Department Will Enforce New Animal Shelter Standards

puppy-dog-cute-mammal-abandoned-shelter-608756-pxhere.comThe State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners will begin enforcing animal shelter standards and inspecting shelters this year. Additionally, by July 1, 2019, all rooms where animals are housed must have a fire alarm system that will alert authorities of fire or heavy smoke.

The standards and inspections apply to all shelters except private or commercial kennels unless they receive funding from the State Spay & Neuter Grants Program

Notice from the Maryland Department of Agriculture:

In 2017, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 626- Agriculture – Animal Shelters – Standards of Care and Protocol Implementation and Enforcement, which required the Maryland Department of Agriculture to develop standards of care for dogs and cats kept in:

1. A shelter that is owned by a county or municipality;

2. A shelter that a county or municipality contracts with for animal control services; or

3. A shelter that has received a grant from the Maryland Spay and Neuter Grant Program during the previous year.

The department developed these standards in cooperation with the Professional Animal Workers of Maryland (PAWS), the ASPCA, and HSUS-Maryland. They became final April 23, 2018.

For more information contact the State Board Office at 410-841-5862.

Websites and documents:

Maryland Board of Veterinary Examiners website.

Notice to County Animal Control Shelters (Maryland Department of Agriculture)

Chapter 11 Animal Shelters — Minimum Standards of Care