Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lots to Cover

     Another busy meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Oversight Commission this month (May17, 2016). 
     Here's everything from that meeting.

1) Agenda
1)  Call to Order
2)  Determination of a quorum
3)  Approval of Minutes from April 2016 meeting
Here are the minutes from April:
Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission
Drumcastle Government Center - Baltimore County Department of Health
April 27, 2016

The ninth regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 in the Main Conference Room of the Baltimore County Department of Health. This meeting was called to order at 6:45 p.m., by the Chair, Deborah Stone Hess. Members in attendance were Deborah Stone Hess, Janice Vincent, Jocelyn Spiga, VMD, Leslie Kaminski, Roy Plummer, and Joy Freedman.
Minutes
Minutes from the March 15, 2016 meeting were motioned and approved. 
Old Business
Card Keys for Volunteers
Volunteers have been given card keys that can be used for one door (adoptable dog door) they enter through one and exit through another so that dogs do not come in contact with each other.
Shelter Volunteer Hours
Hour totals for volunteers have improved, for the record the hours for the past three months are as follows: January – 90 hours, February – 83 hours and March – 96 hours.
Commission Resignations and Appointments
The Commission is down two commission members – Julian Jones has not yet appointed someone to the commission and Kevin Reed has recently resigned.

New Business
Facebook
Please refrain from posting comments/remarks on Facebook
Euthanasia Rates
The rates of euthanasia have drastically decreased. Deborah applauds the efforts of Baltimore County Animal Services for their efforts in decreasing the numbers.
Liaison Committee Meeting
Joy met with Abigail approximately two weeks ago to discuss post adoption training. The training will occur once monthly. Joy would also like to implement a training for the volunteers and DOC workers which will enable them to work in the same way to improve the manners of the dogs.
Leslie gave an update on the Liaison Committee meeting
The date for the next Liaison Committee Meeting to be determined.
Target Zero
Deborah reported on the Town Hall held by Target Zero.
Many things Target Zero recommends have already been implemented by Baltimore County Animal Services.
A volunteer at the shelter has created an adoption gift basket in the lobby of the BCAS, free gifts are offered with all adoptions.

Commission Blog
Deborah was contacted by someone regarding topics discussed during Commission meetings. They requested that she post the meeting notes online.  Deborah will be posting the meeting notes on the following blog: www.notesfromthechair.com. The blog has been approved by the County Administrator.
Joy was contacted by a constituent looking for contact information for the Commission to address issues and concerns. It was suggested to maybe create a Facebook or an email account. 
The Commission approved the creation of an email account. Janice has been charged with creating the account and will share the address with the rest of the Commission. 
New Videos
Deborah will be making new videos of animals at the shelter next week.
General Assembly Bills
There were several bills passed by the General Assembly. Two were signed into law last week. 
Commission Report and Appointment of Committee
The status report for County Council still needs to be drafted.  Deborah to create the draft. Roy, Michelle and Deborah will collaborate to create the final document.  The document will be shared with the Commission at the next meeting.
Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on May 17, 2016, Drumcastle Government Center, 6401 York Road, Third Floor, at 6:30 p.m.
Adjournment
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:49 p.m.


4)  New Business:
a) New Commission members
a) Still waiting to hear about a replacement for Dr. Bruce Brown who was appointed by Councilman Julian Jones
b) The Commission's newest member is attending her first meeting tonight. The County Executive's replacement for Kevin Reed is Ann Gearhart.She is a member of an organization called the Snyder Foundation for Animals, a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals through education and philanthropic support.   The Snyder Foundation has given grants in the past to BCAS, primarily for spay/neuter. Ann directs the Education program of the Snyder Foundation.  
Founded in 1898 and reorganized in 1992, 
the Snyder Foundation operated two major programs: 
Grants and Awards and Humane, Environmental, and 
Character Education.
During the past 21 years, the Snyder Foundation has...
Invested over $3,600,000 in humane and environmental 
education for Maryland schools and organizations
Awarded almost $3,000,000 to more than 
100 Maryland humane organizations in 22 counties
Invested almost $1,800,000 in low-cost 
SPAY/NEUTER programs for pets of lower-income families
Developed and provides the “Spay/Neuter Patch Program”
 for the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
Developed a pilot education program for
 juvenile offenders in cooperation with the 
          Department of Juvenile Justice

