Thursday, July 21, 2016

July 19, 2016 meeting of the Animal Services Advisory Commission


    AGENDA FOR JULY 19, 2016 COMMISSION MEETING

1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call (Determination of a quorum)
Those in attendance:
Roy
Michelle Guarino
Jean Townsend
James O'Neill
By phone: Leslie Kaminski, Joy Freedman, Janice Vincent

3. Approval of Minutes
Here are the minutes of the last meeting:

Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission
Baltimore County Public Library – Randallstown Branch
June 21, 2016

The eleventh regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 in the Conference Room of the Baltimore County Public Library – Randallstown Branch. This meeting was called to order at 6:39 p.m., by the Chair, Deborah Stone Hess. Members in attendance were Deborah Stone Hess, Roy Plummer, Jean Townsend, VMD, Ann Gearhart, Leslie Kaminski, Janice Vincent, Joy Freedman and Lavinia Ringgold.
Minutes
Minutes from the May 17, 2016 meeting were motioned and approved.
New Business
New Committee Member
Welcome, Lavinia Ringgold to the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory, who will be replacing Dr. Brown. Lavinia is a Baltimore County resident, who loves animals and has played an important role in assisting with community cats in her neighborhood.  Lavinia is looking forward to working with the Commission and creating positive changes at the Shelter.

Rescue Well and Baltimore County Animal Services
Christine Sandberg, Founder of Rescue Well, spoke on the current relationship between Rescue Well and Animal Services.  Rescue Well serves the greater Maryland area, MD, DC, VA and DE. They specialize in rehoming, transporting, advocating and outreach. Since Rescue Well started working with BCAS the communication has improved. Currently, BCAS contacts Christine and her staff regularly regarding rehoming pets.  Rescue Well will also be conducting staff trainings on-site at BCAS.

Baltimore County Animal Shelter has also donated food and supplies to the members of CORE and will be continuing to do so in the near future.

Christine has also created a coalition called Coalition of Rescues (CORE) to build an alliance amongst rescues for a unified front.  The Coalition has 275 members and all participants support the shelters and each other.  Anna Battle from BCAS attended the last meeting.  She encouraged all rescue organizations to submit  paperwork to become a partnering rescue with BCAS. Their next meeting topic will be foster programs best practices.
Efforts to increase community awareness of responsible pet ownership have begun in the Middle River, Dundalk and Essex areas. Rescue Well will be going into the community handing out literature.

Old Business
Mega Adoption Event
BARCS, BCAS, SPCA, Humane Society and Harford Humane participated in the Mega Adoption Event. All BCAS animals brought to the event were adopted. Due to an incident with a potential adopter at the event, some Commission members expressed concern that there should be additional vetting of potential adopters at events like this.
Baltimore500
Per Dr. Jones there were 34 cats adopted from Baltimore County Animal Services.
Notes from the Chair
Since the start of the blog it has received over 700 hits.
Baltimore County Animal Services Training
Ann Gearhart conducted a training on the link between human violence and animal cruelty for the shelter staff. Animal Control Officers will be attending the next training, to be held in July.  Ann will be meeting the Volunteer Coordinator to discuss ways in which volunteer efforts can be increased.
The suggestion was made to include FEMA Emergency Kit brochure in every welcoming packet.
Liaison Committee Meeting
No meeting was held in June, due to the County Administrator being ill. Deborah hopes that a new date will be scheduled soon. Topics for the next meeting include TargetZero and speaking with the BCAS Volunteer and Rescue Coordinators.
Some committee members raised concerns over the meeting waiting for the County Administrator.  They would like to see the meetings happen regardless.
New Position at BCAS
The shelter is accepting applications for a TNR Coordinator, in an effort to increase spay/neuter efforts.
Discussion and Vote on Report for the County Council
Motion was made by Dr. Townsend to approve the report. Motioned approved with the following addendum to the Volunteer section:
“As an addendum, a software program called Volgistics used by many
shelters would enhance the volunteer experience at BCAS.”
Adjournment
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.


