Friday, March 19, 2021

March 16, 2021 meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission

 Hi, everyone,

Here's a wrap-up off our latest meeting. Meetings are still being held via zoom.

                                 Agenda

1 Call to Order

2. Roll Call-Determination of a quorum-Members in attendance were Deborah Stone Hess, Roy Plummer, Janice Vincent, Steve Malan, Chris Shaughness, Bob Swensen, and Ann Gearhart.

Also in attendance were Chiefg of Animal Services es Dr. Sandra Andrulis and Deputy Chief of Animal Services Jonny Akchin.

3. Approval of February 2021 Minutes-Minutes were approved. Here are the minutes as approved:

BALTIMORE COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES ADVISORY COMMISSION

                                            February 16, 2021

The fifty-third regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 via Zoom.

Members in attendance were: Deborah Stone Hess, Roy Plummer, Chris Shaughness, Ann Gearhart, Maryanne Bailey, and Louis Eguzo.

This meeting was called to order at 6:39 p.m. by the Chair Deborah Stone Hess.

Minutes

January minutes were approved.

New Business: =

Deborah and Chris Shaughness and Steve Malan held a Zoom meeting with representatives of the county to discuss the Commission’s recommendation for a TNR law in Baltimore County.

Chris said the information shared by the Commission was very well received. 

Deborah reviewed the status of animal-related legislation being considered by the General Assembly. 

The next Commission meeting is scheduled for March 16, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Adjournment at 6:57 p.m.


4. New Business

a. Animal Seizure-Jonny Akchin provides info-BCAS recently participated in a very large animal seizure and Jonny gave details as follows:

March 1, 2021 Baltimore City Animal Control notified BCAS of an animal cruelty offender residing in Baltimore County who was violating a no contact with animals probation condition. He was staying there but did not own the home. He was advertising for sale many small animals on instagram and basically running an unlicensed pet store out of a Parkville home. BCAS executed a warrant on March 4. 

They seized over 300 animals...snakes, mice, rabbits, pigs, rabbits, chickens, turtles, tortoises, hamsters, geckos,  =pigs and  bearded dragons. Many of the animals were intended to be snake foo the home owners had numerous snakes, including a 15 foot python. 

There were sheds on the property and the condition of the sheds was terrible. Many animals in the sheds were emaciated...some were dead. The original target of the warrant is in jail now. He will serve the rest of his probation in jail.

While the snakes were owned by the owners of the home (not the probation violator) BCAS felt it appropriate to seize the snakes because of the condition of the sheds on the property. The snakes don't appear to be mistreated.

BCAS also seized pigs and dogs which were not mistreated. The dogs may be returned to the home owners.However, the owners were not allowed to have pigs  at a row home in Baltimore County.

The owners have agreed to allow BCAS to find homes for the small animals.

BCAS has had to make a lot of workarounds to handle all the animals. 

Jonny said he was throughly impressed with how all the BCAS staff have handled this. Also the volunteers have been reaching out to the community and have gotten cages donated, etc.

.b. February 2021 BAWA Stats-These are monthly stats submitted to the Baltimore Animal welfare Alliance. Here are those stats:

Basic Data Matrix
February 2021
Species by AgeDogsCatsTotal
ALive Animal Count at Beginning of Month3567102
 Live Intake During Month   
BStray/At Large5572127
CRelinquished by Owner313970
DOwner Requested Euthanasia14519
ETransferred In From Agency000
FOther Intakes426
GTOTAL LIVE INTAKE104118222
 Disposition During Month   
HAdoption263763
IReturn to Owner24226
JTransferred to another Agency193756
 Transferred within BAWA31013
KOther Live Outcome088
LDied/Lost in Care000
MEuthanasia - At Owner's Request10616
NEuthanasia - All other than owner request151530
OTOTAL DISPOSITION DURING MONTH97115212
     
PLive Animal Count at End of Month (A+G-O)4270112
  

c. Dr. Andrulis update-BCAS has had another kitten incubator donated...this one by the McCurdy family. Tom McCurdy was a long-time volunteer at BCAS and the incubator has been donated in his honor.