b) Shelter Staffing Changes
    Abby Bunghman has resigned to take a job as Director of a new shelter in Cecil County. That shelter was previously run by a 501 c3 and is now being taken over by Cecil County. It's a shame to lose Abby, but this is a promotion for Abby from the number 2 position to number 1, so this is a great opportunity for her. Abby had really been performing two jobs at BCAS, supervising the shelter as well as the top position at Animal Control as she had a background in Animal Control. BCAS will now promote Lauren Pavlik to the Shelter Supervisor position, and for now Gary Klunk will be in charge of Animal Control. Anna Battle will take over Lauren's Rescue Coordinator duties. Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Flatt will report to Dr. Jones.
c)  Summary of Liaison Committee meeting held on May 16, 2016-Meeting attended by Deborah Jim, and Leslie-Joy was not able to attend.

SOP COMPLETION SHOULD BE IN JULY

BCAS IS NOW AN OFFICIAL MEMBER OF THE BALTIMORE ANIMAL WELFARE ALLIANCE KNOWN AS “BAWA”.
SELTER REPRESENTATIVES HAVE BEEN ATTENDING BAWA MEETING FOR SOME TIME, BUT TO BECOME A FULL MEMBER, BCAS  NEEDED TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE SHELTER STATISTICS FOR TRACKING SHELTER POPULATION AND LIVE RELEASE RATES THAT COMPLY WITH METHODS RECOMMENDED IN THE ASILOMAR ACCORDS.  THE OTHER MEMBERS ARE THE BALTIMIRE HUMANE SOCIETY, THE MD SPCA, AND BARCS. 

BCAS WILL BE PARTICIPATING AGAIN THIS YEAR IN THE BAWA EVENT KNOWN AS THE BALTIMORE 500, AN EFFORT TO GET 500 CATS ADOPTED DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE. LAST YEAR THAT NUMBER WAS FAR SURPASSED WITH OVER 800 CAT ADOPTIONS FROM ALL THE SHELTERS THAT PARTICIPATED. 
THE KICKOFF EVENT WILL BE HELD AT CAT HOSPITAL AT TOWSON OR CHAT…THE DATE IS NOT YET FINALIZED.
ADOPTIONS OF CATS AND KITTENS WILL BE FREE DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE.

BCAS IS IN THE FINAL STAGES OF FORMALIZING ITS  PARTNER AGREEMENT WITH PETSMART AND PETCO TO HOLD OFF SITE ADOPTIONS THERE.  

THERE HAS BEEN SOME CONTINUING TALK ABOUT THE NUMBER OF KEY CARDS AVAILABLE FOR VOLUNTEERS TO GET BACK INTO THE BUILDING IF THEY ARE WALKING DOGS. THERE SHOULD BE ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM HERE. THERE ARE 12 KEY CARDS.

THERE HAS BEEN VERY LITTLE RESPONSE TO THE COUNTY’S NEW MILKMAN FOSTER PROGRAM FOR KITTENS NEEDING BOTTLE FEEDING. ONLY 2 PEOPLE HAVE VOLUNTEERED. THIS IS A REAL CONCERN. ANYONE WHO CAN POST FLYERS AT BUSINESSES THEY PATRONIZE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW…I CAN EMAIL YOU A POSTER THAT YOU CAN PRINT UP.

Baltimore County recently announced another new foster effort for animals in need of extra recovery time after an injury or illness, a comfortable environment for extra socialization, or a quiet home for young puppies and kittens.

