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Baltimore County News

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Date: Jan 4, 2018

Rates Are Among Highest in the Nation for Public Shelters

(Towson) – Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that the County’s Animal Shelter live-release rates during the last quarter of 2017 exceeded 90% for both cats and dogs. The County’s live-release rate continues to rank among the highest in the nation.

The release rate for dogs is now 90.7%, while the rate for cats is 90.3%. By comparison, for the last quarter of 2014, the rates were 91% for dogs and 45.5% for cats. The high live release rate is particularly noteworthy because the population of animals entering the shelter has risen significantly since 2014. In the last quarter of 2014, the live intake of cats and dogs at the shelter was 1,093. In the fourth quarter of 2017, that number increased to 1,529. The County Executive mandated the collection of this data starting in 2014 so that Baltimore County would be able to track the success of its efforts from quarter to quarter.

“I am extremely proud of our Animal Services staff, who has worked so hard to transform Baltimore County Animal Services,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “We have invested resources and focused attention and it has truly paid off. Our consistently high live-release rates show how hard we are working to find homes for healthy adoptable animals.”

“I applaud Baltimore the County Executive and our shelter staff for the tremendous advances we continue to see in the County’s Animal Services function,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Julian Jones.

Director of Animal Services, Melissa Jones, V.M.D., said, “Our entire team is very dedicated to a comprehensive approach to increasing our live releases, with the goal of returning or keeping animals in their homes when at all possible. Pet overpopulation is a community concern and requires the teamwork and passion of shelter staff, volunteers and animal rescue groups alike.”

When an animal is found, Baltimore County Animal Services (BCAS) officers scan for microchips and post stray photos online immediately so that animals can be located by their owners as quickly as possible. BCAS sponsors low-cost spay/neuter, rabies and microchip clinics in local communities to decrease the chances of pets leaving home.

When an owner can no longer care for a pet, BCAS partners with local animal rescue organizations to provide veterinary care, temporary boarding and alternatives to surrendering pets to the shelter whenever possible. Increased off-site adoption events extend the ability to place adoptable animals into homes and educate the community about available resources. New programs such as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for outdoor cats have allowed for more live release options than ever before, and, over time there will be fewer unwanted litters of kittens and puppies.

 

“Cuddle Shuttle” Pet Adoption Express Vehicle Brings Pets into Communities

Last month, the County introduced the new Animal Services Adoption Express, affectionately called the “Cuddle Shuttle,” a customized mobile adoption vehicle that will visit community events year-round to offer convenient opportunities for people to adopt pets from Baltimore County Animal Services.

The Adoption Express may be requested by contacting the Animal Services Volunteer Coordinator at bcasvolunteer@baltimorecountymd.gov. More information about pet adoption is available on the County website at https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/animalservices/adoption.html.

 

New Shelter Has Doubled Capacity and Modernized Treatment of Animals

The County’s new $6.6 million, 22,400 square-foot Animal Services facility opened in early 2016 and was custom designed for staff and animals. It has greatly enhanced the delivery of services to shelter animals and the public and doubled the space for cats and dogs. It includes increased kennel space, adoption "meet and greet" rooms, a surgical suite, multiple outdoor areas for dogs both on and off-leash, a cat group room, additional parking and office space for staff and volunteers. A critical component of the new shelter is the animal quarantine area. Having a separate space for sick animals significantly reduces the potential spread of illness and parasites among the animals. The quarantine area is serviced by a dedicated HVAC unit, creating a comfortable and safe environment where no recirculation of air occurs. 

 

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Revised September 11, 2017