Friday, September 21, 2018

3rd annual report of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission

Hi, everyone...I have not had a chance to fully write this post. But the Commission approval the submission of our third annual report at last night's meeting and it has been submitted to the County Council and the County Executive. I wanted to at least post that until I can get to the rest of what took place at our meeting.
Here is the report:

                                                  Third Annual Report of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission
Table of Contents
I. Introduction

II. Oscar

III. What’s Happening to Animal Control?

IV. TNR Concerns

V. A Dangerous Policy-The Affidavit

VI. BCAS Salaries

VII. Why is the Team Shelter USA Report so Different From This Report?

VIII. Conclusions and Recommendations

I.  Introduction
This is a tale of two sides of Baltimore County Animal Services.
      On one side is a shelter that has accomplished many important things over the last two years. It reports high live release rates. It operates a valuable spay/neuter program reaching many low-income residents. It has increased participation in its volunteer program. It provides necessary enrichment, and embraces the life-saving concept of Trap Neuter Return (TNR).
The other side of BCAS is Animal Control, and this part of Animal Services is in crisis. BCAS has abdicated almost all of its Animal Control duties, transferring responsibility for them to the Baltimore County Police Department, whose officers have not been trained for these duties. Serious problems are occurring that need to be addressed.
          The Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission has looked into numerous practices at BCAS, particularly those involving Animal Control and Trap Neuter Return (TNR), and we have some grave concerns.
      It’s surely difficult to make sense of criticism when such high live release numbers suggest that all is well at BCAS.
      Indeed, numbers are very important. But success must be measured in more than just statistics. Animal Services must also place extreme importance on methods, outcomes, animal welfare, and protecting citizens and pets from dangerous animals as set forth in Article 12 of Baltimore County code.
      For two years in 2016 and 2017, Commission members worked closely with BCAS. Our Liaison Committee (currently made up of Deborah Stone Hess, Julianne Zimmer, and Joy Freedman) met monthly with the Baltimore County Chief Administrative Officer, the Baltimore County Animal Services (BCAS) Management Analyst, and the Chief of Animal Services.
      During that time, the Commission issued two highly laudatory annual reports, and we believed we had a relationship built on trust with BCAS.
      But when a dog named Oscar froze to death in his yard in Baltimore County, the dynamic instantly shifted.
      We attempted to learn the facts about the Oscar incident. We requested a Liaison Committee meeting with the Baltimore County Chief Administrative Officer, the BCAS Management Analyst, and the Chief of Animal Services. These were logical requests, as our Commission is tasked with gathering information in an advisory capacity.
      The County Administrative Officer refused to meet, and our questions went unanswered. He then retaliated against us for requesting information by shutting us out and terminating our monthly meetings at the shelter.
      Until then, we had accepted all facts provided by BCAS at face value, and saw no reason to press further.
      But the County Administrative Officer’s extreme response and lack of transparency led us to question whether all information provided to us was accurate, and whether problems were being hidden from our view. We began looking further.
      In that process, we listened to citizens of Baltimore County and professional members of the animal welfare community who approached us with questions and concerns pertaining to BCAS.
      We also spoke with leaders of Animal Service Divisions in multiple Maryland counties, administrators at the Maryland Health Department, TNR experts in our area, citizens concerned about dangerous dogs in their neighborhoods, and numerous present and former BCAS employees (including managers, staff, and veterinarians).
      We do not wish to jeopardize the relationships BCAS has with other jurisdictions’ shelters. Their administrators value their relationship with Baltimore County’s Animal Services Division. They spoke with us merely to answer questions about how they operate, not to be critical of BCAS.
      As a result, we do not specifically name other shelters’ leaders with whom we spoke.
      We also do not identify current and former BCAS employees we interviewed, as all expressed fear of retribution. One could claim they merely have an ax to grind. But they all told such similar stories and we have so much corroboration, we believe these people are very credible.
      We present our findings in this annual report, and submit it respectfully to members of the Baltimore County Council and the Baltimore County Executive.
      In doing so, we request that Baltimore County look into practices we outline in this report, consider our recommendations, and determine appropriate actions that will add to BCAS’s success.

      Oscar and his owner were well known for many years to Baltimore County Animal Services. According to a case summary prepared by the Baltimore County Administration, BCAS received 22 complaints (from citizens concerned about Oscar’s welfare) from 2009 until he died at the end of 2017.
      Five complaints date to a few months before Oscar died. One came just three weeks before his death.
      According to the County Administration case summary, BCAS determined that Oscar was fine because a doggie door allowed him to go in or out as he wished.
      The last citizen call about Oscar’s welfare came on Dec. 30, 2017 at 8:12 A.M., with the temperature hovering around 20 degrees and with snow on the ground.
      This photo of Oscar lying motionless in his yard was posted on Facebook.

      When that call came in to Animal Control, BCAS personnel did not physically respond. Instead BCAS called Oscar’s owner on his cell phone, and accepted his promise to bring the dog in. But it appears Oscar’s owner was, in fact, unable to do this because he was out of town at the time.
      The dog owner’s father told police he went to check on Oscar (and another dog that resides at the same address) after 6 PM that day (approximately 10 hours after the call to BCAS), and found Oscar in the yard, unable to stand. Oscar died later that night.
      Four days later the Baltimore County Administration put out a statement saying that Oscar died of natural causes, and there was no wrongdoing in his death. At the time, a police investigation was still ongoing. The Administration’s statement was not only premature, it was ultimately proven false.
      In the end, the truth came out. After a necropsy, Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore of Forensic Veterinary Investigations determined that Oscar died of hypothermia, and that he suffered from muscle wasting and arthritis.
      Dr. Blackmore is a research assistant professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She’s also the Chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Committee and past President of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.
      Based on her conclusions, the Baltimore County State’s Attorney charged Oscar’s owner with animal cruelty and making false statements to police. We do not yet have all the information on this case because it has not yet been heard in court. The court date is set for Oct. 16, 2018.
      BCAS actions raise two grave concerns that must be addressed to avoid a repeat of the Oscar case.
1) BCAS should have gone to Oscar’s home upon receiving the call on Dec. 30, 2017.
       Directors of other nearby Maryland Animal Control Divisions told us, that in cases where a complainant is concerned about the welfare of an animal, their Officers always respond.
2) Baltimore County Animal Control Officers did not notice Oscar’s deteriorating condition over time.

