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Keyword: animal services

Shelter Hits Record Release Rates for Dogs, Maintains High Rates for Cats

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler announced that the County’s Animal Shelter achieved an all-time high live release rate for dogs of 95 percent during the second quarter of 2018, and has exceeded 90 percent live release for dogs for the last ten consecutive quarters (two and a half years). Baltimore County Animal Services’ (BCAS) live-release rate for cats was 91 percent for the second quarter of 2018 and has been over 90 percent for the last three consecutive quarters, and for four of the last six quarters for the first time in the history of BCAS.

By comparison, for the last quarter of 2014, the rates were 91% for dogs and 45.5% for cats. These high live release rates are particularly noteworthy because the population of animals entering the shelter has risen significantly since 2014.

“I give tremendous credit to our Animal Services staff, who has worked tirelessly to transform our entire operation for the better,” said Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler. “The County has focused our attention on modernizing the shelter and updating our processes and it has made a huge difference.” Mohler presented Executive Citations to each member of the BCAS staff at a ceremony held on the front lawn of the BCAS Animal Shelter in Baldwin.

In the past few years, the County has replaced an outdated shelter with a modern $6.6 million facility designed to maximize adoption and improve services, and has opened satellite facilities in Dundalk and at Southwest Area Park to provide low-cost spay/neuter services.

Success by the Numbers

  • BCAS has performed 21,155 spay/neuter procedures since 2014. Currently this number includes 70 percent public animals and 30 percent shelter animals.
  • 4,125 people have taken advantage of low cost rabies vaccinations since the summer of 2016 when legislation was passed to allow a free microchip and initial license for the same low cost of only $8.
  • New programs include the pilot Trap Neuter Return program which has contributed to over 1,760 live releases since the program’s inception in 2016.
  • The volunteer and foster programs continue growing with more than 150 rescue partners signed up to work with BCAS and over 100 registered foster families.

“People care deeply about the welfare of animals and I am very pleased by the continuing excellence of care we are seeing at Animal Services,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Julian Jones.

Director of Animal Services, Melissa Jones, V.M.D., said, “I am very proud of our entire team of shelter staff, volunteers and rescue partners for their dedication, passion and hard work, which has brought about these excellent results.”

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

The County’s new Animal Services Adoption Express, nicknamed the “Cuddle Shuttle,” is a customized mobile adoption vehicle that visits 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.

Low-cost Spay/Neuter Services Offered to the Public at Baldwin, Dundalk and Baltimore Highlands Facilities

All three of the County’s Animal Services locations offer spay/neuter services to the public for cats and dogs for the low cost of $20, by appointment only. Many residents actually qualify for free procedures through one of several grant-funded programs. 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

County residents may schedule appointments and find more information about spay/neuter packages, including animal restrictions, on the County’s website.

Appointments are available now at the Spay/Neuter Center located at 7702 Dunmanway in Dundalk; at the Southwest Area Park, 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.


Team Shelter USA Assessment Cites Live Release Rates, Partnerships and Enrichment Programs

Baltimore County Animal Services (BCAS) underwent a comprehensive review by one of the country’s top animal shelter consultants, and received high marks for its dramatic increase in live release rates of cats and dogs, which has resulted from an overall transformation of shelter and programming operations.

“I am very proud of our Animal Services staff and leadership, who have embraced a multitude of changes and truly transformed the whole operation into an excellent example of government doing things the right way, for the benefit of our constituents as well as vulnerable animals,” said County Executive Don Mohler. “The ongoing success of our Animal Services function is part of the lasting legacy of former Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.”

The assessment was conducted by Sara Pizano DVM of Team Shelter USA, formerly with the non-profit organization, Target Zero. The report, Baltimore County Animal Services 2018 Progress Report, calls BCAS a “progressive and innovative organization that should be considered a national role model for other municipal shelters.” The review, a follow-up to a 2016 reportalso conducted by Pizano, cites the County’s significant increase in live release rates from 53.4 percent to 89.6 percent between 2014 and 2017, which it hails as “an astounding increase not commonly seen in public shelters in such a short period of time and despite an increase in intake.”

