BARCS receives 50% of the proceeds for all pet licenses sold. BARCS provides a downloadable license application and instructions for how to apply.
Pet License Fees
- $30.00 – without proof of spay/neuter
- $10.00 – with proof of spay/neuter
- $15.00 – owner over 65 years of age without proof of spay/neuter
- $5.00 – owner over 65 years of age with proof of spay/neuter
- $1.00 – replacement of lost license
- No fee – assistance dog
If you have either lost or found an animal, you should report that animal to the shelter. In order to file such a report, you must fill out one of the following forms.
Completed forms should be submitted to BARCS. You may either submit the forms in person (directions) or fax the forms to 410-783-6266. You may also send them to us via regular mail.
Lost a pet? Here are some things you can do:
- Alert local shelters, Humane Societies, SPCA, and Veterinary Hospitals (Make sure you give as much information as possible about the animal and ways to contact you.) Attach a picture!
- Post signs about the animal in the area last seen and the surrounding areas (animals will travel far!) Attach a picture!
- Post signs/pictures in local restaurants, stores, parks.
- Put ads in the local newspapers and magazines each week.
- Visit local shelters every 3 days to look at the strays. You can identify your animal best. (Many facilities have a “hold” period for stray animals. After that time period, the animal becomes property of that facility – BARCS holds for 3 days.)
- Submit your report to Petfinder and other similar sites.
Ways to prevent losing an animal companion:
- Have Rabies and license tags on your pet at all times.
- Write your name and phone number directly on the animals collar with a permanent marker. (Tags often fall off!)
- Have your pet micro-chipped. This is an identification device that is inserted under the skin, on the back of the animal’s neck. It is the size of a piece of rice and does not hurt the animal. When an animal is brought into a facility, the animal is scanned for a microchip, and the owners contact information is automatically provided. You can purchase a microchip from your veterinarian.
- Keep your pet properly restrained.
- Do not leave you pet outside unsupervised.
by Debbie Winkler CABC; CPDT & Dee Ruck BA; MPA
BARCS depends on its rescue partners to help save lives. We believe that it is important to work closely with all types of rescue groups to help more animals find their forever homes.
We work closely with all-breed rescue groups who come visit our shelter to select dogs and cats for their adoption programs. We also work closely with breed specific groups to come and take the many purebreds that we get in to our shelter.
We especially count on groups to help with the many animals that come to us that may have special needs, urgent medical attention, or are just simply older and more stressed in a shelter environment.
We are always looking for new groups to partner with us to help save the lives of the many homeless and unwanted animals of Baltimore city. If your organization would like to work with BARCS please complete the Rescue Partners Form (available in Microsoft Word format as well) and either email it, fax it or mail it to our rescue coordinator.
We invite you to call our rescue coordinator and discuss any questions you may have about our rescue program. We encourage organizations to come to the shelter when they have available space and look at the many dogs and cats we have to see if any would fit into their programs.
BARCS is also always in need of volunteers who can help transport animals to other facilities. If you are interested in helping our rescue program by transporting dogs and/or cats please contact the rescue or volunteer coordinators at 410-396-4695.
Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS)
301 Stockholm Street Baltimore, MD 21230
Located on the water side of the Ravens Stadium
Clinics are usually held the 1st Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. with some exceptions due to holidays or Vet availability. Call ahead to verify date.
- Rabies $6
- Microchip $20
- Distemper vaccination $10
Baltimore County Animal Control/Shelter
13800 Manor Road Baldwin, MD
Clinics are held on Tuesdays. Please call in advanced to schedule an appointment.
- Rabies $8 Appointments are required
- Microchip $25 No appointment necessary
Maryland SPCA Low-Income Vaccine and Wellness Clinic
4007 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21211
Located in Hampden Area of Baltimore City
Services & Pricing:
- Exam + Rabies Vaccine = $29.00
- Exam + Rabies Vaccine + Distemper Vaccine = $39.00
Hours: Every Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. – 5:15 pm; No appointment necessary. First Come, First Served.