Dr. Smith-Blackmore, who issued findings in Oscar’s death, raised this concern in her report, saying, “Oscar had lost 23% of his body weight from his peak condition when he died. A dog’s body condition especially that of a dog with a fluffy hair coat, cannot be evaluated without a hands-on assessment. In over a dozen calls to police and Baltimore County Animal Control, Oscar’s fitness to be outdoors in inclement weather was not reported to be investigated through a hands-on assessment or mandated veterinary exam.”
This does not appear to be the fault of BCAS Animal Control Officers, but rather appears due to a lack of training, according to the Director of Animal Control in a nearby Maryland jurisdiction.
Another Animal Control Director told us that, with furry animals, putting hands on is critical, and their officers are trained to make such assessments. This Animal Control Director adds, “It would be negligent if they didn’t.”
Oscar’s case provides a teaching moment. The goal is not to criticize, but rather to recognize where things went wrong, and work to insure this kind of tragedy does not reoccur.
      Instead it appears the risk of future Oscars has grown, due to the decision to transfer the majority of Animal Control responsibilities to Baltimore County Police.

III. What’s Happening to Animal Control?
      Baltimore County Animal Services has dismantled its Animal Control Division.
      The majority of Animal Control’s duties have been transferred to the Baltimore County Police Department. This puts both Police Officers and animals at risk because Officers are untrained in responding to these kinds of calls.
      This unexpected and unreported transfer of duties is not only unprecedented in large jurisdictions with Animal Control Divisions, it is causing serious problems that are not the fault of the Police Department..
      Here are four problems that unfolded within two and a half months of the implementation of the July 1, 2018 transfer of Animal Control responsibilities to Baltimore County Police:
2 pet dogs described as pit bulls in Halethorpe killed a neighbor's cat. Residents called 911 and Baltimore County Animal Control.
An employee of Animal Control told neighbors Animal Control could not do anything until a complainant provided a notarized affidavit. (We will deal with affidavit requirements later in this report.) A police officer responded, and told one neighbor if the dogs were in the front yard or out of the yard unsupervised within the next 10 days, residents should call Animal Control and the police again. Within weeks, another incident occurred. The 2 dogs and 2 others were running wild in the neighborhood. The dogs’ owners ultimately retrieved the dogs, and when one attempted to get away, its owner was seen punching the dog in the face.
Neighborhood residents called police who responded, and promised that Animal Control would be notified and would receive a copy of the police report. Days later, a husband and wife in the neighborhood pulled into their driveway.  All 4 dogs were loose and surrounded their vehicle, and the couple could not get out of their vehicle until the dogs’ owners once again got them back inside their home. On another occasion, an elderly neighbor was menaced by the dogs. To this date, there has been no action from Animal Control.  Residents of the neighborhood are terrified.
A woman was asked by a neighbor to care for his cats because he was in the hospital for an extended stay. In his home, he had 16 cats. She found the home in filthy conditions. When she called BCAS, they told her it was her responsibility to bring the 17 cats to the shelter herself. How did they expect her to catch and transport 17 cats that did not even belong to her? After days of frustration, this citizen could not get help. Baltimore County Police got involved. They spoke with administrators at BCAS numerous times, and requested assistance. BCAS management refused. BCAS finally responded to the scene but refused to enter the home to help police trap the cats. The Animal Abuse Team was forced to respond to this incident, even though they are an investigatory unit and are not equipped to handle hoarding situations. Conditions in the home were so terrible, the Team was forced to purchase face masks, and hazardous condition clothing. Police were called to a home because someone had tethered two dogs to the fender of a vehicle during one of the hottest weeks of the summer. Responding officers, not knowing about Oscar’s Law, determined the dogs had adequate shelter because they had crawled under the vehicle to escape the sun.
A citizen reported a dog in a vehicle on a summer weekend day. Its owner had cracked the window a bit and left the car. Police responded, but took no action and advised the citizen to call the Animal Abuse Team on Monday.

      Surely these dangerous situations will multiply as Animal Control continues to abdicate its responsibilities under Article 12, expecting Police to do the job of Animal Control. When this transfer of duties took place in July, 2018, it seemed sudden, but, in fact, it appears to be the final step in a process that began two years ago. That’s when BCAS managers reportedly implemented policies preventing Animal Control Officers (ACO’s) from investigating cases of cruelty and neglect.
      Several former Baltimore County Animal Control Officers say they were forbidden from pursuing these cases or contacting the State’s Attorney’s Animal Abuse Unit. This claim appears to be borne out by the fact that BCAS sent fewer than a dozen cases of cruelty, abuse or neglect to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s office during this two-year period. Strangely, a 2018 Progress Report provided by Baltimore County indicates that BCAS handled a total of 4302 cruelty cases in 2016-2017. If this number is accurate, BCAS sent only 0.27% of these cases to the State’s Attorney. This is an alarmingly low number, particularly in a jurisdiction the size of Baltimore County.
      With over 831,000 residents, Baltimore County is larger than Baltimore City (approximately 620,000 residents) and Howard County (approximately 320,000 residents). Yet Animal Control Divisions in these jurisdictions send a much larger percentage of cases of abuse, neglect and cruelty to their State’s Attorney’s offices.
      Baltimore City Animal Control receives 4500 calls a year for animals in danger or at risk, and sends approximately100 of them to its State’s Attorney’s office. That’s 2.2%.
      Out of 127 calls for cruelty, neglect or abuse in 2017, Howard County Animal Control forwarded 10-15 cases to its State’s Attorney. That’s approximately 10%.
      Here are two cases Baltimore County Animal Control Officers wanted (but were not allowed) to pursue.
An Animal Control Officer, responding to a complaint, found an animal that was “skin and bones” with terribly infected eyes. Here is a picture of that dog:

     The ACO tracked down the dog’s owner, and wanted to investigate what appeared to be a case of serious neglect, but says the BCAS Management Analyst and Chief of Animal Services refused to allow it.
In another case, a citizen asked to have his dead dog transported for disposal at BCAS. This is a picture of that dog and its alarming condition.

      Once again, no investigation took place.
      Animal Control Officers say they were also sometimes not allowed to remove animals from dangerous situations, like a dog left on a balcony for several days or one (seen below) that was tied to a four-foot chain without food or water.

