Wednesday, May 26, 2021

May Meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission

Hi, everyone, Here's a wrap-up of our May meeting. AGENDA MAY 18, 2021 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, Chris Shaughness, Roy Plummer, Sarah Hardy, Rene Varela, Bob Swensen, Louis Eguzo, and Steve Malan. Alaso attending was was Deputy Chief of Animal Services Jonny Akchin and our secretary Brandi Miller. 3) Approval of April 2021 Minutes-Here are the minutes as APPROVED: BALTIMORE COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES ADVISORY COMMISSION April 20, 2021 The fifty-fifth regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 via GoogleMeet. Members in attendance were: Deborah Stone Hess, Chris Shaughness, Sarah Hardy, Bob Swensen, Louis Eguzo, Rene Varela. Other attendees: Dr. Andrulis, Jonny Akchin, Ann Gearhart, Jennifer Lavin. This meeting was called to order at 6:47 p.m. by the Chair Deborah Stone Hess. Minutes March minutes were approved. New Business: Ann Gearhart is leaving the Commission. Taking her seat as an Administrative appointment is Rene Varela. Ann Gearhart has always been a strong advocate for educational outreach and expressed her hope that, once Covid is behind us, BCAS will be able to create new educational outreach programs to the community through schools and libraries. Ann will be missed greatly. Her replacement, Dr. Rene Varela, has been a veterinarian for 20 years and is a lifetime animal lover. Also leaving our Commission is Janice Vincent who is one of the original Commission members. Janice has been a dedicated member of our group and is very passionate about animals. Janice was an appointee of Councilwoman Cathy Bevins. Councilwoman Bevins has chosen Sarah Hardy to replace Janice. Sarah was one of the original people who organized a call for change at BCAS many years ago, well before the current management team was in place. Sarah is a volunteer at BCAS. Commission members reviewed BCAS 1st quarter stats. We learned that BCAS is now open to the public at reduced capacity for adoptions but you still need an appointment to surrender an animal. Jonny Akchin praised the amazing work that was done in the last weeks to find rescue placement for so many animals that came in to BCAS as a result of a seizure in March of over 400 animals, most of them rodents (about 350 rats, 72 guinea pigs, plus mice and hamsters). Many of the animals were sick and had to be euthanized but BCAS found live outcomes for approximately 60% of the animals, which was an extraordinary accomplishment. Jonny credited Anna and Tim for great work in finding placements 2020 TNR Grant from the state is complete. The county is currently paying for Currently doing month to month free TNR Friday walk-ins. Last week BCAS submitted a grant request for TNR that will start providing grant funds to BCAS in January 2022. Deborah introduced a resolution to remind members that the Commission needs to speak with a unified voice and therefore prohibiting Commission members from speaking individually with the news media or posting on social media about issues that are in the Commission's purview. The Commission approved the resolution with additional discussion following. Sarah asked what the Commission can do to help adopters be more successful to prevent animals from being returned. Jonny mentioned that BCAS has begun doing post adoption surveys. Dr. Andrulis mentioned that she has looked into the possibility of linking BCAS adopters with the SPCA which is offering online behavior classes. Deborah is working on a 2nd cat introduction video. Bob thanked Deborah, Jonny and BCAS for their help with a dog that was found in the Hereford area. Sarah suggested the option of live-streaming this meeting. Asked about volunteer retention plan and about a volunteer survey BCAS is conducting. Jonny and Dr. A said they could provide a summary of the findings of that survey. Jonny said there is now an SOP that strays will be named only by the vet team in an effort to reduce animals having multiple names while at BCAS. Next meeting scheduled for May 18, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Adjournment at 7:42 p.m. 4) Old Business 5) a) Volunteer Survey-Jonny Akchin gave information on the volunteer survey recently conducted by BCAS. Here's a summary of his remarks about the survey: He wasn’t rthrilled with Survey Monkey which only allowed 40 responses and plans to use another survey system for future surveys. Overall they had a majority positive response. A substantial majority of those whor esponded are very satisfied or satisfied with the volunteer program. Only 5% said they feel they are in the way of the staff Among those who have served 3 years or more there's more diversity of opinion. Just over half are satisfierd or very satisfied All newcomers are satisfied or very satisfied and feel valued. As for written responses, they range from minor to major critiques. The major complaints say there is a lack of communication from staff in quality and quantity. 6) New Business a) April 2021 BAWA stats-Here are the April 2021 shelter stats as submitted to the Baltimore ANimal Welfarw ALliance (BAWA): Basic Data Matrix April 2021 Species by Age Dogs Cats Total A Live Animal Count at Beginning of Month 54 85 139 Live Intake During Month B Stray/At Large 107 113 220 C Relinquished by Owner 41 48 89 D Owner Requested Euthanasia 20 6 26 E Transferred In From Agency 0 0 0 F Other Intakes 8 27 35 G TOTAL LIVE INTAKE 176 194 370 Disposition During Month H Adoption 39 64 103 I Return to Owner 66 8 74 J Transferred to another Agency 39 28 67 Transferred within BAWA 7 12 19 K Other Live Outcome 0 23 23 L Died/Lost in Care 0 8 8 M Euthanasia - At Owner's Request 21 6 27 N Euthanasia - All other than owner request 20 12 32 O TOTAL DISPOSITION DURING MONTH 192 161 353 P Live Animal Count at End of Month (A+G-O) 38 85 156 Live Release Rate 88.3% 91.8% 89.9% b) Update from Dr. Andrulis- Deborah spoke with Dr.Andrulis for an update and here is a summary: Still doing appts. for surrender Makes sense to continue doing managed intake going forward. This allows them to provide resources over the phone that may be able to prevent the need for surrender. If the pet owner is having an emergency BCAS will allow them to surrender right azway. will let them come right away if its an emergency BCAS had a volumnteer meeting and a vol appreciation even. BCAS held its first off-site event since COVID last saturday They have gotten ther ok to bring the Cuddle Shuttle to vaccination sites because there are so many people going in and coming out of there. the Cuddle Shuttle hasn’t been used and will be undergoing maintenance and repairs but they did go to a vaccine site and set up a table to give information. This led to a family coming in and adopting two kittens BCAS hopes to set up more off site events for the Cuddle Shuttle They have approval to set up a table at the farmers market at the ag center first firsay of every month Need to ramp up to do more Dr. A wants to do some kind of continuing education for the volunteers… Several initiatoives are being piut forward for the volunteer program c) Volunteer Training Videos-Deborah is making six volunteer training videos for use by the volunteer program in training new volunteers. d) Kuranda bed fundraiser-Friends of Baltimore COunty Dogs recently held as fundraiser to buy new kuranda beds for the dogs and several Commission members contributed. e) Committee to explore ways to support “Friends of” organizations-Steve Malan is going to act as a liaison with the "Friends of": organizations to see if there's anything else the COmmission can do to help them. f) Meet Indoors? The COmmission is going to resume indoor meetings this coming September. 7) Any Other Business? 8) Date and Time of Next Meeting Our next virtual Commission meeting will be held on 15th at 6:30 pm. 9) Adjournment