Here's a summary of the November, 2021 meeting.
November 16, 2021 Meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission
1) Call to order
2) Roll Call and certification of a quorum-In attendance were Deborah stone Hess, Chris Shaughness, Louis Eguzo, Bob Swensen, Ren Varela, Anne George, and Sarah Hardy
3) Approval of October 2021 Minutes
Here are the minutes as approved:
BALTIMORE COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES
October 19, 2021
The sixtieth regular meeting of the Baltimore County Animal Services Advisory Commission was held on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 via GoogleMeet.
Members in attendance were: Deborah Stone Hess, Chris Shaughness, Sarah Hardy, Bob Swensen, Rene Varela, and Roy Plummer.
Other attendees: Sandra Andrulis, Anne George, Jennifer Lavin Pruitt
This meeting was called to order at 6:36 p.m. by the Chair Deborah Stone Hess.
September minutes were approved.
TNR bill (Joy Freedman Care for Cats Act) has been submitted to County Council. Work Session is 10/26/2021 and it will be voted on at the 11/4/2021 meeting. Several people are scheduled to testify in favor. Becky is working on SOPs.
The Commission’s proposed annual report was discussed. The Commission voted to approve the report.. It will be submitted to the County Council and County Executive.
Meeting visitor Anne George brought up the HASS Model for sheltering and will send information about it. There is a presentation Thursday at 2 p.m.
Next meeting scheduled virtually for November 16, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
Adjournment at 7:02 p.m.
4) New Business
a) Welcome Samantha O’Neil-Senior Adviser to the County Executive-Sam attended our meeting. Sam was strategic in the county's work to create a TNR law. She discussed ongoing county efforts concerning the fight against COVID. She encouraged the Commission's members to take part in the American Rescue Plan public input sessions to provide thoughts on how the money should be spent. The first one will take place on Nov. 29th 6:30 webex. The county got 160 million dollars in pandemic-related funds. In addition, the county will have a budget town hall series for the upcoming budget cycle to hear from the public in each councilmanic district. Citizens can advocate for programs/services they deem important.
b) Introduction of new Commission member Anne George-Anne is a former teacher and has been involved in animal issues in Baltimore County for many years. She said she is excited to join the Commission, hopes too begin volunteering at BCAS, and is very interested in researching new concepts in animal sheltering.
c) Maryanne Martin Bailey Resigning from Commission-Maryanne was appointed to the Commission by Councilman Tom Quirk in March 2017. Maryanne has been an active member and is devoted to animal welfare. She will be missed!!!
d) Refusal to Allow Adoption-Sarah Hardy-Sarah raised questions about when BCAS is allowed to refuse to allow someone to adopt. We will be looking into that issue.
e) Passage of TNR bill-The Joy Freedman Care for Cats Act (Baltimore County's new TNR bill) passed the County Council unanimously. This is amazing news and great for our county's free-roaming cats. Now BCAS must devise all of the regs that will supplement this bill.
f) Change in TNR numbers in Commission report-There was an inaccurate number included in the Commission's 2021 annual report. It mistakenly give the number of TNRs performed by BCAS from the end of last year's third quarter to the end of this year's third quarter as 304. The correct number is 1114. The change has been submitted to the County Council members and the County executive's office.
g) Full Shelter-BCAS has been inundated with animals this summer and fall and often is running full.
h) Video on Compassion Fatigue-The high numbers of animals at BCAS highlight the struggle with compassion fatigue that shelter workers often experience. Deborah is working on a video with BCAS about this issue,
5) Any Other Business-Chris Shaughness is concerned about people buying puppies from irresponsible breeders including puppy mills and wants to discuss how we can educate people about this issue. The Commission discussed how we might train people to speak at Community Assn. meetings about this. Chris, Anne and Bob are going to form a committee to begin to formulate ideas.
We also discussed whether BCAS should continue the policy that animals found in the community must be taken to the shelter.
6) Next meeting date-There will be no meeting in December. Our next meeting will be held virtually on January 18, 2022 at 6:30 PM. If anyone in the public wants to attend please notify Deborah on FRB and she will send you the link.