      Why would BCAS administrators implement these policies? We don’t know. We surmise that they wanted to keep intake as low as possible, so as not to affect live release numbers. This conclusion seems plausible because numbers appear to play such a vital role in BCAS decision-making.
      For example, we’ve received information on 11 cases where BCAS has been notified by the public of the whereabouts of found stray pets, but BCAS failed to follow up by contacting the finder to inform them of a mandatory surrender law for strays. This law requires citizens who find a stray to turn it in to BCAS for a three-day stray hold period so that owners can find their pets.
      In light of these reported failures, it is good news that the Baltimore County Police Department created an Animal Abuse Team on May 1st, 2018. Their task is to investigate suspected cases of abuse, neglect, and cruelty. The staff appear dedicated and motivated.
      It is important to note that this Team is not designed to handle day-to-day Animal Control issues. Those issues should be handled by Animal Control.
      But, as mentioned above, on July 1, 2018 BCAS pushed many of these routine Animal Control duties onto the Police Department too.
      Animal Control is a job that requires preparation and training. Other nearby Maryland jurisdictions provide 6 months of training to teach new Animal Control Officers the safest protocols in dealing with potentially dangerous animals and situations. Baltimore County Police Officers received no such training.
An Animal Services Division should be made up of two equal parts:
1) A well-operating shelter
2) A highly trained Animal Control Division

      It appears that BCAS wants only to handle the county’s animal shelter.
    It is dangerous to push Animal Control’s obligations onto the Police Department. Its members have enough responsibilities. Add to that the real possibility that some Officers may be unfamiliar with or even fearful of animals. This creates a very real possibility of injury for a Police Officer.
    For the welfare of Baltimore County’s police and animals, this decision should be reversed.

For years, animal advocates encouraged BCAS to embrace Trap Neuter Return (TNR), which the ASPCA describes as “the only proven humane and effective method to manage community cat colonies.” Through TNR, community cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear tipped (so they can be identified as having been TNR’d) and returned to the place where they were originally trapped. To its credit, BCAS launched a TNR pilot program, then later expanded it and hired a TNR Coordinator. But BCAS implementation of TNR does not follow nationally accepted best practices.
Returning cats as far as ½ mile away from where they were originally trapped (In other jurisdictions, this is considered abandonment.)
Returning some cats too soon after surgery
Failing to provide for other medical needs of TNR’d cats, as other area TNR programs routinely do
Let’s address each of the concerns listed above:
Returning cats too far from where they were originally trapped
      TNR’d cats must never be returned more than 300 feet from where they were trapped so they can find their source of shelter and food. This is confirmed by Best Friends Animal Society, nationally recognized as the authority on animal issues.
      But according to the County Administrative Officer, “If a property owner does not want the cat returned to their property, we typically look for the caregiver within 1⁄2 mile of the property where the cat was trapped. That distance is impacted by barriers such as major roads, waterways and fences.”
      Cats cannot navigate major roads, waterways, and fences to get back to their caregivers, particularly if the distance is ½ mile away or more.
      TNR experts say if cats are returned to an unfamiliar area, they face difficulties finding shelter, food and water. They’re vulnerable to predators. And if they’re lost, they often roam miles away and could starve or succumb to the elements.

Returning some cats too soon after surgery
      The Management Analyst at BCAS has told the Commission that Baltimore County returns all TNR cats one day after spay or neuter surgery.
      TNR experts agree it’s perfectly safe to return many cats 24 hours after surgery, but say that some cats should be held longer before return.
      The MD SPCA policy is that all females and older male cats should be held 48+ hours.
      A TNR expert in the Baltimore area says pregnant cats, particularly those in the third trimester, require a larger spay incision and should be kept for observation for at least two days, to ensure the incision is healing properly.

Failing to provide for the medical needs of TNR’d cats
      The BCAS Management Analyst has informed us that BCAS does not provide medical care beyond the basic TNR package. When asked about this, the County Administrative Officer has told Commission members BCAS is concerned primarily with quantity when it comes to TNR.
      But other TNR programs place equal importance on quality. They routinely offer medical treatment for cats that are sick or injured when they are brought in for TNR.
      For example, BARCS and the MD SPCA often treat TNR cats for problems like upper respiratory infections, and even perform amputations, remove infected eyes, and give injectable antibiotics.
The point of TNR is to provide a humane solution to the problem of community cats. Returning cats too far from the trapping point, too soon after surgery, and without needed medical care is not humane.

VI. A Dangerous Policy-The Affidavit
      As stated earlier in this report, before BCAS will begin an investigation into any complaint, including one involving an attacking dog, the victim must file a notarized affidavit.
      We checked with numerous jurisdictions (Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Harford County, Carroll County, Prince Georges County, Talbot County, Montgomery County and Baltimore City) to find out whether they have such a requirement.
      None of these 8 counties require a notarized affidavit to launch an investigation. And there are good reasons why.
      The Administrator of another Maryland jurisdiction’s Animal Control Division says, quite often, a person doesn’t want to file an affidavit because they’re intimidated by the animal’s owner, and says, “Our (Animal Control) Officers… interview the victim...and that’s enough to prove the incident occurred.”
      The Director of another Maryland Animal Control Division says, “Requiring an affidavit creates obstacles for the victim who might not have transportation to a notary’s office or the money to pay for that service.”
      And a third Animal Control Director says that requiring an affidavit would be “a deterrent for the public to call in” because they wouldn’t want to “go through the legwork on their end.”
      Requiring an affidavit delays investigation and action to protect the public and their pets.

VII. BCAS Salaries
      Because BCAS is a county agency, taxpayer dollars are paying for its operation. So, it’s concerning that BCAS management salaries far outpace those paid in surrounding jurisdictions.
      The following chart of BCAS salaries was provided to us by Baltimore County Administrative Officer.