-Must make under $25,000.00 annually for a single income household or $42,000.00 annually for a multi-income household.
-All pets must be healthy before receiving services. For ill pets or pets having issues, please request an appointment during regular hours.
-All cats must be in a secure carrier. All dogs must be on a leash and be well controlled.
-Cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover only, no checks.
Pet Wellness Clinic Division of West View Animal Hospital
5017 Ritchie Highway Baltimore, Maryland
Located in Brooklyn Park Plaza Shopping Center
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 5 p.m.-6:45 p.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m.- 11:45 a.m.
Must arrive at least 15 minutes before closing to see the doctor. Walk-ins welcome, No appointment necessary. Checks and cash only, no credit cards.
- Rabies $10
- Distemper $10
- Kennel Cough $19
- Lymes $20
- Dewormer (depends on weight)
- Others (please ask)
Test range from $20-$40.
Free Trap-Neuter-Return Workshops
Join us for our free workshops for information on how to help stray and feral cats in your community. See Alley Cat Allies (Baltimore) for more information.
Low-Cost Spay / Neuter
TNR (Trap Neuter Return) or Feral (un-socialized) CatsCommunity Cats Maryland, Inc.
Post Office Box 3637
Baltimore, MD 21214
email@example.com Maryland SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic
3300 Falls Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21211 410-889-SPAY firstname.lastname@example.org
Baltimore County Humane Society
1601 Nicodemus Road Reisterstown, MD 21136 410-833-4480 email@example.com
Falls Road Animal Hospital
6314 Falls Road
Baltimore, MD 21209
Animal Rescue Inc.
2 Heritage Farm Drive
New Freedom, PA 17349- CATS ONLY
Harford Co PAWS Animal Wellness Clinic 1098 Principio Furnace Road
Perryville, MD 21903
Anne Arundel SPCA in Annapolis
SPCA of Anne Arundel County
1815 Bay Ridge Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21403
410-268-4388 ext. 123
Low cost programs offered at AWS 410-465-4350 and Animal Advocates 410-880-2488
Why Spaying and Neutering is Critical
If you’ve put off spaying or neutering, it’s never too late to have this safe, highly beneficial operation performed on your pet. Looking for incentive? It’s the best, most humane way to avoid unwanted litters and thousands of homeless animals who are left to survive alone on the streets. In addition, there are several medical and behavioral benefits to your pet which ultimately result in a longer, happier life.
Medical Benefits of Spaying Female Pets
- Decreases the risk of breast cancer and tumors.
- Eliminates uterine disease, ovarian cysts, miscarriages, and delivery complications.
Behavioral Benefits of Spaying Female Pets
- Stops the heat cycle (bloody discharge, nervous pacing, crying/yowling) which, in turn, stops male dogs from having the urge to come into your yard.
Medical Benefits of Neutering Male Pets
- Decreases the risk of enlarged prostates, testicular cancer, and tumors.
Behavioral Benefits of Neutering Male Pets
- Stops the mating drive and subsequent spraying, reducing the urge to roam and mount.
- Reduces aggression against other animals, lowering the risk of injury, infection, and expensive veterinary bills.
The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) has partnered with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. As you know, The Department of Parks and Recreation is working with the community to create new dog parks. Parks and Recreation requires that all dogs that enter into a City dog park area be registered. Registration will require proof of a current pet license, proof of current rabies vaccination, proof of spay/neuter, and a $20 annual fee (seniors $10). (Please note that the Robert E. Lee dog park is not a City park. This park is run by a non profit organization through the County.)
BARCS has been asked to handle the registration process, and in return, the proceeds will benefit the animal shelter. Please visit the shelter at 301 Stockholm Street to register or mail in the registration form. Please remember to provide proof of spay/neuter, current city pet license, and current rabies vaccination records.
