Monday, January 25, 2021

Jan. 19, 2021 Meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission

 Hi, everyone,

Happy 2021!

Here's a wrap-up of our first recent Baltimore County Animal Svcs. Advisory Commission meeting of the new year :

                                        JANUARY 2021 AGENDA 

                                             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, Bob Swensen, Chris Shaughness, Steve Malan, Ann Gearhart, Louis Eguzo

3) Approval of December 2020 Minutes-Here are the minutes as approved



December 15, 2020

The fifty-first regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 via Zoom.

Members in attendance were: Deborah Stone Hess, Roy Plummer, Chris Shaughness, Steve Malan, Janice Vincent and Maryanne Bailey.

This meeting was called to order at 6:35 p.m. by the Chair Deborah Stone Hess.


November minutes were approved.

New Business: 

The Annual Report has been completed and was sent to members. Deborah asked if anyone had any revisions and none were requested. Member names will be added, but it would take too long to put a bio together for each member. The submission of the report was approved unanimously. Deborah will send a courtesy copy of the report to Jonny Akchin and Dr. Andrulis, then forward the report to the Executive Office the following day.

Steve asked what action will be taken to help get the TNR legislation passed. Deborah will reach out to Sam O’Neil and other members can reach out to their Council members. Deborah, Chris, Steve and Maryanne will work on a strategy via a conference call on January 5, 2021 at noon.

Maryanne talked about the Humane Society of the United States – Maryland’s upcoming (Virtual) Humane Week of Action, which is February 8 – 12, 2021. Here is a list of animal-related bills that will be introduced during the upcoming session of the MD General Assembly:

1) Unattended dogs in extreme weather-This bill is like Oscar’s Law in Baltimore County) 

2) Costs of care-This bill provides relief to animal control agencies in Maryland that incur high costs when caring for animals seized in cruelty cases. I

3) Puppy/kitten mills-This bill clarifies language and closes loopholes in the 2018 bill prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats in Maryland by retail establishments and brokers. 

Required Training of Animal Control and Humane Society Officers – This bill would add uniform training and continuing education requirements for animal control and humane society officers. 

Steve expressed a desire to focus on livestock/poultry issues, but was reminded by Deborah that the focus of this group has to be Animal Services-related, not just animal- related.

Next meeting scheduled for January 19, 2021 via Zoom.

Adjournment at 7:06 p.m.

4) Loss of Volunteer to Covid-Sadly one of BCAS's active volunteers has died of the corona virus. His name is Tom McCurdy. 

5) Update on BCAS-Dr. Sandra Andrulis-Here is info from Dr. Andrulis:

Intake numbers are way down and it is a direct affect of Covid. People staying home more. All the shelters in the area are seeing the same trend. Which is great.  Lower intakes and as a result there are less animals to choose from so the very healthy adoptable animals are adopted sooner. TNR can affect intake, if we are doing a great job sterilizing animals then there should be lower numbers walking in the door. That's the big advantage of TNR.  However, we know that this year due to Covid we have not been able to keep up with spay/neuter at all. Every clinic is very backed up because the state closed down our surgical centers for almost 2 months. Then when we opened back up it was limited because of curbside intake and discharge (social distancing and not able to have close contact with the public). So those numbers have to be because people are finding ways to hold onto their animals or they are able to rehome them in the community without resorting to handing them over to the county.  

2-Fewer overall adoptions. I didn't notice that but since our live release rates are up I would assume this means that more animals are being transferred to another agency than last year or as a percentage.  This is also due to lower intake numbers and rescues that need to have animals to adopt to exist.  Many rescues are looking to find animals to put up for adoption and look to shelters to pull from. 

3-The lower euthanasia rate for cats is a result of the working cat program, and the lower intake.  We've been able to adopt or transfer out older cats with medical and behavioral issues that we would not have been able to before because rescues have the capacity to handle them. 

Hopefully we can continue to have lower intake because it helps everyone. Staff and volunteers can spend more time with the animals we have and more time to counsel adopters.  We are almost fully staffed at this point so that helps as well. 

6) Old Business

a) Submission of Commission 2020 Report and follow-up-The Commission's report has been submitted and one of the representatives from Johnny O's office has reached out and wants to have an initial meeting to discuss the Commission's recommendation for a county TNR law.

7) New Business

a) 4th Quarter 2020 Stats-The 4th quarter numbers look amazing...with live release numbers above 90% for both dogs and cats! Here are the stats for the 4th quarter of 2020 along with a comparison from the 4th quarter of last year:

4th qtr. 2020 stats










   87 (22%)

369 (53%)

Sent to Rescue

102 (25.8%)

251 (36%)




Owner requested Euthanasia



Non-Owner requested Euthanasia

31 (7.8%) 

68 (9.7%)

Live Release Percentage





4th qtr. 2019 stats










135 (25%)

  451 (46%)

Sent to rescue

130 (24.2%)

 255 (26.6%)





Owner requested Euthanasia



Non-Owner requested Euthanasia

 31 (5.7%)

 102 (10.6%)

Live Release Percentage



8) Any Other Business? Chris said she has a new dog and told Dr. Andrulis that she took the new dog to the BCAS rabies clinic and everything was great!

Ann mentioned she would very much like to see an outreach education program from the shelter into the community once Covid is over. Dr. A said she has wanted to begin something like this. 

9) Next meeting day and time-Our next meeting will be held via Zoom on Feb. 16, 2021 at 6:30 PM.