The person in charge of BCAS is the Chief of Animal Services. We cannot determine her salary because the salary for Chief AS (Chief of Animal Services) is listed as “0”.
      One would assume the Chief of Animal Services makes the largest salary at BCAS. But the person earning the largest salary is designated as Senior Administrative Assistant to the CAO (County Administrative Officer). We have been unable to get an answer as to whether the Chief of Animal Services holds this position and, if so, why she would be designated in this way.
      The recommended salary for that position in FY 2019 is $187,662. That appears to be higher than the salary for the Baltimore County Executive listed online as $175,000.
      There are actually two people in charge at BCAS, the Chief of Animal Services and the Management Analyst, the person who would appear to be in charge of Animal Control.
      The salary for this position is also confusing. There are two different Management Analyst positions listed, Management Analyst IV and Management Analyst FT.
      In FY 2018, there is no salary listed for Management Analyst IV, but in FY 2019, the salary for that position is $106, 801.
      The salary for Management Analyst FT is $109,214 in FY 2018 but there is no salary listed for this position in FY 2019. If both of these positions are held by the same person, his salary would have gone down in 2019 over 2018, which seems unlikely.
      Unlike BCAS, some nearby Maryland jurisdictions have only one person in charge of both the shelter and Animal Control.
      In Anne Arundel County, that person earns $83,000 a year. In Howard County, the person in that position earns $90,000 a year.
      If the Chief of Animal Service’s salary is that of the Senior Administrative Officer to the CAO at $187,662, it appears the two people running BCAS cumulatively are making almost $300,000 annually in FY 2019.
      As for other salaries, there are five veterinarian positions earning a total of $741,289. That would mean each veterinarian is earning an average of $148,257.80 a year in FY 2019. A former BCAS veterinarian who made $133,000 a year before leaving BCAS, describes that salary as “insane,” saying even veterinarians in private practice were making less.
      We recommend an examination of positions and salaries at BCAS.

VIII. Why is the Team Shelter USA Report so Different From This One?
      In early 2018, Baltimore County released the “Baltimore County Animal Services 2018 Progress Report,” prepared by Team Shelter USA. It provides an unconditional endorsement of BCAS.
      Team Shelter USA is a private company created by Dr. Sara Pizano, DVM, MA, who used to work with an organization called Target Zero, which offers many shelter assessments at no charge. Target Zero provided a free assessment for BCAS in April, 2016. Target Zero still conducts assessments for shelters, and also offers a no-charge web-based interactive analysis option.
      We spoke with an administrator of Target Zero and learned it is still in existence. But BCAS did not work through Target Zero for this progress report. Instead it paid Dr. Pizano’s Team Shelter USA $11,000 plus expenses for an assessment that offered little constructive advice. We spoke with Dr. Pizano, who told us the main recommendation she made to BCAS was to be open to the public for adoptions 7 days a week. This Commission made that same recommendation in its first report in 2016, and again in our 2017 annual report. Dr. Pizano’s report includes questionable facts and statistics that appear to have been provided to her by BCAS.
    For example, the report states that BCAS handled 2023 cruelty investigations in 2016 and 2279 cruelty investigations in 2017. These numbers are difficult to reconcile with the facts. As stated earlier in this report, we know that BCAS sent fewer than a dozen cases of cruelty, abuse or neglect to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s office during those two years. That would amount to less than 0.3% of cruelty cases BCAS claims to have handled during that time. We know that Howard County sent approximately 10% of its cruelty cases to its State’s Attorney in 2017, and Baltimore City sends over 2% of its cases to its State’s Attorney each year.
      If Baltimore County had sent 2% of its cases, it would have referred 86 cases to the State’s Attorney instead of fewer than 12 total over a two-year period.
      We have questions about many other facts presented in the Team Shelter USA Report as well. We also question the judgment of paying $11,000 of taxpayer money for it. Its only major recommendation was the same one we made in our last two annual reports, which cost the taxpayers nothing.
      The Team Shelter USA Progress report appears to simply be a PR document.

VIII. Conclusions and Recommendations

    Here’s a summary of our most pressing concerns at BCAS:
1) BCAS is gutting its Animal Control Division, after two years of failing to properly perform Animal Control tasks. The majority of these duties have now been transferred to the Police Department. Police Officers are unprepared and untrained for these responsibilities, and should not have to add them to the long list of duties they have in keeping our communities safe.
2) The BCAS TNR program does not adhere to nationally recognized best practices, and, among other things, releases cats too far from where they were trapped.
3) BCAS requires victims to file a notarized affidavit before any investigation can begin, a policy that puts citizens and animals in the community at risk, and one that is not used by other Maryland jurisdictions.
4) BCAS salaries are exceptionally high compared to salaries paid by Animal Services Divisions in other Maryland jurisdictions.
5) BCAS operations are completely non-transparent.

      In addition to these problems, we also found evidence that:
BCAS needs to examine its procedures concerning dangerous dogs in the community. The Commission has evidence of a dog that inflicted serious damage in an attack that BCAS designated as menacing rather than dangerous. The case never went before the Baltimore County Animal Hearing Board.
BCAS fails to properly enforce a county law requiring that all stray animals go to BCAS, where their owners might find them during a stray-hold period.
Despite having an extraordinary Volunteer Coordinator who is universally praised by volunteers, volunteers say they feel disrespected, unappreciated and disregarded by management at BCAS.
Every employee and former employee with whom we spoke described a toxic working atmosphere created by management at BCAS, where employees constantly fear for their jobs.


In light of all we have shared here, we urge the following actions:
A recreation of a fully functioning Animal Control Division within BCAS
A full audit of BCAS including grants it receives and provides-This audit should be performed by individuals who are independent of the shelter or the County Administrative office
Examination of policies concerning dangerous dogs
Elimination of the policy that requires complainants to file a notarized affidavit
A review of the BCAS TNR program, and consideration of appropriate county legislation that could eliminate difficulties faced by BCAS in returning TNR’d cats
A review of management/employee/volunteer relations at BCAS.

     BCAS is filled with many caring employees who do everything they can for the animals there.
      In addition, BCAS has made many great strides and reports high live release rates over the last two years.
      But numbers are only one part of the puzzle. Full success includes placing equal importance on animal welfare, and must include success in Animal Control.
      The death of Oscar raised serious concerns, and made it clear that there is no transparency at BCAS.
      Transparency is the reason the County Council created our Commission. Now we find ourselves even more in the dark as BCAS and Fred Homan have shut the door on our members.
      Transparency must be part of the goal going forward.
      We believe numerous BCAS policies and procedures warrant review.
      We can prevent another Oscar crisis if Baltimore County conducts that review and takes recommended steps.
      The Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission requests meetings with the County Council and County Administration to discuss our findings. In addition to all that is provided here, we have additional information and documentation, not been included in this report, which we would like to share.
      This report is hereby submitted by the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission.

Friday, August 3, 2018

July 17, 2018 meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Svcs. Advisory Commission

Here is a summary of the Commission's July, 2018 meeting

                                      July 17, 2018

1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call-Determination of a Quorum-In attendance were Deborah Stone Hess, Joy Freedman, Jon Christiana, Gerald Brooks, Larry Townsend, Janice Vincent (by phone), Roy Plummer

3. Approval of minutes-Here are the minutes of our June, 2018 meeting as approved:
June 19, 2018

The thirtieth regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 in the Main Conference Room of the Drumcastle Government Center. This meeting was called to order at 6:35 p.m. by the Chair Deborah Stone-Hess. Members in attendance were: Deborah Stone-Hess, Maryanne Bailey, Joy Freedman, Ann Gearhart, Roy Plummer, Larry Townsend, and Janice Vincent.


