Thursday, November 17, 2016

November, 2016 Meeting of the Animal Services Advisory Commission

Hi, all. Here's a summary of the Nov. 15, 2016 meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission:


1) Call to Order
2) Roll Call-Determination of a quorum-In attendance were Deborah Stone Hess, Roy Plummer, Janice Vincent, Ann Gearhart, Michelle Guarino, Jon Christiana, Joy Freedman, and
Julianne Zimmer.

3) Approval of Minutes from October 2016 meeting
Here are the minutes from the October, 2016 meeting as approved:
OCTOBER 18, 2016

The fourteenth regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission (BCASAC) was held on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 in the Main Conference Room of the Drumcastle Government Center. 

I.     This meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm by the Chair, Deborah Stone-Hess.
II.     Roll call determined quorum with the following members in attendance: Deborah Stone Hess, Joy Freedman, Ann Gearhart, Michelle Guarino, Leslie Kaminski, Roy Plummer, Lavinia Ringgold, Janice Vincent and Julianne Zimmer.
III.     Minutes from the September 20, 2016 meeting were presented, motioned and approved as submitted.
IV. New Business
a. New Volunteer Coordinator
Jennifer Flatt has left the Baltimore County Animal Shelter (BCAS) as the Volunteer Coordinator. Heidi Griswold is the new Volunteer Coordinator. 

b. Third Quarter Statistics
Deborah distributed Third Quarter Statistics – 

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
EMAIL: Phone: 410-887-PAWS (7297) Name of Person completing this survey: Gary Klunk

Activity for Reporting Quarter: July-September, 2016

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: .

                          STATS COMPARISON

3RD QTR.  2016             2ND QTR.  2016       3rd QTR. 2015       
523 dogs                         446 dogs                   447 dogs
953 cats                           874 cats                     838 cats

3rd QTR. 2016             2ND QTR. 2016             3RD QTR. 2015
165 dogs                          132 dogs                      144 dogs
23 cats                               21 cats                          25 cats         

3rd qtr. 2016                 2nd qtr. 2016               3rd qtr. 2015
122 dogs                        112 dogs                         65 dogs
284 cats                          438 cats                        170 cats

3RD QTR. 2016            2ND QTR. 2016            3RD QTR. 2015
31 dogs                            23 dogs                         71 dogs

202 cats                           96 cats                         392 cats
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It was mentioned that percentages of dogs and cats euthanized increased. The increase in cat euthanasia is due to a very tough kitten season.
Both total numbers for the third quarter is still lower than it was this time last year. 
Deborah would like to mention at the next Liaison Committee meeting that it would be nice to add an additional category to the report reflecting why these animals are being euthanized, as if behavioral, health reasons, etc.
c. Expected New Members
Leslie Kaminski and Jim O’Neill will be retiring from the BCASAC.
The County Administrator is planning to appoint replacements for Leslie and Jim soon.
d. Summary of Liaison Committee Meeting
Discussion of Animal Control Officers- 
What happens when there is a problem during off duty hours? Even when ACO’S are not on duty there is an ACO on call. When a citizen has a problem and calls 911 in the off duty hours, ACO on call is contacted and responds. Certain cases will be dispatched to police officers, namely bite cases and situations where domestic animals are in peril; for example, animals left in cars. If a citizens says he or she has a stray animal and has it confined the ACO will respond. No ACO will ever respond to a stray animal unless it is confined. 
Commission members discussed the possibility of a protocol being created for Baltimore County Police Department and the 911 Center.  

The following off site adoption events will be occurring in the next month:
1. Friday, October 21, is the first Fall Fest in Towson.
2. Saturday, October 22, is BARCStoberfest in Patterson Park
3. Wednesday and Thursday, October 26 & 27, is the Power of Age Expo (formally known as the Senior Expo or Baby Boomer Expo) at Timonium Fairgrounds.
4. Saturday, November 19, is the mega adoption event at White Marsh Mall in the space currently occupied by the Halloween store. 
5. All the paperwork is completed for BCAS to hold offsite events at PetSmart. Waiting for PetSmart to provide dates when off site events can begin there.
6. There was a discussion about volunteer duties. Dr. Jones said she would like to work toward having volunteers who come on a busy adoption say like Saturday to be able to be more interactive with potential adopters. That’s easy to do in the cat room but more complicated with dogs. Once they get through the events scheduled over the next couple of weeks Dr. Jones says she wants to sit down and begin working to revamp the volunteer handbook and some other materials.

7. Deborah is going to check on the status of the Standard Operating Procedures that was supposed to be completed by July 2016.
8. The county is moving forward with plans for opening its west side spay/neuter clinic. They had hoped to have it operational in November. it has been pushed back to December. 
9. CCMD’s last clinic at the county’s east side spay/neuter center will be in November. The new TNR coordinator is busy getting ready for the expansion of the county’s TNR program.
10. Ann Gearhart had wondered what happened with the county’s emergency trailer that can be used when people and pets are displaced from their homes in an emergency like a hurricane. the trailer is still there. And there is an additional trailer that the county got last year. They may use one of them for mega adoption events as well.

V.    JMORE Life and BCAS Post This Friday
a. Joy Freedman is writing for the print publication of JMORE Life on a monthly basis.
b. Deborah Stone-Hess is writing for the electronic blog on a weekly basis. Due to Joy’s recent medical issue, Deborah’s article will be in the print publication this month. 
VI. The BCASAC will be meeting next on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. 

The meeting adjourned at 7:19 pm.