Some areas highlighted in the report for their favorable impact include:

  • enhanced communications and public outreach, with an emphasis on social media
  • a proactive plan to greatly increase access by low-income pet owners to spay/neuter services, and efforts to help people avoid surrendering pets because they need temporary assistance
  • staff development and an expansive program of incorporating volunteers and Department of Corrections inmates into shelter operations and animal enrichment activities
  • excellent partnerships with rescue organizations and regional animal welfare organizations
  • the establishment of a dedicated police unit to handle animal cruelty investigations
  • a successful pilot Trap-Neuter-Return program in partnership with a local non-profit organization, which has decreased stray cat intakes from 2,108 in 2016 to 1,737 in 2017
  • enrichment and behavior interventions that increase adoptability of challenging shelter animals, including indoor and outdoor play areas and a dedicated Behavior Coordinator
  • aggressive adoption efforts that include a full-time Rescue and Foster Coordinator, and the popular Adoption Express Cuddle Shuttle

“My staff and I continue to get good feedback and hear positive results from Animal Services and I commend everyone involved for doing a great job, as reflected in this very positive report,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Julian Jones.

Low-cost Spay/Neuter Services Offered to the Public at Baldwin, Dundalk and Baltimore Highlands Facilities

All three of the County’s Animal Services locations offer spay/neuter services to the public for cats and dogs for the low cost of $20, by appointment only. Many residents actually qualify for free procedures through one of several grant-funded programs. 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

County residents may schedule appointments and find more information about spay/neuter packages, including animal restrictions on the County’s website.

Appointments are available now at the 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.


Animal Adoption and Vet Service Fees to be Waived for Veterans All Month

In recognition of Veterans Appreciation Month, Baltimore County Animal Services (BCAS) is offering free adoptions and pet services to veterans and active military members. During the entire month of May, adoption fees will be waived and pet owners who are veterans may receive free services such as spay/neuter, rabies vaccinations and microchipping.

“This positive initiative helps us serve our veterans and their pets while giving a second chance to shelter pets in need of loving companionship,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Adoption Options

Animals may be adopted from the Baltimore County Animal Services shelter, located at 13800 Manor Road in Baldwin, or from the BCAS Adoption Express (affectionately called the Cuddle Shuttle). Shelter adoption hours are from noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Cuddle Shuttle appearances are posted on the Animal Services Facebook page and the BCAS events page.

Proof of military service such as a DD214, discharge or valid driver’s license with a veteran designation must be shown at the time of adoption. The free adoption package includes a pet that has:

  • been spayed or neutered
  • had a complete veterinary exam
  • its first set of vaccinations
  • been micro-chipped with a lifetime registration
  • a Baltimore County license (an annual license is required for dogs and cats)

View a complete listing of all of the adoptable animals at Baltimore County Animal Shelter. For more information on a specific pet or the adoption process, call 410-887-PAWS (7297).

Free Spay/Neuter Services All Month for Veterans

In addition to free pet adoption, Animal Services is eliminating fees for veterans and active military members to receive free spay/neuter packages for pets they already own during May.

Appointments are available now at all three Animal Services locations:

  • Dundalk Spay/Neuter Center, located at 7702 Dunmanway, Dundalk, 21222
  • Southwest Area Park Spay/Neuter Facility, located at 3941 Klunk Drive, Brooklyn, 21225
  • Baltimore County Animal Shelter, located at 13800 Manor Road, Baldwin, 21013

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

“This is a real win-win for everyone,” said Director of Animal Services, Melissa Jones, V.M.D. “This promotion will enable us to get more animals out of the shelter and into loving, permanent homes with veterans who can benefit from the relationship.”

Free Rabies Clinic Services

In addition to free spay/neuter packages, Animal Services is offering free rabies vaccinations to pets of veterans and active military members during the month of May. Each pet receiving a rabies vaccination at these clinics is also eligible for a free microchip with lifetime registration and an initial Baltimore County pet license at no cost.

Find more details and a list of upcoming rabies clinics on the BCAS website.

Year-round Support of Veterans

BCAS offers veterans a half-price discount on pet adoptions year-round, and Baltimore County Animal Services is a proud partner of Pets for Patriots, a nationally operating non-profit organization creating opportunities for veterans and service members to save hard-to-adopt shelter pets.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017