Minutes from the May 15, 2018 meeting were motioned and approved as submitted.

Motion – 

Motioned by: Ann Gearhart
Second by:  Janice Vincent
Decision:  Approved

New Business

Welcome New Commission Member, Gerald Brooks
Mr. Brooks was unable to attend due to prior commitment.

Animal Abuse Team
Sergeant Sundia Gaynor and Detective Mo Gardner of the Baltimore County Police Department Animal Abuse Team were present. Here is a summary of the Q and A with them:

Q: How are things going since the unit started up at the beginning of May?
A: It's been busy and consistent. Investigations are similar to any other investigation.
You would be surprised how many witnesses step up.

Q: How many calls have you gotten?
A: To date we’ve investigated 23 cases. Some have been cleared. It's expected to increase over time as we are getting our phone number out. 
We get cases from Animal Services, veterinarians, the States Attorney, and citizens. In addition, sometimes we do our own research into one case that leads to other cases. Also when patrol officers see something that may involve neglect or cruelty, they call the Animal Abuse Team.
Q: Can you tell us about the complaints you are getting most?
A: It's too early to say what issues we’re dealing with more than others. It changes. It's getting hotter outside so we're getting more calls for animals left outside and left in vehicles.
Q: Can you say how many complaints you're getting from citizens?
A:  Ballpark 20-30
Sometimes people get in touch with us after calling 911 because 911 gives out the number.
Q: Have any cases been referred to the State's Attorney's office?
A: Several
Q: Do you refer cases to the Animal Hearing board?
A: No Animal Services does that. The police unit deals with criminal cases. Animal Services deals with civil cases. Civil cases go before the Animal Hearting Board. If we realize we have something that’s not criminal we send things over to Animal Services so they can deal with it civilly if necessary.
Q: Will there be ongoing efforts to increase public awareness of your unit through the school system in the county?
A: eventually that’s part of our initiative.
Q: How many people are in your unit?
A: There are 3 detectives, an Animal Service Officer from BCAS, and Sgt. Gaynor is supervisor. They anticipate their staff will grow.
Q: Are there any changes in the law that would be helpful to you?
A: It’s a little too early know. We’re still learning. We’re working with the States Atty. It would be a collaborative effort to determine that.
Q: Do you do cross reporting with agencies like social services and child welfare?
A: Throughout our investigation if we encounter another criminal act we would not ignore it. We reach out to other agencies.
Q: How is this kind of police investigation different from other different from other investigations?
A: It's not that much different other than working with different entities. 
Q: What kind of training are you receiving to help you in this work?
A: We attended a county animal abuse seminar and we did some training at Days End Farm and we have other trainings scheduled.

County Administrative Officer Fred Homan and BCAS Management Analyst Gary Klunk attended for a Q and A with Commission members. Here’s a summary of that Q and A:

Q: We understand there is a new requirement for volunteers and all those who are not staff to obtain a key from the guard to use the bathroom? Why?
A: Approximately 30-40 times the toilet has been clogged with feminine products, paper towels, real towels anything anyone can shove down there, so the door will be locked. We think it’s intentional and possibly is being done by the Dept. of Corrections workers. Now Dept. of Corrections workers must be escorted one at a time. Everyone must ask for a key. The next time the toilet is clogged we will know who left it that way. This is not punitive. We have a unique situation. When the toilet backs up, it causes the back row of kennels to not be functional because the sewer line backs up into the kennels.

Q: What are you doing to inform your employees and others about Oscar's law?
A: Animal Service Officers (ASO's) are handing out literature about it on the street.

Q: Can you send us the flyer?
A: Yes.

Q: How are your workers enforcing the new law?
A: If an Animal Service Officer sees something suspect on the street, they report it to their supervisor.
If a citizen sees something and calls us, they can be transferred to the new police Animal Abuse Team and we give them the phone number.

Q: Is each complaint entered into your system?
A: Yes. We create a complaint and enter it into the system and it will say what the complaint was and where the call was transferred.

Q: If you call the phone number after hours and get a recording does it have the Animal Abuse Team phone number?
A: It gives the 2222 number which is the non emergency 911 line.
They would dispatch to the nearest police precinct.

Q: Is the unit open Monday thru Friday?
A: Yes.

Q: What do you do if you TNR a cat from someone's property and they don't want the cat back on their property?
A:  If people are complaining about the cats on their property we talk with them about how to keep them off their property. We give out deterrents to help them keep unwanted cats off their property. Our goal is to not only return the cat but to mediate the dispute between the neighbors.
We encourage people to allow us to TNR the cat and bring it back to their property.

We loan traps only if someone agrees to take the cat back. We have to have a signed consent to drop them off
If we trap a cat and the property owner doesn't want the cat back on their property, and 
if the cat has a healthy body weight we know someone has been feeding it. We walk the block and we’ll find out where the cat has been eating and return it to them. If we can’t find the caretaker we have no right to release the animal on someone else’s property without their permission.
If there's no caretaker and no one wants it back, it could possibly go into the working cat program,
If we can’t find a caretaker and a complainant doesn’t want the cat back, the only other outcome is euthanasia.

Q: Do you release cats in areas other than where they were trapped?
A: We don’t relocate animals. We get complaints about people leaving food out for cats in neighborhoods with rat issues. Cat food becomes rat food. Neighbors complain and call code enforcement who will issue citations and refer the issue to Animal Services. We will educate the person leaving the food out not to overfeed but to set out just enough food for that meal and take it back up when the cats are finished. These are best practices. 

Q: If you can't release a cat where it was trapped, what's the maximum distance away that you will release it?
A:  I’d have to ask Rebecca what the distance is that we release cats from the trapping location.
Q: Would you ask her?
A: Sure. If there is sequestered public property away from residential or from public activity sometimes there are places away from residences and parks. It’s rare.
Q: How would there be a feeding source there?
They’re close enough to a caretaker. 

Q: If TNR'd cats need minor medical treatment, do you provide it?
A: It depends on what you mean. If there are wounds of unknown origin, the cat is euthanized because of the risk for rabies. We will have to ask the Doctor about any other treatment they might receive.