4) New Commission member (to replace Jim O’Neill)-
Jon Christiana is replacing Commission member Jim O'Neill who resigned form the Commission. This is a County Executive appointment. There are four members of the Commission who are appointed by the County Executive. We have one other Commission member who is resigning (Leslie Kaminski) and she will be replaced soon.

5) Liaison Committee meeting summary
Here is the summary of the meeting of the Commission's Liaison Committee which meets regularly with representatives from BCAS and the county:

1) VOLGISTICS-BCAS has begun experimenting with Volgistics software in its volunteer program.
2) VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK-There are plans to update the volunteer handbook.
3) VOLUNTEER ORIENTATIONS-The new Volunteer Coordinator, Heidi Griswold has held two orientations for new volunteers. The number of volunteers is growing. There are currently between 80 and 100 people on the volunteer list. I encourage you all to volunteer if you can. There are a lot of off site adoption events where help is needed, as well as duties within the shelter. BCAS would like volunteers tio begin interacting more with adopters. Most volunteers apparently haven’t wanted to do that.
4) OFF SITE ADOPTION EVENTS-BCAS has held quite a number of off site events lately including one at Petsmart.
In addition, BCAS is participating, along with the other members of BAWA (BARCS,
Bmore Humane and the MD SPCA) in another Mega Adoption event. It’s called Adopt till you Drop and will be just like the one that was held several months ago at the MD State Fairgrounds. This one will be in White Marsh in what used to be the Sports Authority and then was temporarly a Halloween store. It’s happening this Saturday from 9:30 AM-1:30PM.  You may remember the last mega adoption vent completely cleared the cages at BCAS.
5) DOG AND CAT EVALUATIONS-BCAS and the MD SPCA have been sharing information about dog and cat evaluations. The Behavior Enrichment Coordinator at BCAS, Will Webster has been giving info to the SPCA and the SPCA has been providing info on their cat evals.
6) TOP PRIORITIES-BCAS’s top priorities right now are getting the west side spay/neuter clinic open (target date is still the beginning of December) and getting the TNR program in full swing.
7) ACO’s
A) We had another discussion about ACO duties in the off-hours. If someone calls 911 because they have a stray that is confined, 911 contact the ACO on call. In addition, 911 sends an email . If they don’t receive a response they contact Gary Klunk and Dr. Jones.
B) As for animals in homes when there are cases where police are called, there is no legal way for an ACO to come in and take the animal, as long as it is safely inside the home. It is up to the people involved to make arrangements for the pets.
Animals will not be left in cars if someone is arrested while driving and has the pet in the car.
In an eviction, Animal Control is called.

8) SOP’S-The SOP’s for the shelter are finished but are still under final review.
9) PHOTOGRAPHS OF STRAYS-There have been complaints from the animal advocate community about delays in getting pictures of strays on the website. It’s important to note that posting these photos is a service BCAS provides to the public although there is no legal requirement to do so. And BARCS does not do it. In an effort to get the photos online faster, BCAS has begun requiring ACO’s to take a photo and post it from the field.
Once that began, there were complaints about the quality of the pictures…that some are taken of the animal in a cage and sometimes the animal is not so recognizable. BCAS is working with the ACO’s to take better photos. However, Dr. Jones says that because officers are on their own, in the field and have additional calls waiting, they cannot take a lot of time posing the animal for a photo. And because some of the animals are aggressive it’s not safe to photograph those dogs outside the cage.  Better photos are taken later at the shelter, but this system does get the pictures online faster. Still Dr. Jones says they are working out some kinks with the technology. If this system proves to not work well or the pictures of animals in cages are not well received, they may consider going back to waiting until the animal is back at the shelter to post stray photos.
10) TIME STAMP-There were also some complaints because BCAS removed a time stamp that was on the stray animal’s photo which indicated when it arrived at the shelter. Here is Dr. Jones’ reply about that issue: “Based on the criticisms that we did not have our stray animals on the website "fast enough" the time stamp was removed from the site. The reason being that the time stamp is created the moment the officer starts the animals' record in our system. Many times the animal does not arrive at the shelter until the end of the day, so having the time lapse until the animal got to the shelter to have his or her picture taken was frustrating to some of our advocates. Since the impound time does not affect the stray hold (as the first day is not counted) we decided that posting the time on the website was not necessary.”
11) RESCUE-BCAS tries to target specific rescues for animals needing rescue. It does not send out blanket pleas to all because they have found that targeted efforts are more successful. That said, large numbers of pets are going to rescue and the MD SPCA and Baltimore Humane Society have been pulling many. The MD SPCA has pulled 700 animals from BCAS this year.
12) EQUINE PROGRAM-The county is working with a group called Foxy G, which is a horse rescue organization in Carroll County. Baltimore County is building a 9500 square foot facility with an arena and training classroom there. Foxy G will bring in 10-12 rescue horses at a time to work with veterans who have PTSD. The program is also meant to help socialize the horses. The county will operate the facility and take care of the horses that are supplied by Foxy G. They hope to be operational in July 2017. They plan to use a lot of volunteers in the program and will start recruiting those volunteers in the spring.

6) New Liaison Committee memberJim O'Neill and Leslie Kaminski who have resigned form the Commission were members of the Liaison Committee. Julianne Zimmer is being appointed to the Liaison Committee.
7) Announcement of next meeting date and location
The December meeting has been cancelled due to the holidays. Our next meeting will be Jan. 17, 2017 at 6:30 PM at the Drumcastle Building. We will meet in a different room than we usually do. It is on the building's 2nd floor.
8) Adjournment