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Public Meeting: Commissioners to Hear Citizen Feedback on Humane Society, Animal Control

A local animal advocacy group wants to see the shelter providing more services.

Credit: Patch
Credit: Patch
Several Carroll County commissioners will host a meeting on Monday, Dec. 9 to hear citizen feedback on the county-run humane society. 

County Representative Roberta Windham said that Commissioners Haven Shoemaker and Doug Howard would attend the meeting.

Carroll County contracts with the Humane Society to provide animal control services to county citizens, according to Windham. The county has budgeted $883,370 for animal control services in the current fiscal year.

Animal Advocates of Carroll County, a local animal activist group, has taken to Facebook to encourage citizens to attend the meeting. The organization's founder, Laura Shenk, has been critical of the Humane Society of Carroll County, saying that the shelter's kill rate is too high and that the shelter does not put forth sufficient effort to get animals adopted.

"They put no effort into getting animals adopted, and don't even bother to maintain hours that meet the needs of our community," Shenk said on the Animal Advocates Facebook page. "It really could not get much worse than what we have now."

In May, Humane Society Director Nicky Ratliff told a CBS affiliate that the public has to step up and help fix the overpopulation of cats by getting animals spayed and neutered. 

"There are too many cats and not enough homes," Ratliff said, according to CBS.

Spay and neuter programs have helped decrease the number of dogs being left at the shelter, Ratliff told CBS, with the number decreasing from 375 in 1987 to 57 in 2012. But the number of kittens four months or younger coming in -- 1,023 in 2012 -- has remained consistent, Ratliff said.

"It's a huge problem," Ratliff said, according to CBS. "I can't solve it, the public has to solve it."

In 2012, the Carroll County Humane Society accepted 2,700 cats, according to CBS. In that same year, 257 cats and 247 kittens were adopted.

There will be a public meeting, attended by at least two Carroll County commissioners, regarding the Humane Society and animal control on Monday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the County Office Building Reagan Room (room 003).

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Pam Hamburg December 04, 2013 at 12:19 PM
CCHS's hours to the public for adoption are deplorable. 9-3:30 M thru F, 9-12 on Sat, closed on Sun. Most people with families work M thru F during those hours, what a joke. Sat. mornings are frequently taken up by kids' activities, but usually Sat. afternoons are free for families. A couple days of evening hours would sure help, as would Sat. afternoons.
Tammy Zaluzney December 05, 2013 at 03:24 AM
According to CAPA for Maryland, Carroll County Humane Society has consistently been amoung the worst performing shelters in the state. According to the orgs. IRS 990, they raise almost no funds and rely almost entirely on their county funding. In the non-profit animal sheltering field this is generally consideted a lazy and an apathetic approach and it shows in the shelters poor performance and the directors continued attempt to blame her own failure on the public.
Commissioner R Rothschild December 08, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Commissioner Richard Rothschild is also scheduled to attend the listening session.
Kym Byrnes (Editor) December 08, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Thanks Commissioner Rothschild for the update.

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