Q: How long are cats kept after surgery?
A: Cats are trapped one day. We do surgery the next day.
Then they go home the day after surgery. 99.9% of cats are returned after one day.

Q: What about kittens under 6 weeks of age?
A: We encourage people to never separate a mother from its kittens and allow the mother to nurse till 12 weeks of age. When we get motherless kittens, they go into foster to be bottle-fed and foster parent either adopts or has found someone to adopt. We encourage the foster to take ownership of the outcome of the cat. A mother can be TNR’d and returned to the have to bottle feed the kittens in the interim.

Q: Do you log kittens into your system?
A: Absolutely…the mother gets named and the kittens are named.

Q: Are unadoptable litters of kittens euthanized?
A: If there’s no other option.

Q: Do you ever keep friendly cats that come in through the TNR program and put them up for adoption?
A: Never.
Q: Even if there are cages available in the adoption room?
A: Even if there are cages available, the cats go back out and are never put up for adoption. If the cat came from outside, it goes back outside.

Q: Tell us about the working cat program.
A: It was formed this year. Rebecca Sass-Crews is in charge of it. This is for commercial places that want rodent control, such as barns or warehouses. We are unable to provide as many cats as are being requested for this, there’s been so much demand. It has to be a unique cat and has to have no other possible outcome. Two of these cats have been placed at the Ag Center. Becky makes that decision.

Q: Do you take steps to transition them to this environment?
A: Yes. They’re crated or kept in a small enclosed area for two weeks in the new environment and we give information on how to adapt the cats.

Q: Do you place kittens in barns?
Will you check on that please?

Q: How many have been placed in all?
A: Gary will let us know how many have been placed.

Q: Tell us about Team Shelter USA which provided the 2018 Progress Report on BCAS.
A: The Doctor from Target Zero (Dr. Sara Pizano) spun out on her own. We asked her to come back and look at what we’ve done.
Target Zero is no longer functional.

Q: How much did you pay to have this assessment performed"
A: We think it was 11 or 12 thousand dollars.
Q: Will you check that?
A: Yes.

Q: What is your relationship with Carroll County Humane?
A: We have a couple layers of relationships. They are pulling cats from us.
They are pulling adoptable cats like the SPCA does, etc.
Q: Do they ever take all of the cats in the adoptable room?
A: Sure.
Q: But then you won't have cats available for adoption?
A: Every day we release a new population into the adoptable room.
Q: What does Carroll County do with the cats they pull?
A: We don't know what they do with them.
Q: How many cats do they take?
A: Ballpark 20-25 a month.
Q: Can we get those stats?
A: Yes.

Q: What are the job responsibilities of animal Service officers now that the police have taken over cruelty investigations?
A: Nothing has changed...they are still doing welfare checks, bite issues, etc.

Announcement of Next Meeting Date and Location

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at Drumcastle Government Center, 6401 York Road, 3rd floor, Main Conference Room at 6:30 p.m.


Motion to adjourn
Motion by: Roy
Second by: Maryanne
Motion approved.

Adjourned at 7:15 p.m. 

Minutes were scribed by Deborah Stone-Hess

4. Welcome New Commission Member-Gerald Brooks-Gerald Brooks is a new Administration appointment to the Commission. He is a member of the Baltimore County Police Dept. We welcome him!

5. Follow-up to Email sent to the Baltimore County Council members-Deborah sent an email on July 6, 2018 to members of the Baltimore County Council and County Executive Don Mohler to express concern about numerous issues at BCAS, particularly the transfer of almost all Animal Control duties to the Baltimore County Police Dept.

6. Police Animal Abuse Unit Members Q and A-Members if the new Police Animal Abuse team generously gave their time to again attend a Commission meeting for Q and A.
Here's a summary:

Q: How are things going?
A: We are getting numerous calls and I feel like we’re getting on top of things.
There have been a lot of calls about dogs in cars in the heat.

Q: Where are most of the calls coming from?
A: We get calls rom every entity...Animal Svcs., the States Attorney, citizens, veterinarians.
We’ve been busy and to date we have have over 40 cases that we've investigated. Some are still pending.

Q: How many referred to the States Attorney’s office?
A: 8 cases have been referred to them...we see more coming soon

Q: What is the process, like in the case in Dundalk on 3rd of July it took 4 hours for an officer to respond? What is the process now when someone calls animal control and are told to call PD?
A:They call 911 and dispatch would dispatch a patrol officer
If its something where the animals are not in distress the call goes to Animal Svcs.

Q: Example?
A: For example, if someone has noticed a person leaving an animal on a porch regularly in extreme weather. It wouldn’t reach us (Police) because Animal Control would investigate unless they can't observe the animal or talk to someone at the house.

Q: Who makes the decision who will go out animal svcs or police
A: I communicate with the supervisor at BCAS and we discuss it.
We’re responding to the criminal aspect.
Q: You respond because a law has been broken?
A:Yes. We’re investigative.
It starts with patrol. Like in the Dundalk incident, the officer felt the dogs were not in any danger
Until we got wind of it and looked at all the facts and decided to further investigate

Q: Do police always send an officer?
A: If it's of a criminal nature, yes. Dispatch will send calls to patrol or Animal Svcs.
If it doesn’t meet Animal Svcs. protocol they send it to us.
Two weeks ago I spoke with their OIT director
On their website, they had a link if you wanted to report animal cruelty, you could write in your complaint.
I explained that was a bad idea because it could get lost in cyber world.
So he eliminated the link.
Now it says call 911 in an emergency and non emergency number for non emergency.

Q: Can you talk about what type of training you’ve had with the unit and for the Police Dept. as a whole?
A: Since we’ve been together (the Animal Abuse Team) we’ve had animal abuse training put on by States Atty’s office and training is coming up at the end of August for a two-day equine training at Days End.

How about future training?
It wasn’t in the bbudget for this fiscal year so next year we talked to April Doherty (at the State's Atty's office). She teaches courses.

Q: Training for the police as a whole?
A: We’re going to start going to different precincts and give them information. We have drawn up an investigative guide.
Once we have more experience, we’re going to do training at our Academy.
We're going to each police precinct starting on Thursday...
There is a day shift and evening shift.
We want to get to both.
We may start with the west side.
We should have it done within a month.

