Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 18, 2017 Meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission

Here is what happened at the July 18, 2017 meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission:

                             AGENDA FOR JULY 18, 2017
                                       MEETING OF THE

1) Call to Order

2) Roll Call-Determination of a quorum-In attendance were Deborah Stone Hess, Roy Plummer, Janice Vincent, Jean Townsend, Jamie DeRita Rodriguez, Maryanne Martin Bailey, and by phone Lavinia Ringgold and Julianne Zimmer.

3) Approval of minutes-Here are the minutes as approved:
June 20, 2017

The twenty first regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in the Main Conference Room of the Drumcastle Government Center. This meeting was called to order at 6:41 pm.
By the Chair Deborah Stone-Hess. Members in attendance were: Deborah Stone-Hess, Jon Christiana, Joy Freedman (by phone), Roy Plummer, Jean Townsend, VMD, Janice Vincent and Julianne Zimmer.


Minutes from the April 18, 2017 meeting were motioned and approved as submitted.

Motion –

Motioned by:  Jean Townsend
Second by:  Janice Vincent
Decision: Approved

Julianne – Class Visit to BCAS

Perry Hall High School special education students visited BCAS on a field trip. While some of the students went on a tour, others visited the Education Room where the students made enrichment toys. The students also read to the dogs and cats. Dr. Jones visited with the students and explained what animal rescue is all about. The shelter process was discussed with the students. The staff went out of their way to make the students feel welcomed and comfortable.

Enrichment Blog Post

Deb profiled the enrichment program at BCAS for her blog and sent link to all commission members.

New business

Summary of Liaison Committee Meeting

Due to several citizen complaints to County Council members about impounded animals being automatically spayed or neutered on first impound, the shelter policy has been changed. The new policy is to spay or neuter impounded dogs/cats only after the second impoundment. The law will not be changed, only the shelter policy.

The BCAS Picnic was held to thank volunteers. Five hundred invitations were sent out, but only 80-100 people attended. Kudos to the county for inviting volunteers to enjoy a picnic day at the shelter.

BCAS participated in its third mega adoption event on June 10 at Timonium Fairgrounds. About 30 volunteers and 20 staff members from BCAS were on hand. Out of the 83 pets taken to the event, 15 dogs were adopted and 40 cats were adopted. 28 cats remained at the end of the day.

Kitten season is fully underway. It is believed some of the kittens brought in to BCAS by citizens are actually being taken from their nursing mothers. Citizens are asked not to do that.

The Maryland 2000 is an expansion of the former Baltimore 500. This will involve shelters around the state and the goal is to find homes for 2000 cats in July by offering free cat adoptions.

Because of kitten season there are many cats at BCAS. Rescues are saturated, so are not pulling animals from the shelter.

With the TNR program, an ongoing problem persists: people who are reluctant to let the county on their property to trap cats and return them.
On the other side of this issue are those who are upset that the county isn’t doing more for the health needs of individual cats.

The County has performed fourteen thousand spay/neuter surgeries since it ended the voucher program and began performing these surgeries for the public.

The County continues to struggle to fill slots at the West Side Spay/Neuter Clinic. They have handed out flyers, met with church representatives and met with community associations. The county is considering a pilot program where they would buy gift cards from Petco or PetSmart so that citizens who make and follow through with spay/neuter appointments would receive a $20 gift card, which is the price of the surgery.

There has been an outcry on social media over a dog that was neutered at BCAS. There were complaints about the way the neuter surgery was performed, that the entire scrotum was removed, not just the testicles and this is a more painful surgery. When Dr. Jones was asked about this, she explained that with some dogs, particularly large older dogs, there are risks to leaving the skin behind. With younger dogs, the skin will retract, but with older dogs it often does not retract and leaving the skin behind leaves open the possibility of hematoma, which is a collection of blood. As a result of this outcry, people were calling for the vet to lose her license to practice veterinary medicine. Everyone is encouraged to stay out of angry conversations on Facebook or other social media. Joy will attempt to get the emails from the Rescue that is involved.

County Council Effort in Reference to Circuses

Maryanne Bailey, Lisa Radov and Deb asked the County Council to outlaw circuses that use wild, exotic animals. Several County Council members have asked to meet with Deb, Maryanne, Lisa and reps from the HSUS to discuss this.

Commission Annual Report

Joy, Lavinia and Deb are working on the annual report, which will probably be finished in August.

Any other business?

Jon wants to know if there are any fees involved when an animal is impounded. Deb is going to research and bring back the answer to the next meeting.

Announcement of Next Meeting Date and Location
July 18, 2017 at Drumcastle Government Center, 6401 York Road, 3rd floor, Main Conference Room

Motion to adjourn:

Motion by Jean Townsend
Second by Julianne Zimmer
Motion approved.

Adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

4) Old Business
a) Circus Legislation-Although this is outside the duties of the Commission, Deborah wants to keep the Commission informed on this issue as it involves animals and she and Commission member, Maryanne Bailey, are involved. Deborah, Maryanne, and Lisa Radov spoke several weeks ago at the County Council meeting about the need for Baltimore County to join many other jurisdictions in banning circuses that use wild, exotic animals. One of these circuses, UniverSoul Circus, performed in Baltimore County in June. Since speaking before the Council, the three women plus Nicole Paquette of the HSUS were invited after they spoke to meet with Council members Bevins, Almond,   and Quirk. Councilman Kach has already said he would be We are working on setting up meetings with other Council members.

5) New Business
a) 2nd Quarter Statistics-Here are the stats from the 2nd quarter of this year:
Name of Shelter/Facility: Baltimore County Animal Services Address: 13800 Manor Road Baldwin, MD. 21013
Activity for Reporting Quarter: April-June 2017
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 to 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: .

Here's a comparison of 2nd qtr. stats 2017 vs. 2016:
  2ND QUARTER 2017                              2ND QUARTER 2016

INTAKE                                                            INTAKE
DOGS        CATS                                      DOGS                   CATS
443              890                                       446                        874

DOGS 104      CATS   224               DOGS 153         CATS 189
Abt. 23.4%    Abt. 25 %                  Abt. 34.3%    Abt. 21.6%                 

DOGS 122               CATS 214            DOGS 112     CATS 438
About 27.5%         Abt. 24%              Abt. 25%       Abt. 50%

DOGS  37                     CATS 110        DOGS 23         CATS 96
About 8.3%             Abt. 12.3%          Abt. 5%     Abt. 10.9%

DOGS                       CATS                        DOGS              CATS
91.7%                     87.7%                      95%               89.1%

There is a decrease in the number of cats that went to rescue this year vs. last year. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that the MD SPCA pulls the largest number of cats from BCAS and the SPCA was inundated by a large hoarding case decreasing their ability to pull cats from BCAS. 
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b) Summary of Liaison Committee meeting-Here is the summary of the July meeting between the Liaison Committee and reps from BCAS:
                                     JULY 12, 2017

The shelter’s website has been updated and improved. It went live on July 12, 2017. They’re still tweaking it but it looks MUCH better.

The Maryland 2000 kicked off in the month of July. 18 shelters across the state are participating, and are offering free adoptions through the month of July with a goal of finding homes for 2000 cats. This is an expansion of what was the Baltimore 500 which used to take place in June. After the first week, the numbers look good…with 693 adoptions at the 18 shelters…57 adoptions at BCAS. At the end of the month BAWA members will hold a last big adoption event  at CHAT connected with the Maryland 2000: Please spread the word.
Deborah’s blog is all about the Maryland 2000 this month with a video from the Humane Society of Harford County.
There were questions at the last meeting as to why this event was moved to July. Part of the reason was that kitten season seems to be hitting a little later with not as many kittens the last few years in June. Kitten season has been running into September and October. Another reason is that July is about the mid point between the mega adoption event at the Timonium Fairgrounds which happened in June and the Clear the Shelters event which is a national event sponsored by NBC and will take place on August 19th.

Some of you asked at the last meeting when Baltimore County ended its voucher program and began conducting surgeries at the shelter. The shelter began doing spay/neuter surgeries for shelter animals in October of 2013 and ended its voucher program for the public in April of 2014 when it began offering surgeries at the shelter for the public. Previously the shelter would give adopters a voucher that would be honored by certain vets who would do the surgery at reduced cost.

At the last meeting there were questions about the cost of redeeming an impounded animal at BCAS. The redemption cost is $35 with a $15 a day boarding fee. In addition they can be cited for a violation for their being at large and that fee is $30. But on the first violation, often the shelter will waive fees altogether if owners agree to have their animal spayed/neutered.
On the second violation, the fee jumps to $150.On the 3rd impound, BCAS has the right to keep the dog or hold it until a hearing before the Animal Control Board.

Since BCAS changed its policy back to required spay/neuter on 2nd impound instead of 1st impound, some owners whose pets have been impounded for the first time have insisted that their animal not be spayed/neutered. 13% of animals that left the shelter in May were unaltered. Many animals are already altered when they arrive.

We discussed the issue of evacuation in an emergency like a hurricane. Baltimore County has arrangements to keep animals in a designated shelter in a different part of the building from the humans who are staying there. BCAS also has a trailer which is kept at a county lot that has kennels, litter boxes and other supplies that would be needed for animals.

BCAS has about 70 animals currently in foster.
BCAS is looking for fosters who would be willing to keep admin hold dogs so these animals would not need to be kept at the shelter while their cases wind through the courts waiting to see if a judge would award the owner the right to get the dog back.

c) Float in July 4 Parade-BCAS had a float in the July 4th parade.

d) Commission Annual Report Update-We are working on the draft for the Commission's second annual report. We hope to be able to email it in the next couple of weeks to Commission members so we can make revisions and then approve it at our next Commission meeting.

e) Chair Election-Deborah Stone Hess was re-elected Commission Chair.

6) Announcement of next meeting location and time-The Commission will not meet in August. The next Commission meeting will beheld on Sept. 19, 2017 at the Drumcastle Building.

7) Adjournment

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