The BCAS website is up and running well.

New volunteers are coming on board...19 are scheduled for orientation.

Dr. Andrulis has submitted a proposal for a working cat building. if funding is awarded this housing would provide an indoor and outdoor open space for the cats to be held rather than in cages. 

BCAS has been given a  MD Agriculture Dept. grant for TNR for 2022. . They were not able to get an additional grant for low-income spay/neuter. BCAS does not have funding for the rest of the year for TNR. Dr. A is trying to get approval to do TNR for the rest of the year. Funding will run out for TNR for this year within a week. 

d. New video for BCAS-Deborah is getting ready to work with BCAS to produce another video...this one about how to introduce an adopted second cat to your home.

5.  Roy’s birthday-Roy just celebrated his 65th birthday. Happy birthday, Roy!

6. Any other business?

7. Next meeting date and time Our next meeting will be held on April 20, 2021 at 6:30 pm  via Zoom.

8. Adjourn


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

February 16, 2021 Meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission

Hi, everyone,

Here's a wrap-up of the Commission's latest meeting on Zoom.

                                         FEBRUARY 2021 AGENDA 

                                             Baltimore County 

                              Animal Services Advisory Commission

 

1)             Call to Order

2)             Roll Call Determination of a Quorum-In attendance were Chris Shaughness, Louis Eguzo, Roy Plummer, Maryanne Martin Bailey, Ann Gearhart, and Deborah Stone Hess. Chief of Animal Services Dr. Sandra Andrulis also attended.

3)             Approval of January 2021 Minutes-Minutes were approved as follows:


BALTIMORE COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES

ADVISORY COMMISSION

January 19, 2021

 

The fifty-second regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 via Zoom.

 

Members in attendance were: Deborah Stone Hess, Roy Plummer, Chris Shaughness, Steve Malan, Bob Swensen, Ann Gearhart, and Louis Eguzo.

 

This meeting was called to order at 6:32 p.m. by the Chair Deborah Stone Hess.

 

Minutes

 

December minutes were approved.

 

New Business: 

 

Volunteer Thomas McCurdy has passed away from COVID. His entire family volunteers at the shelter. Information will be sent to members.

 

Dr. Sandra Andrulis participated in the meeting and provided numerous updates.

 

Intake numbers are down for the 4th Quarter, which is a direct effect of COVID. People are staying home more. All the shelters in the area are seeing the same trend. Those numbers have to be because people are finding ways to hold onto their animals or they are able to rehome them in the community without resorting to handing them over to the county.  

 

Maryland SPCA Pet Food Banks have seen an increase in demand.

 

Live release rates for dogs and cats both above 90%. The lower euthanasia rate for cats is a result of the working cat program and the lower intake.  

 

Department of Corrections program has ended due to COVID.

 

2020 Report has been submitted. Deb, Chris Shaughness and Steve Malan are going to have a meeting with Sam O’Neill and other county officials to discuss TNR legislation.

 

Ann discussed the need for an education/outreach program to be designed and endorsed by the shelter and County Executive. Dr. Andrulis noted that Virginia does and teaches others how to do.

 

Next meeting scheduled for February 16, 2021 via Zoom.

 

Adjournment at 6:59 p.m.


4)             New Business

a)     Documents sent to Baltimore County re: TNR legislation-The main recommendation in our annual Commission report last year was the creation of a TNR law to eliminate issues the county struggles with concerning TNR. Among these issues: BCAS has no recourse if someone brings in a cat(s) to BCAS and says they will not allow BCAS onto their property to return the cat(s). The county wanted to learn more about our recommendation and there was a Zoom meeting to discuss this. In attendance were Chris Shaughness and Steve Malan and Deborah Stone Hess from the Commission, and Sam O'Neil from the County Executives office as well as two representatives from the Administration's Government Affairs Division. Deborah sent several documents to the county prior to the meeting, including summaries of TNR legislation in Anne Arundel County, Prince Georges County, and Baltimore City, as well as information on organizations that support TNR, and information on cat intake.

b)    Meeting with County Officials on TNR Legislation-Chris Shaughness summarized our meeting with the county representatives. All our information was positively received.