Q:How familiar are the police officers with article 12 animal control of Baltimore county code?
Like not being able to sell pups at a flea market, like oscar’s law, the sheltering law?
How is the Police Dept going to be trainied to handle the nuances of animal control? I think it should be an investigatory unit like they have in the city but in the city, Animal Control handles everything.
If it’s a crime they contact the Police Dept. The Police Dept isn't trained to handle these things (Animal Control issues).
I think the pox officers are overwhelmed and my concern is that things will slip thru the cracks.

Gerald: They’re just starting and refining every day and as they become more experienced so do the people around them
And a lot of what they do is not having the first hand experience but where to get the answers and resources.

Q: Out of cases referred to you since may 1st you sent 8 cases to the States Atty?
A: Yes.
Q: How many cases since May have you received and worked on?
A: 42 or 43.
Q: How many have been closed because it was unwarranted?
A: Maybe a third.

Q: Do you have any equipment?
A: Yes, we have and we ordered additional supplies. Also we all got our rabies shots.

Q: What do you need from us? Is there anything we can help you with?
A: We’re still working on a few things. Once we determine it’s a problem we’re unable to resolve then we will reach out.

Gerald: it’s important for us as commission to support the team but in turn when we hear things or see things in the paper a lot of times we’re not getting the full story. It’s important we get the full story directly from the source.

7. Response To Former Questions from Fred Homan- The Commission recently sent questions to Fred Homan and Gary Klunk:
Here are their responses they provided via email:

1) Bathroom key-If you think it’s an inmate (which, as you said, seems most likely) why is everyone, including the public and volunteers, penalized? Why not tell the inmates they may not use the restroom without being accompanied by a supervisor and then just have the supervisor accompany the inmate and check the bathroom afterwards? We do not know who is clogging the toilet. This is not the only County facility where we have encountered this type of problem.
2) Oscar’s Law Flyers-please send me the flyer that is being handed out and explain who is receiving the flyers.
(this is the flyer provided by Gary Klunk)

OSCAR’S LAW§ 12-3-111 – Collars and Shelters
Animals must be brought inside within 30 minutes during adverse environmental conditions (see reverse), unless the animal has continuous access to a suitable shelter.
A suitable shelter shall:
  1. Have a floor, roof and four walls, one of which shall contain a doorway
  2. Protect the animal from wind, snow, rain, cold, sunlight and adverse environmental conditions.
  3. Be safe and clean, free of accumulated waste and debris
  4. Be free of standing water and protected from flooding
  5. Have adequate ventilation to allow the animal to remain dry and
    maintain a normal body temperature
  6. Have exposure to natural or artificial light
A suitable shelter shall NOT include:
  1. Crawl space
  2. Space under a vehicle
  3. Any structure made from pressure treated wood
  4. Any structure with a wire or chain link floor
  5. Any structure made from cardboard or other easily degraded
    Baltimore County Animal Services
    13800 Manor Road
    Baldwin, MD 21013 410-887-PAWS (7297)
OSCAR’S LAW§ 12-3-111 – Collars and Shelters
Animals must be brought inside within 30 minutes during adverse environmental conditions (see reverse), unless the animal has continuous access to a suitable shelter.
A suitable shelter shall:
  1. Have a floor, roof and four walls, one of which shall contain a doorway
  2. Protect the animal from wind, snow, rain, cold, sunlight and adverse environmental conditions.
  3. Be safe and clean, free of accumulated waste and debris
  4. Be free of standing water and protected from flooding
  5. Have adequate ventilation to allow the animal to remain dry and
    maintain a normal body temperature
  6. Have exposure to natural or artificial light
A suitable shelter shall NOT include:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Crawl space
Space under a vehicle
Any structure made from pressure treated wood
Any structure with a wire or chain link floor
Any structure made from cardboard or other easily degraded materials

Baltimore County Animal Services 13800 Manor RoadBaldwin, MD 21013
410-887-PAWS (7297)
OSCAR’S LAW (cont.)§ 12-1-101 – Adverse Environmental Conditions, defined
Animals must be brought inside within 30 minutes during adverse environmental conditions, unless the animal has continuous access to a suitable shelter (see reverse).
COLD Weather
  • Ambient temperature 32° F or below
  • Other cold weather or precipitation-related environmental
    conditions including but not limited to wind, rain, snow, ice, sleet, or hail, that pose a risk to the health or safety of an animal based on the animal’s size, age, physical condition or thickness of fur
    HOT Weather
  • Ambient temperature 90° F or above
  • Other conditions such as direct sunlight or hot surface that pose a
    risk to the health or safety of an animal based on the animal’s size, age, physical condition or thickness of fur
    National Weather Service Alerts
• Severe weather alert that would pose a risk to the health and safety of an animal based on the animal’s size, age, physical condition or thickness of fur
For complete information on County animal laws, see Article 12 of the Baltimore County Code.
Baltimore County Animal Services
13800 Manor Road
Baldwin, MD 21013 410-887-PAWS (7297)
OSCAR’S LAW (cont.)§ 12-1-101 – Adverse Environmental Conditions, defined
Animals must be brought inside within 30 minutes during adverse environmental conditions, unless the animal has continuous access to a suitable shelter (see reverse).
COLD Weather
• Ambient temperature 32° F or below• Other cold weather or precipitation-related environmental
conditions including but not limited to wind, rain, snow, ice, sleet, or hail, that pose a risk to the health or safety of an animal based on the animal’s size, age, physical condition or thickness of fur
HOT Weather
• Ambient temperature 90° F or above• Other conditions such as direct sunlight or hot surface that pose a
risk to the health or safety of an animal based on the animal’s size, age, physical condition or thickness of fur
National Weather Service Alerts
• Severe weather alert that would pose a risk to the health and safety of an animal based on the animal’s size, age, physical condition or thickness of fur
For complete information on County animal laws, see Article 12 of the Baltimore County Code.
Baltimore County Animal Services 13800 Manor RoadBaldwin, MD 21013
410-887-PAWS (7297)