BCAS IS PLANNING TO IMPLEMENT SEVERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TARGET ZERO.  AS YOU KNOW, TARGET ZERO VISITED BCAS AND HAS NOW ISSUED A REPORT. THE COMMISSION WILL RECEIVE A COPY OF THE REPORT.

1) TARGET ZERO RECOMMENDED MAKING SPAY/NEUTER FREE FOR THOSE WHO QUALIFY FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. BECAUSE THE SURGERY FOR CATS IS LESS COMPLICATED AND FASTER THE SHELTER DETERMINED IT WOULD BE ABLE TO ADD CAT SURGERIES TO ITS SCHEDULE BUT NOT DOGS AT THIS TIME. SO, THE SHELTER WILL SOON BE STARTING TO OFFER CAT SPAY OR NEUTER SURGERY FOR FREE TO THOSE WHO QUALIFY FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.

2) TARGET ZERO RECOMMENDED SHORTENING THE STRAY HOLD FROM 4 DAYS TO 3. THE REASON IS THAT VERY FEW ANIMALS ARE RECLAIMED AFTER 3 DAYS.  IN FACT AT BCAS, 90% OF THE OWNERS THAT RECLAIM STRAYS DO SO WITHIN 2 DAYS.
THIS IS EXPECTED TO BE A GREAT RESOURCE FOR OPENING UP CAGE SPACE AT THE SHELTER BECAUSE ANIMALS CAN LEAVE FOR ADOPTION OR RESCUE A DAY SOONER.THIS WILL REQUIRE A COUNTY ORDINANCE CHANGE AND SHOULD BE FINALIZED PROBABLY IN JULY.

3) TARGET ZERO RECOMMENDED REQUIRING OWNERS WHO RECLAIM STRAYS TO HAVE THEIR PET SPAYED OR NEUTERED BEFORE THEY CAN REDEEM THEIR PET.
PREVIOUSLY THIS WAS ONLY REQUIRED AFTER THE SECOND TIME AN ANIMAL WAS BROUGHT IN AS A STRAY. 
THIS CHANGE WILL REQUIRE A COUNTY ORDINANCE CHANGE AND WILL PROBABLY BE FINALIZED IN JULY.

d) Notes from the Chair blog
a) The blog's first post got 464 page views.
b) Janice set up a new new email address for any member of the public who wants to contact the Commission. The email address is:
bcasacommission@yahoo.com

e) Feedback from volunteers
Sarah Hardy reached out to me and said volunteers would like to be able to express their feelings to the Commission. I will suggest that she utilize the new email address to share  her concerns. 
f)   Increasing Volunteer Participation
Volunteers now number 49. Volunteer hours for the month of April are about double what they were in March. In March volunteers put in 96 hours of service and in April volunteers performed 183 hours of service. The Commission wants to see those number continue to increase.   
5)  OLD BUSINESS
a)  Commission Status Report for County Council and County Executive
Michelle and Roy participating. Draft is almost complete. Will be 
sending out via email in the next couple of days for review.
To be approved at the next Commission meeting and submitted.
I contacted the county to determine the process for submitting our 
report. Here’s how it works:
All that needs to be done to comply with the "reporting" provision
 is for the Commission to literally deliver the report to the 
respective Council and Executive Offices, 
whether via hand delivery or mail. I will arrange for this.
In addition, the Council has also asked whether I and two other 
members of the Commission would be willing to have lunch with
the Council members in Towson  prior to the Council’s 
work session on July 26th to just talk about our report and 
how things have gone over the last year.
Will contact Commission members to see who's available to do this.

      6) Adjourn

If you would like to contact the Commission for any reason, feel free to use our new email address. It's  bcasacommission@yahoo.com
The next Commission meeting will take place on June 21. Be advised the location will be different. It will be held in the meeting room of the Baltimore County Library Randallstown branch.
Meetings are open to the public.