In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:

Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.                                                    

photo of pet in holiday costumeAvoid Common Pet Safety Pitfalls over the Holidays

The same foods, decorations and lighting that make the holidays come alive for people can turn deadly when it comes to your pet. Especially vulnerable to the season’s delights are dogs, cats and birds.

Food and Candy

Foods that you enjoy this time of year aren’t necessarily appropriate for your pet. Avoid giving your pet scraps from the table—especially bones since they can splinter and cause serious health problems. Other tasty treats that your pet should not eat are onions, grapes, raisins and chocolate. Beware of individually wrapped candies since your pet doesn’t know that the wrapper isn’t for eating, and as a result, it might easily ingest both the candy and the wrapper.


If serving alcoholic beverages, make sure unattended drinks are out of your pet’s reach. Alcohol can cause animals to become weak, ill or even go into a deadly coma. If having a party, your best bet is to ensure that your animal is in a quiet room of his or her own complete with a bed, food, water, toys and wearing his or her identification information.


Other seasonal items that can cause problems for your pet are plants. Amaryllis, hibiscus, holly, lilies, mistletoe, poinsettias and certain types of ivy should be placed in a spot that your pet cannot access. Among other things, if ingested, these items can cause kidney failure, fatal heart problems and just plain old upset stomachs.  

Christmas Trees

Christmas trees should be anchored securely as climbing cats and dogs with tails can easily knock them over. Hang breakable, glass ornaments, lights and tinsel high on the tree to prevent your pet from ingesting tinsel, which can block the intestines and from getting tangled in a string of lights. Also, avoid using edible tree decorations such as cranberry or popcorn strings since your pet will be tempted to sniff and taste these items.

Be sure to keep your pet safe from the dangers lurking beneath and around your Christmas tree as well. Fallen pine needles should be cleaned up frequently since they can be toxic when eaten by your pet, and always ensure that your tree’s water supply is covered.

Electrical Outlets and Wires

And finally, just as you would do for a toddler—kitten or puppy proof your home. Cover electrical outlets and cords. Or, consider using pet proof extension cords or animal anti-chew sprays of which there are several varieties. Prevent accidental electrocutions by taping exposed outdoor or indoor wires to the sides of the house or the wall.

I hope that these helpful tips will keep you and your furry or feathered friends safe and happy this holiday season.

Adopt a Pet

If you are looking to add a pet to your family, consider adopting one from the Baltimore County Animal Shelter. View the wonderful cats and dogs awaiting loving, permanent homes on our website.

Melissa Jones, V.M.D., Director
Baltimore County Animal Services

Revised September 26, 2016