Dog Park Rules and Regulations
Statement of Purpose
The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore (City), acting by and through its Department of Recreation and Parks (Department) herein provide criteria and rules for the creation of fenced- dog-runs and defined off-leash-areas within public parks. The City is in full support of developing and providing dog parks to the citizens of Baltimore and their dogs. The Department of Recreation and Parks along with the Department of Planning will work with communities that wish to add dog-runs or an off-leash-area in their neighborhood parks to evaluate sites and determine which parks can best accommodate this new use. In addition, the Department shall have primary financial responsibility for the design and construction of any necessary improvements.
Sponsoring Community Group
Successful dog parks require partnerships with the community that enhance and protect the character of the neighborhood and accommodate the growing needs of Baltimore City. Each dog park will be sponsored by a dog park group, which will share the responsibilities with the Department for the maintenance, management and enforcement of the site. The sponsoring “Friends of” dog park group shall also have primary responsibility for daily management and operation of the park. The dog park group must enter into an Agreement with the Department and establish a primary point of contact as the group representative.
When contacted in writing by a community or sponsor group, the Department will assess the nominated park site for suitability for a dog park in either the “off-leash area” or “fenced dog run” design model. Not every park will be able to accommodate requests for dog parks. Only the Director of the Department of Recreation and Parks has the authority to establish a fenced dog run, or off-leash-area within a public park. If the Department feels the nominated site is suitable for a dog park, the Department will hold a series of public meetings to develop the design and rules for the specific location. Although there are general guidelines for the process of site review, each park is unique and various criteria of space and time management can be combined in the design of the dog park.
General Definition/Design Elements of dog Parks/Off-leash Areas
A Fenced Dog Run is a special fenced area for dogs to exercise and socialize. Design elements may include a five (5′) feet perimeter fence, special surface for adequate drainage and ease of cleaning, shade, benches, double gates for entry, dog water fountain and water source for cleaning the run, covered trash receptacles and dog waste bag dispenser.
An Off-leash Dog Area is a definable space within a park that is identified by signage as available for off-leash dog activity. The space is not enclosed in fencing, but is defined by park elements such as topography, landscaping or pathways. Design elements may include shade trees, a dog water fountain, benches, dog waste dispenser and covered trash receptacles. Some fencing four (4′) foot with landscaping may be required to separate the dog area from nearby roadways.
Site Selection Guidelines and Specifications
The City shall evaluate suggested neighborhood park areas for the establishment of a dog park or off-leash area using the following site guidelines and specifications to consider available space, topography, impact on existing park facilities, impact on adjacent land use and compatibility with overall park plans.
Criteria for Fenced Dog Runs
- The distance between the proposed fenced-dog-run and adjacent park features, homes and businesses will be evaluated for conflicts associated with noise. An ideal separation between a fenced-dog-run and businesses or residences is two hundred (200′) feet; however changes in topography or landscaping can reduce the need for spatial separation.
- Fenced-dog-runs will require well-drained land with a maximum slope of 5%. Fenced-dog- runs are not recommended for placement in a floodplain.
- A dog park shall have a surface type that allows for positive drainage away from the site and that helps mitigate waste management issues. Fenced-dog-runs must include artificial grass or another hard surface to allow cleaning with a hose.
If located within a city park, a fenced-dog-run shall not be placed in any area where it will negatively impact primary uses of the park, unless the impact can be mitigated by regulating the hours of operation. Sites will be evaluated for noise conflicts with adjacent park uses, residential areas and businesses. Potential use conflicts include but are not limited to the following:
- Playgrounds and children’s play areas
- Athletic fields and courts
- Sensitive habitats or wildlife areas
- Areas directly upslope from community gardens
- Jogging or bicycle paths
- Historic sites
- Ideally, a fenced-dog-run shall be no less than five thousand (5,000) square feet in area.
- Design of a fence-dog-run shall include a water supply to provide water for cleaning and maintenance of the park, a potable source for dogs to drink, and preferably, water for dog play.