4. Old Business
a) Commission report submitted-The Commission's first annual report has been submitted to the Baltimore County Council members, the County Executive, and the County Health Dept.

b) Upcoming lunch with Council members to be held September 13, 2016. Deborah will attend along with Leslie Kaminsky and Joy Freedman.

c) Shelter Liaison Committee Meeting-here's a summary of the meeting


                     JULY 5, 2016 LIAISON COMMITTEE MEETING

1) THE COUNTY HAS HIRED A TNR COORDINATOR AND SHE WILL BEGIN WORKING ON AUGUST 1ST.
THE TNR COORDINATOR IS A WOMAN NAMED
REBECCA SASS-CREWS WHO HAS BEEN RUNNING THE TNR PROGRAM IN BALTIMORE CITY THAT IS BEING PAID FOR THROUGH A GRANT FROM PETSMART CHARITIES AND BEST FRIENDS.
THAT GRANT WAS FOR THREE YEARS AND THE PROGRAM IS COMING TO COMPLETION.
REBECCA IS AN INCREDIBLE PERSON AND EXTREMELY KNOWLEDGEABLE.


DEBORAH DID A VIDEO PIECE WITH HER MANY MONTHS AGO FOR HER BLOG, SAVE 90. IF YOU WANT TO WATCH IT YOU CAN GO TO SAVE90.BLOGSPOT.COM AND LOOK FOR THE TNR POST. THE VIDEO IS IN THAT POST.
WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT RAMIFICATIONS THIS WILL HAVE FOR COMMMUNITY CATS OF MD WHICH HAS BEEN RUNNING THE COUNTY’S TNR PILOT WITH MONTHLY CLINICS IN DUNDALK.
THE REASON WHY THE COUNTY WANTED TO HIRE A TNR CORDINATOR IS BECAUSE IT WANTS TO BEGIN TNR’G MANY MORE CATS. THIS MAKES SENSE BECAUSE TNR WORKS TO REDUCE CAT POPULATIONS ONLY IF ITS DONE IN LARGE NUMBERS.

2) JOY’S CLASS-JOY WILL BE TEACHING A CLASS FOR NEW ADOPTERS AT THE SHELTER...NO DOGS JUST PEOPLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AND HELP WITH ISSUES THEY MAY BE HAVING

SHE WILL ALSO BE TEACHING A CLASS FOR VOLUNTEERS ON BEHAVIOR TRAINING SO THE VOLUNTEERS CAN WORK WITH THE DOGS ON BASIC OBEDIENCE SKILLS WHICH OF COURSE MAKES THEM MROE ADOPTABLE.

3) TARGET ZERO RECOMMENDATIONS


a) TAGET ZERO RECOMMENDED THAT THE SHELTER NO LONGER USE ITS CURRENT COMPUTER SOFTWARE WHICH IS A PROGRAM USED FOR ALL COUNTY AGENCIES. IT RECOMMENDED INSTEAD IMPLEMENTING SHELTER SPECIFIC SOFTWARE. THE COST IS VERY HIGH…ABOUT 50 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR SO IT WOULD BE A BIG INVESTMENT. THE COUNTY IS LOOKING INTO THIS.

b) ADOPTION SEARCH ENGINES (LIKE PETFINDER, ADOPT A PET, PETANGO, OR PETHARBOR)-THE COUNTY DOES NOT CURRENTLY USE THEM. ONE OF THE REASONS WHY IS THAT IT’S DIFFICULT TO COORDINATE IT WITH THE COUNTY’S CURRENT SOFTWARE. IF THE COUNTY DECIDES TO GO TO SHELTER SPECIFIC SOFTWARE THIS COULD CHANGE IN THE FUTURE.

c) TARGET ZERO RECOMMENDED THE CREATION OF A FORMAL SURRENDER PREVENTION PROGRAM TO TRY TO RESDUCE THE NUMBER OF ANIMALS THAT ARE SURRENDERED AT THE SHELTER. BCAS IS WORKING A LOT WITH RESCUE WELL (YOU MET CHRISTINE SANDBERG OF RESCUE WELL AT OUR LAST MEETING) AND ONE OF THE THINGS RESCUE WELL FORCUSES ON IS SURRENDER PREVENTION…
NAMELY HELPING PET OWNERS WHO SIMPLY NEED TEMPORARY SUPPORT THAT WOULD ENABLE THEM TO KEEP THEIR PETS; FOR EXAMPLE, SHORT TERM FOSTERING, VET CARE,  PET FOOD, BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION).
THE COUNTY IS WORKING ON GETTING LUSTS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BE EVICTED SO THEY CAN BE MORE PROACTIVE AS THOSE WHO ARE EVICTED OFTEN DON’T HAVE A PLACE FOR THEIR PETS TO STAY WHILE THEY WORK TO FIND NEW HOUSING.