5)             OLD BUSINESS

               a) Maryland Animal-Related Legislation-Deborah spoke with Lisa Radov of Maryland Votes for Animals to get an update on statewide animal-related legislation under consideration in the General Assembly. Here is the update:

2021 MARYLAND ANIMAL LEGISLATION 

                   Update Feb. 2021

1)             Extreme Weather Bill-has passed the House of Delegates for the 2nd year in a row. The Senate companion bill is still in committee.

2)             Killing Contest Bill-This bill sets penalties for those who take part in contests to win money for killing raccoons, coyotes, and foxes-This bill has passed in the House and the Senate. The Senate bill would impose higher penalties for thoise who participate in these contests.

3)             Bill that would firm up the law that forbids Maryland stores from selling dogs bred in puppy mills-This bill was introduced only in the Senate and is still in committee.

4)             A bill banning the sale in Maryland of cosmetics which were tested on animals-This bill passed in the Senate last year and has passed in the Senate this year. Today the House held its committee hearing.

5)             Bill to extend spay neuter and TNR grant program through the MD Department of Agriculture. Pet food sales are taxed to pay for this in MD. The program isn’t set to expire till Sept. of 2022 but there’s a bill to extend the program for 10 years. It has passed in the House. There’s no companion Senate bill. 


6)             Any Other Business? 

a) Dr. Andrulis mentioned that there has been some concern because the money for the state's Spay?Neuter grant program comes from a tax on those who sell pet food in Maryland. The concern is that the tax would result in increased prices and this could hurt low-income Marylanders.

b) Maryanne Bailey mentioned that one bill was not included in the update. That bill would affect those who have animals seized in cruelty cases. The cost of keeping those animals in shelters can be very high as cases drag on. The bill would force the pet owners to pay these costs. I subsequently have learned that hearings on this bill is not scheduled for hearings till March.


7)             Next meeting day and time-The Commission's next meeting will be held via Zoom on March 16, 2021 at 6:30 PM.

8)             Adjournment

 

 

 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Jan. 19, 2021 Meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission

 Hi, everyone,

Happy 2021!

Here's a wrap-up of our first recent Baltimore County Animal Svcs. Advisory Commission meeting of the new year :

                                        JANUARY 2021 AGENDA 

                                             Baltimore County 

                             Animal Services Advisory Commission


1) Call to Order

2) Roll Call Determination of a Quorum-In attendance were Deborah Stone Hess, Roy Plummer, Bob Swensen, Chris Shaughness, Steve Malan, Ann Gearhart, Louis Eguzo

3) Approval of December 2020 Minutes-Here are the minutes as approved

BALTIMORE COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES

ADVISORY COMMISSION

December 15, 2020

The fifty-first regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 via Zoom.

Members in attendance were: Deborah Stone Hess, Roy Plummer, Chris Shaughness, Steve Malan, Janice Vincent and Maryanne Bailey.

This meeting was called to order at 6:35 p.m. by the Chair Deborah Stone Hess.

Minutes

November minutes were approved.

New Business: 

The Annual Report has been completed and was sent to members. Deborah asked if anyone had any revisions and none were requested. Member names will be added, but it would take too long to put a bio together for each member. The submission of the report was approved unanimously. Deborah will send a courtesy copy of the report to Jonny Akchin and Dr. Andrulis, then forward the report to the Executive Office the following day.

Steve asked what action will be taken to help get the TNR legislation passed. Deborah will reach out to Sam O’Neil and other members can reach out to their Council members. Deborah, Chris, Steve and Maryanne will work on a strategy via a conference call on January 5, 2021 at noon.

Maryanne talked about the Humane Society of the United States – Maryland’s upcoming (Virtual) Humane Week of Action, which is February 8 – 12, 2021. Here is a list of animal-related bills that will be introduced during the upcoming session of the MD General Assembly:

1) Unattended dogs in extreme weather-This bill is like Oscar’s Law in Baltimore County) 

2) Costs of care-This bill provides relief to animal control agencies in Maryland that incur high costs when caring for animals seized in cruelty cases. I

3) Puppy/kitten mills-This bill clarifies language and closes loopholes in the 2018 bill prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats in Maryland by retail establishments and brokers. 