- A fenced-dog-run shall have permanent signage, posted in English and Spanish, displaying hours of operation, rules and regulations and contact information for the Department of Recreation and Parks and Baltimore City Animal Control.
- A fenced-dog-run shall comply with all codes and regulations as they apply to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Clean Water Act (Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972), and the Baltimore City Building Code.
- Hours of operation will be set specifically for each location and may change with the seasons. Hours will be determined following consideration of other park activities, adjacent land uses, input from the immediate neighborhood and sponsoring dog group. The majority of dog owners exercise their dogs in the early morning and evening, so hours of operation will reflect common use unless adjustments are necessary to avoid conflict with other popular park activities. By adjusting hours of operation, potentially conflicting uses can share close proximity in a park. Hours of use may be suspended for special events in the park.
Criteria for Off-leash Dog Areas
- The distance between the proposed off-leash area and adjacent park features, homes and businesses will be evaluated for conflicts associated with noise. An ideal separation between off-leash-areas and businesses or residences is two hundred foot (200); however changes in topography or landscaping can reduce the need for spatial separation.
- Off-leash-areas should be located on well-drained land with a maximum slope of 15%.
- The surface of off-leash-areas can include natural turf or a hard surface.
If located in a city park, an off-leash area shall not be placed in any area where it will negatively impact primary uses of the park, unless the impact can be mitigated by regulating the hours of the dog park. Sites will be evaluated for noise conflicts with adjacent park uses, residential areas and businesses. Potential use conflicts include but are not limited to the following:
- Playgrounds and children’s play areas
- Athletic fields and courts
- Sensitive habitats or wildlife areas
- Areas directly upslope from community gardens
- Jogging or bicycle paths
- Historic sites
- Ideally, an off-leash area shall be a minimum of one (1) acre.
- Design of an off-leash area may include a potable water source for dogs.
- An off-leash-area shall have permanent signage, posted in English and Spanish, displaying hours of operation, rules and regulations and contact information for the Department of Recreation and Parks and Baltimore City Animal Control.
- An off-leash-area shall comply with all codes and regulations as they apply to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Clean Water Act (Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972), and the Baltimore City Building Code.
- Hours of operation will be set specifically for each location and may change with the seasons. Hours will be determined following consideration of other park activities, adjacent land uses, input from the immediate neighborhood and sponsoring dog group. The majority of dog owners exercise their dogs in the early morning and evening, so hours of operation will reflect common use unless adjustments are necessary to avoid conflict with other popular park activities. By adjusting hours of operation, potentially conflicting uses can share close proximity in a park.For example, a schedule of off-leash-area hours twice a day (5AM – 9AM and again from 5PM – 10PM) would avoid most conflicts between dog parks and playgrounds or dog parks and commercial zones. A schedule of only morning hours (5AM – 10AM) would reduce conflicts with athletic fields, and a schedule of only evening hours (5PM – 10PM) would reduce conflicts with many joggers.Weekends could be further adjusted with some parks offering longer off-leash hours such as Sunday morning (5AM – 12PM) or less Off-leash area hours such as dog-free Sundays. Time and space management of the off-leash-areas will be determined by meeting with each sponsor group and community to find the best fit for individual parks.
Operating Rules for Fenced Dog Run or Designated Off-leash Areas
- Dog owners/handlers wishing to use fenced-dog-runs or off-leash-areas will be required to pay an annual fee, and register each dog with the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), 301 Stockholm Street. Registration will include proof of Baltimore City dog license and current vaccinations. The fee for the “fenced-run/off-leash” tag will be $20/year, with a reduced rate of $10/year for seniors. The special tag will permit the dog access to any Baltimore City fenced-dog-run or off-leash-area.
- All fenced-dog-runs and off-leash-areas are for dogs, their owners/handlers and those accompanying them. No animals other than dogs are allowed in the area.
- Children under eight (8) years are not permitted inside fenced-dog-runs or off-leash-areas. Children age 9-15 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult. Dog Handler must be 16 years of age or older.