d) TARGET ZERO RECOMMENDED THAT STERILIZATION OF SHELTER PETS TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER SPAYING AND NEUTERING OF PUBLIC PETS. THEY RECOMMENDED THAT STRAY ANIMALS BROUGHT TO THE SHELTER BE SPAYED OR NEUTERED AS SOON AS THE PET HAS COMPLETED ITS STRAY/HOLD.
OR IN TRHE CASE OF SURRENDERED ANIMALS, TARGET ZERO RECOMMENDS SPAY/NEUTER ON THE FOLLOWING SURGRY DAY.
BCAS IS DOING THIS.

d) TARGET ZERO RECOMMENDS INCLUDING SPAY/NEUTER AND MINOR MEDICAL OR SURGICAL SERVICES FOR RESCUE GROUPS AT BNO CHARGE AND THAT PETS GOING TO RESCUE HAVE PRIORITY OVER PUBIC SURGERIES AT THE SHELTER. BCAS SSAYS THIS IS HAPPENING IN MOST CASES.

4) WE INQUIRED WHETHER SOMETHING COULD BE PUT ON THE SHELTER CAGES OF ANIMALS THAT ARE AT OFF-SITE EVENTS. DR. JONES GOT BACK TO ME THAT JENN IS MAKING UP A LITTLE GRAPHIC THAT SAYS “I’LL BE BACK AND A COPY OF THE CAGE CARD WILL BE THERE AS WELL SO POTENTIAL ADOPTERS CAN READ ABOUT THEM.

5) WE ALSO DISCUSSED SOME CONCERN THAT I HAD HEARD ABOUT FROM CCMD ABOUT A LACK OF QUESTIONING OF THOSE SURRENDERING CATS THAT THEY HAD TRAPPED.CCMD NEEDS AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE TO RETURN CATS TO THE RIGHT PLACE AFTER THEY’RE SPAYED OR NEUTERED AT THE SPCA.
DR. JONES SAYS SHE PLANS TO DISCUSS THIS WITH REBECCA, THE NEW TNR COORDINATOR, WHEN SHE COMES ON BOARD.

5. New Business
a) Council vote on changing stray/hold and requiring spay/neuter on first impound-The Baltimore County Council has passed legislation changing the stray hold from 4 days to 3 and also requiring spay/neuter of all animals after the first impound, Previously this was required after the second impound.
b) Shelter Statistics-Here is a summary of the second quarter stats :


Here is a comparison of the second quarter stats with other quarters:

If you remove the number of dogs euthanized at owners’ request 

Euthanasia rates: 
2nd qtr. 2016 
Dogs: About 5.15% 
Cats: about 10.98%

2nd qtr. 2015
Dogs About 11.6%
Cats About 29.8%
(Five of the dogs brought in by owners requesting euthanasia were not euthanized and were instead held for adoption or rescue.)

Live release rates were up despite increased intake.
1st QUARTER 2016 INTAKE:               410 DOGS     534 CATS
2nd QUARTER  2016 INTAKE:             446 DOGS     874 CATS

Number of Dogs to Rescue                              
1st qtr 2016          88 out of  410                                about 21.4%. 
2nd qtr  2016       112 out of 446                                about 25.1%

This is a huge increase over the second quarter of last year 2015
2nd qtr. 2015       59 out of 403                                   about 14.6%

Number of cats to rescue                             
1st qtr  2016 260 out of 534                                        about 48%       
2nd qtr 2016  438 out of 874                                       about 50% 

This is a huge increase over the second quarter of 2015   
2nd qtr. 2015   171 out of 783                                   about 21.8%   

Number of dogs adopted:
1st QTR. 2016        126                               
2ND QTR. 2016     153                               

 2ND QTR 2015    146                             

Number of cats adopted:
1st QTR. 2016         132                  
2nd QTR. 2016       189                  

2ND QTR 2015     220 OUT OF 783                 

c) SOP’s-Many months ago the county hired a technical writer to draft the new SOP's for the shelter. They should be completed this month
d) Election of Chair for second year of Commission-Deborah Stone was re-elected as
Commission Chair.
e) Possibility of Vice Chair-At a future meeting we will discuss the possibility of electing a Vice Chair.
6. Announcement of Date and Location of next meeting-The Commission voted to skip the August meeting as many people will be away on vacation. The next meeting will be held Tuesday, Sept. 20th at 6:30 at the Drumcastle Building.
7. Adjournment





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