3) TNR’d cats when property owner doesn’t want cat on their property-You said you walk the block to find the feeder after the cat is TNR’d. Why not find out who the feeder is before you trap and then trap on the feeder’s property? This is what they do in Baltimore City.
To be clear, the County will not trap or allow trap loans at locations where we do not have permission to return the cat. However, if we have a complainant who traps a cat and will not allow us to return the cat to their property, the cat, if healthy, will be neutered and as one of the live release options, we will check the neighborhood to see if we can identify the caregiver and ask if we can return the cat to their property.
4) What do you do when you have a cat for TNR that does not have a healthy body weight and you suspect
it is not being fed? Please refer to the previous question and answer. It is assumed that the situation you have described arises when the complainant traps the cat and either brings it to us or requests pick-up and a caregiver cannot be identified. A medical and behavior determination is made to determine next steps.
5) If you have a property owner that does not want a cat back after TNR, how far away from the original trapping point will you release the cat? You mentioned you would need to ask Rebecca.
If a property owner does not want the cat returned to their property, we typically look for the caregiver within 1⁄2 mile of the property where the cat was trapped. That distance is impacted by barriers such as major roads, waterways and fences.
6) Could Becky please come to one of our Commission meetings so we can ask questions and have a better understanding of your TNR policies?
 Becky will not be attending the July meeting.
7) You mentioned that a sequestered public property might be used to return TNR’d cats. What kind of properties are these and where are they? If you dropped a cat off in one of these areas, how would the cat be cared for?
Very rarely, we learn that a cat has been trapped in proximity to County property and, in searching for a caregiver, we learn that the County property is either utilized by the caregiver or in likely proximity to the caregiver’s property. If the location on the County property does not interfere with a County workplace or the public’s use of the property, the property will be used to site TNR’s cats.
8) Do you ever ask caretakers of cat colonies to accept a cat that has not been previously in their colony? If so, what procedures are followed to ensure success in integrating the new cat into the colony?
If we can identify the caregiver we will ask them if we can return a cat to their property that was impounded from their neighborhood. We do not introduce new cats to colonies or create colonies.
9) How many cats have been placed through the Working Cat program?
25 total (5 in 2017, 20 in 2018)
Do you ever place kittens as barn cats? If they’re not eligible for adoption, and have no other live release option, they may be eligible to be working cats. The minimum age for placement is 3 months. In this case, we recommend adopters confine them for the full 4 weeks so they have a higher chance of establishing a good “home base” and are more likely to stay around after being released. So far we’ve adopted out 3 kittens through this program and they’re doing great!
10) What do you do if a TNR cat has a medical condition (other than a wound of unknown origin) that needs treatment? Do you provide treatment? If so, what conditions do you treat?
TNR cats with medical concerns are eligible for return at the discretion of the veterinarian. We do not provide treatments outside of the TNR package, so minor illnesses and injuries may be left to resolve on their own. If it is determined that the cat is too unhealthy for anesthesia or not likely to thrive on its own in the wild, it is humanely euthanized. Caregivers who wish to treat beyond the scope of the BCAS TNR program should have an arrangement with their private veterinarian and take the animal directly there without impoundment through BCAS.
11) How many people are participating as fosters in the Milkman Program for kittens? How many are non-shelter personnel?
When underage kittens are reported, BCAS attempts to have the complainant participate in the program and offers initial needed supplies.
12) How often do you euthanize litters of kittens?
Under what circumstances?
Please find attached the live release rates for dogs and cats for calendar years 2016, 2017, and the 1st two quarters of calendar year 2018. The same medical protocols that apply to cats are applied to kittens.
13) We discussed your relationship with Carroll County Humane. You mentioned that you have a couple layers of relationships with them.
a) What are those layers? We have worked on field training with employees from the Humane Society of Carroll County and have worked together to copy the modifications done to their vans, which included clips to keep all equipment off the floor. The Human Society of Carroll County has taken 143 cats from BCAS so for this calendar year.

b) How many cats does Carroll County take weekly/monthly?
The Human Society of Carroll County has taken 143 cats from BCAS so far this calendar year. By comparison, the SPCA has also taken 143 cats from BCAS so far this calendar year.
c) You mentioned you don’t know what Carroll County does with the cats they pull from you? Don’t you ask? We know they place them in PetSmart stores. Surely you must know this if we do?
The Humane Society of Carroll County has a website that identifies their programs. It is attached. We understand that they arrange for their cats to be made available for adoption in PetSmart stores.
14) How much did you pay Team Shelter USA to provide its report for BCAS?
$11,000 plus travel expenses
15) Just to clarify something we discussed on Tuesday...what is the process if someone calls BCAS with concerns over a possible cruelty or neglect situation? Do you patch them through to the Animal Abuse Team in the police dept.?
BCAS advises callers that these cases are investigated by the police. The call is forwarded to non-emergency 911 dispatch, 410-887-2222.

8. New Questions To Be Sent To Fred Homan We have a list of new questions to be sent.
9. Quarterly Statistics-Here is the latest quarterly report from BCAS:
MARYLAND ANIMAL CONTROL SHELTER SURVEY / 1(Boxes will expand as you enter text)
Name of Shelter/Facility: Baltimore County Animal Services Address: 13800 Manor Road Baldwin, MD. 21013
Name of Shelter Manager: Lauren Pavlik

Name of Person completing this survey: Gary Klunk
Phone: 410-887-7297
Activity for Reporting Quarter: April-June 2018
A. Live Animal Count at Beginning of Qtr
B. Stray/At Large
C. Relinquished by Owner
D. Owner Requested Euthanasia
E. Transferred in from another Agency
F. Other Live Intakes (impounds, births, animals placed in foster care, brought in for TNR, etc)
H. Adoption
I. Returned to Owner
J. Transferred to another Agency
K. Other Live Outcome (includes TNRs released)
L. Died/Lost in Care
M. Euthanasia- at Owner’s Request
N. Euthanasia-All other than owner request
P. Live Animal Count at End of QTR (includes Fosters). (A+G - O)
In order to better understand to what degree unowned cats are a source of intake and euthanasia, we need your help. To the best of your abilities, please indicate what percent and/or how much of CAT intake would you consider unowned (i.e. feral, or community cats) animals:
How many of the euthanized cats would you guess are unowned:
1/Pursuant to section 2-1602(H) of the Agriculture Article which states: “Beginning January 14,2014, each county and municipal animal control shelter and each organization that contracts with a county or municipality for animal control shall report quarterly to the Department on a form prescribed by the Department describing for the previous 3 months: (1) The number of cats and dogs taken in; (2) The number of cats and dogs disposed of, broken down by method of disposal, including euthanasia; and (3) Any other relevant data the Department requires.”Please return completed survey by email attachment or by mail to Maryland Department of Agriculture, Marketing Department (Spay and Neuter Program), 50 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401. Questions call Jane Mallory 410-481-5766 email: .

10. Election for Commission Chair-Deborah Stone Hess was reelected Chair.
11. Next Meeting Date and Location-no meeting in August-next meeting will be held September 20,2018 at 6:30 pm at the Drumcastle Bldg.
12. Adjournment