- Owners and dog handlers are limited to a maximum of three (3) dogs. Professional dog walkers, trainers and groomers shall not use the fenced-dog-runs or off-leash-areas to conduct their business.
- Dogs under the age of four (4) months and females in heat will not be allowed to use fenced dog-runs or the off-leash areas. Dogs that are ill or known to carry untreated parasites will not be permitted with in the fenced-dog-runs or the off-leash-areas.
- Dogs must wear a proper fitting collar or harness displaying their identification tag, Baltimore City “off-leash” registration tag, and rabies tag while in the fenced-dog run or off-leash area. Pinch collars, spike collars or slip collars that could cause injury to another dog during play are not permitted. Owners/Handlers must have possession of a dog leash at all times.
- Dogs must be under the control of their owners/handlers and in view of their owners/handlers at all times. Leaving dogs unattended is prohibited.
- Owners/Handlers must clean up after their dogs with plastic bags and dispose of dog waste in covered trash cans.
- Food and drinks in glass containers are not permitted in the Fenced Dog Run or Off-leash area. Treats for dog training are permitted.
- All dogs must be on a leash, eight (8′) feet or less when entering or leaving the fenced-dog- run or off-leash-area. Any dog found “off-leash” outside of an established fenced-dog-run or off-leash-area will be subject to Baltimore City Leash Laws and associated fines.
- Dogs must be leashed and removed from any fenced-dog-run or off-leash area at the first sign of aggression. Dogs with a record of aggressive behavior on file with the Baltimore City “Dangerous Dog Hearing Board” will not be allowed to register for use of fenced-dog-runs or off-leash areas.
- Owners/Handlers are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries caused by their dogs. Owners/Handlers use the fenced-dog-runs or off-leash-areas at their own risk.
- Any bites to humans must be reported to the Department of Health and Animal Control within 24 hours in accordance with communicable disease laws.
- In case of a special event or emergency, the Director shall post a notice of a planned closing at each entrance, stating the reasons for closure.
Complaints and Enforcement
Sponsoring dog park groups are primarily responsible for the enforcement of the operating rules; however, they may seek assistance and authority from the Department of Recreation and Parks Urban Rangers, Baltimore City Animal Control or City Police as necessary.
Complaints and concerns regarding a specific dog park will be directed to the sponsoring dog park group for resolution. If, after thirty (30) days, the complaint or concern is not satisfactorily resolved by the sponsor, the complainant and sponsor shall meet with the Director, or designee for mediation.
Canine Behavior Issues
Dogs often bark due to lack of exercise, boredom, or loneliness. The right amount of exercise and time spent with your pet will most often solve this type of problem. When a dog has used up a lot of its energy by exercising and interacting with you, they don’t need to expend their energy through natural behavior such as barking. Some dogs may need more exercise than others. It often depends on the breed of dog you have. We recommend all dogs to get a minimum of 3 walks a day: 1 walk in the morning when you wake up, 1 walk when you return from work or in the middle of the day, and 1 walk before bedtime. At least one of these walks should be a high-energy walk or exercise of some kind to get your dog’s heart rate up (toss the ball, go for a run, take your dog to a park). You can contact your local Veterinarian to get advice on how much exercise your specific dog may need.
When your dog is behaving well, you should give him more attention and praise. Often owners will ignore their pet when they are lying calm because it’s a time for them to rest as well. However, remember to let them know they are being good. This will help to increase this positive behavior. If you only pay attention (or correct/yell) at your dog when he is barking, he sees that as attention. Be sure to give attention to the things you want to see from your dog. They are craving attention and you are craving good behavior so remember to reward it!
Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. Dogs can be trained to chew on only items you want them to chew on; however, until the dog is to the point of understanding this, you may want to crate train them. Crate training can be very helpful to you and your pet. (Please see crate training below.) When you have a new pet, its best to set them up for success. Remove items off the floor that are easy to chew (example: shoes!) It may take a little more effort on your part to clean up your house in ways you never needed to before, but you will be happier in the long run! Set out toys that you want the dog to chew. There are a variety of toys available to you and your pet. Try out a few and see which ones your pet likes best. If you use the toy while you are playing with your dog, you will often find they gain more interest in the toy during times you are not around. Another way to make the toy more interesting is if you put a little peanut butter on the toy or put treats inside of the toy. You will want to rotate through a variety of toys to keep your pet’s interests.
If you like nothing better than coming home from a hard day’s work and finding that your dog decided to “go” on the couch or use your favorite slippers as a new chew toy, then crate training isn’t for you. But if you’re like most people, then using a crate to properly train your dog will be time well spent. Crate training takes some time and effort, but it is a proven way to help train dogs that act inappropriately without knowing any better. If you have a new dog or puppy, you can use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the rules-like what he can and can’t chew on and where he can and can’t eliminate. A crate is also a safe way of transporting your dog in the car or taking him places where he may not be welcome to run freely. If you properly train your dog to use the crate, he’ll think of it as his safe place and will be happy to spend time there when needed. Your dogs crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in. If your dog is still growing, choose a crate that will accommodate his adult size. Block off the excess crate space so your dog won’t eliminate at one end and retreat to the other. Crate training can take a few days or week, depending on your dog. It is important to keep two things in mind when crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant, and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don’t go too fast. To learn more details about how to crate train, contact the shelter or your local veterinarian.
Consistency is the best policy! Take your dog outside as often as possible, and especially right after eating, when beginning training. Once you get outside do not play with the dog until he/she has gone to the bathroom. Continue to walk the dog around the yard until they “go”. When the dog is going to the bathroom outside, calmly repeat one word or phrase that the dog can associate going to the bathroom with. For example you may use “do you business, go potty, etc.” Once he is finished going to the bathroom, then get really excited, let him know how good of a dog he is, and give him a treat. This encourages the dog to continue to go to the bathroom outside. Punishing your dog when they have an accident in the house does not work. The dog does not understand why it is being yelled at. You may accidentally teach your dog that going to the bathroom in generally is a bad thing or they may think you are punishing them simply because you came home (especially if you don’t “catch” them in the act). Instead you must be proactive in teaching the dog to “go” outside. Make it positive and fun and your dog will learn much faster. It will take effort on your part to take the dog out often and to also learn the body language that your dog is showing you when it has to “go”. Crate training is also helpful when housebreaking your dog.
Feline Behavior Issues
Litter Box Training
A good rule of thumb is to have 1 more litter box than the number of cats you have. For example, if you have 2 cats, you should have 3 litter boxes. Litter pans should be kept in an area away from your cat’s food and water bowls and they should be placed in different locations in you home. It is also best to scoop the litter pan at least 2 times a day. Having a clean litter pan will help keep the cat from choosing somewhere else to use the bathroom. Just as you do not want to go to the bathroom in an area that is dirty, neither do cats. Cats are very clean and would like their litter pan to be clean as well. Another helpful tip is to make sure that you are consistent with the type of litter you use. Cats will sometimes stop using the litter pan if they do not like the kind of litter you buy. Stick with what you already know works!
If you cat starts going to the bathroom in other locations, and you have been following the guidelines above, your cat may be having a medical problem. If a cat has a urinary tract infection, it will begin to use other locations of the house as a bathroom. Your first step should be to take the cat to the vet to rule out a medical issue. Antibiotics are often enough to treat this condition. If your cat does go to the bathroom outside the litter pan, throughly clean the area and block that area for a few days. De-clawed cats sometimes have litter pan issues as well. Please see the “prevent scratching” section below to learn why this may be a problem.