Required Training of Animal Control and Humane Society Officers – This bill would add uniform training and continuing education requirements for animal control and humane society officers. 

Steve expressed a desire to focus on livestock/poultry issues, but was reminded by Deborah that the focus of this group has to be Animal Services-related, not just animal- related.

Next meeting scheduled for January 19, 2021 via Zoom.

Adjournment at 7:06 p.m.

4) Loss of Volunteer to Covid-Sadly one of BCAS's active volunteers has died of the corona virus. His name is Tom McCurdy. 

5) Update on BCAS-Dr. Sandra Andrulis-Here is info from Dr. Andrulis:

Intake numbers are way down and it is a direct affect of Covid. People staying home more. All the shelters in the area are seeing the same trend. Which is great.  Lower intakes and as a result there are less animals to choose from so the very healthy adoptable animals are adopted sooner. TNR can affect intake, if we are doing a great job sterilizing animals then there should be lower numbers walking in the door. That's the big advantage of TNR.  However, we know that this year due to Covid we have not been able to keep up with spay/neuter at all. Every clinic is very backed up because the state closed down our surgical centers for almost 2 months. Then when we opened back up it was limited because of curbside intake and discharge (social distancing and not able to have close contact with the public). So those numbers have to be because people are finding ways to hold onto their animals or they are able to rehome them in the community without resorting to handing them over to the county.  

2-Fewer overall adoptions. I didn't notice that but since our live release rates are up I would assume this means that more animals are being transferred to another agency than last year or as a percentage.  This is also due to lower intake numbers and rescues that need to have animals to adopt to exist.  Many rescues are looking to find animals to put up for adoption and look to shelters to pull from. 

3-The lower euthanasia rate for cats is a result of the working cat program, and the lower intake.  We've been able to adopt or transfer out older cats with medical and behavioral issues that we would not have been able to before because rescues have the capacity to handle them. 

Hopefully we can continue to have lower intake because it helps everyone. Staff and volunteers can spend more time with the animals we have and more time to counsel adopters.  We are almost fully staffed at this point so that helps as well. 

6) Old Business

a) Submission of Commission 2020 Report and follow-up-The Commission's report has been submitted and one of the representatives from Johnny O's office has reached out and wants to have an initial meeting to discuss the Commission's recommendation for a county TNR law.

7) New Business

a) 4th Quarter 2020 Stats-The 4th quarter numbers look amazing...with live release numbers above 90% for both dogs and cats! Here are the stats for the 4th quarter of 2020 along with a comparison from the 4th quarter of last year:

4th qtr. 2020 stats

 

 

 

        DOGS

          CATS

Intake

        395

          695

Adopted

   87 (22%)

369 (53%)

Sent to Rescue

102 (25.8%)

251 (36%)

TNR

 

           92

Owner requested Euthanasia

        58

          29

Non-Owner requested Euthanasia

31 (7.8%) 

68 (9.7%)

Live Release Percentage

       92.2%

       90.3%

 

 

4th qtr. 2019 stats

 

 

 

      DOGS

       CATS

Intake

       536

       956

Adopted

135 (25%)

  451 (46%)

Sent to rescue

130 (24.2%)

 255 (26.6%)

TNR

 

 

      149

Owner requested Euthanasia

        43

      25

Non-Owner requested Euthanasia

 31 (5.7%)

 102 (10.6%)

Live Release Percentage

        94.3%

       89.4%


8) Any Other Business? Chris said she has a new dog and told Dr. Andrulis that she took the new dog to the BCAS rabies clinic and everything was great!

Ann mentioned she would very much like to see an outreach education program from the shelter into the community once Covid is over. Dr. A said she has wanted to begin something like this. 

9) Next meeting day and time-Our next meeting will be held via Zoom on Feb. 16, 2021 at 6:30 PM.