Cats that are not spayed or neutered will often spray to mark a territory. Hormones take a few weeks to get out of the cats system so if your cat is not altered, do it immediately! It is best to have them altered before they reach sexual maturity and especially before the spraying behavior begins. If you are too late, and the cat is already spraying, you will need to train them. The best way to do this is to confine them in an area when you are not home and if you are not able to supervise them. Start with keeping them in an area that can easily be cleaned such as a bathroom. In that area you will also want to put their food, water, and of course a clean litter pan. When you are home and able to supervise your cat, allow them to roam around. When your cat goes into the litter pan, be sure to praise them. Once they have gone to the bathroom, be prepared to give them a treat!
How to Prevent Scratching
Scratching is a normal cat behavior that helps the cat to mark its territory and to maintain their claws. The best thing for you to do is to provide them with areas to scratch and trim their nails on a regular basis. There are a variety of scratch posts and toys available to you and your cat. Try out a few kinds since not all cats like specific toys. For example, scratch posts come with carpet or with rope. Find out which kind your cat likes or try both. Keep the scratch posts in areas the cat likes to hang out. It is often helpful to place a scratch post in areas where you see the cat normally scratching such as the corner of your couch! If your catch your cat scratching on something you do not want them to, immediately remove them from that area and put them near the scratch post. When you see the cat scratch on the post, make sure you reward them! If your cat doesn’t seem to like the scratch toys you have collected, you can also try to entice them to use it by putting catnip on the toy.
Trimming your cat’s nails on a regular basis is another great way to help with scratching problems. You should begin this training immediately. When you first train this behavior, be sure to have some yummy treats present so that you can reward her for good behavior. The best way to begin is to trim one nail and then give a reward to your cat. When you first begin training, you may choose to stop after one nail in order to make this a positive experience. It may take you a few day or a week to get to every nail at first; but keep in mind it is best to make sure you make the training positive so that you can easily maintain nail clipping.
De-clawing your pet often is not the answer to your scratching problems. (Remember, outdoor cats should never be de-clawed since this is their only protection.) De-clawing can cause many problems with cats; including, litter pan issues. In order to remove the nails from a cat, the bones at the end of their paws are also cut off. Cats like to dig and cover their “waste” after going to the bathroom. Over time, this behavior becomes more difficult for cats and they will start going to the bathroom in other locations.
To report any animal issues, call 311. Once your call is reported to 311, an Animal Enforcement officer will be dispatched to investigate the complaint. Calls are prioritized according to safety issues and emergencies. If you have already reported your concern to 311 and are still in need of further assistance, please contact an Animal Control Officer Supervisor by calling 410-396-4688.
You may also be able to report your problem online through the Baltimore City Health Department.
Our shelter takes in an astounding 12,000 animals a year! Due to new programs at the shelter, we have been able to lower the euthanasia rate by almost 50%; however, we still have a long way to go. There are more animals being surrendered each day than we are able to place into homes. Animals brought to us may be placed into our adoption program, sent to another rescue group, or unfortunately euthanized if we do not have space or if they are deemed not-adoptable. We hope to continue to increase the number of animals saved in Baltimore City, but we need your help!
Too often owners lose their pets and never reunite with them. Please visit our lost and found page to learn more of what you can do to prevent a loss. Per the state law, a shelter must hold a stray animal for 3 business days for an owner to attempt to find it. After that time, the animal may be placed up for adoption, sent to rescue, or euthanized if not reclaimed by its owner. If you find a stray animal, please take it to the shelter closest to the area you found it. This will help aid the owner in finding their pet.
You can help find the owner by posting signs around the area you found the animal, at your local veterinarian hospitals, pet stores, and shelters. If you chose to hold onto the animal while you are looking for the owner, please contact your local shelters to report the found animal. (In Baltimore City, please contact BARCS, MD SPCA, Baltimore County Animal Control, and Baltimore County Humane Society). You should also have the animal scanned for microchip identification at your local vet or shelter.
If you see un-owned cats roaming outside, we need to get them spayed/neutered and vaccinated! This will help lower the population of feral cats. If you need help with outside cats in Baltimore City, please contact the MD Feline Society firstname.lastname@example.org for help. The Maryland SPCA and BARCS hold monthly workshops on how to get involved with spaying and neutering (also called TNR) outdoor cat populations. Call the shelter today to find out more or visit Alley Cat Allies (Baltimore).
Surrendering Your Pet
BARCS and Animal Control combined take in almost 12,000 animals a year. Due to the overwhelming number of animals that are surrendered to our shelter, we have begun charging a fee to anyone surrendering a pet that is not a Baltimore City resident.
For the benefit of your pet’s well-being, we ask that you consider the following before surrendering to the shelter:
- Moving? If you are moving there are many pet-friendly housing opportunities available. One example is apartments.com.
- Medical concerns/costs? If you are surrendering your pet due to a medical issue, your veterinarian may allow you to set up a payment plan so that your pet can receive proper care and treatment at a cost affordable to you. Call your local vet today!
- Behavior issues? Behavior issues can usually be remedied with just a few changes. There are a variety of training classes available to you in your area. You can also call your local shelter or veterinarian to inquire about your concerns. Visit our dog and cat training tips above to learn about what you can do with some of the most common behavior issues for cats and dogs.
- Not home enough? If you are concerned that you are not at home enough, there are many options for pet sitters and doggie daycares available to you. Keep in mind that pets usually sleep most of the day. They are very happy when you return home, and waiting for your return is worth it!
- Ask around for help. Talk to friends, neighbors, co-workers and relatives and see if they or anyone they know would be interested in adopting the animal or housing it until a new owner can be found.
- Post notices. Put up notices at your local vet office, rescue, shelter or petfinder.com, newspapers, free websites, etc to see if you can help in finding a new home for your animal. The MD SPCA has a re-homing program where they will also assist you with your pet. Make sure any person who is interested in adopting the animal will care for it properly and for life.
- Pure Breed? If the animal is a pure breed, contact a rescue group for that breed. If the rescue group does not have room, ask them to post the animal’s picture on their adoption web site. Many rescues are listed on Petfinder.
- Puppies and kittens? If you are surrendering puppies or kittens, please hold onto them until they are 8 weeks old. They will be more healthy and have a better chance of surviving if they can nurse from their mothers. It is also against the law to sell, adopt, or give away animals that are under 8 weeks of age. Our shelter does not have space to raise them so we need you to hold onto them a little longer. During that time, you may also find someone who would like to adopt them!
- Never let your pet loose on the street thinking it will have a better chance of survival. Animals are like humans and need food, shelter, water and care. On the street, they will suffer, starve and risk being injured by a car or malicious person.
If you still choose to surrender your pet, you may do so in one of the following ways:
Last Resort: How to Surrender a Pet
A person may come to the shelter during our hours of operation to drop off an unwanted animal. The person is required to provide identification and complete a questionnaire about their pet. Bring any documentation, vet records, vaccine history, medication, etc that you have for your pet. The more information we have, the better chance the animal will have being placed into a program.
The following is the fee schedule for redemption of impounded animals. The owner is responsible for all charges. Cash only. For questions concerning the reason for the impoundment of your pet, please contact Animal Control at 410-396-4688.
Proof of current Rabies vaccination, spay/neuter, or microchip will lower the cost of the redemption.
$50.00, plus $35.00 fee for microchip implantation
$70.00, plus the cost of spay/neuter procedure (animal will not leave the shelter until it is altered)
$80.00, and an administrative hearing will be required in order to reclaim the animal.
- Boarding: $15.00 per day
- Intake Vaccines: $10.00
- Rabies vaccination: $45.00
- Medical fees: Varies depending on treatment provided
- No one under the age of 18 can reclaim an animal.
- Proof of owner identification must be provided.
- Proof of ownership of the animal must be provided.
- For “misrepresentation to obtain custody” of an animal in our care, the penalty is a fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both fine and imprisonment for each offense.