Month: August 2012

Hang On to a Dream

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The number one cause of death for companion animals in the US is a outdated animal shelter system. Every year between 3.5 and 4 million healthy companion animals are being injected with sodium pentobarbital, an anesthetic agent blue as a summer sky, or just pushed in a small gas chamber, fighting for survival for up to 5 minutes while hydrogen cyanide, carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide is being injected in to the gas chamber.

At one point in time the Allegany County Animal Shelter contributed to this numbers, killing 85% of all animals that were taken in.  That was until November 2010, when a small group of determined people went to the Allegany County Animal Shelter and demanded to stop the killing of  healthy, adoptable animals and a change of philosophy in animal sheltering. One of the biggest challenges for the Allegany County Animal Shelter always was the shelter itself, a building that was designed to kill animals and not to care for them or provide long term housing.  Back then nobody really dreamed the big dream, to have a modern shelter that would allow state of the art care and housing for the animals.

Fortunately, the future has arrived in Allegany County. The Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded in 2000, which prior to November 2010 was primarily an advocacy organization that conducted adoption events and organized feline spay/neuter clinics, started developing plans for a new, state of the art animal shelter. Stoiber & Associates were hired to develop plans for the construction which can be seen below.


The 11,000 sq ft facility will be built in two phases due to cost constraints. Phase One will be 7,700 sq ft and house dog and cat adoption services in the new center for about $1.5 million in construction costs. Phase Two will be an acute veterinary care center of 3,300 sq ft that will cost approximately $900,000 to add to the footprint. When complete, the complex would be capable of housing approximately 103 dogs and 120 cats indoors in modern multi-purpose facilities designed to aid the adoption process and improve working conditions for volunteers and staff.


The Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation also started a capital campaign to raise money for the new animal shelter. As part of the campaign the Foundation will introduce “Barktoberfest 2012”, which will become a annual event:




Several people from Allegany County attended the No Kill Conference, which was held in Washington D.C. on August 11/12  2012, including the Shelter Manager, Mr. Karl Brubaker, and the President of the Animal Shelter Management Foundation, Ms. Tina Rafferty. Peter Masloch of No Kill Allegany also attended and was part of the Panel “Reforming Animal Control as an Outsider”:



“Keep defying conventional wisdom. Keep pursuing your dreams. Keep refusing to take ‘No’ for an answer. Keep taking risks. Keep opening new doors. Keep entering new rooms. Keep exploring the Adjacent Possible. And together we will build a palace.” – Nathan Winograd






Update to the Pit Bull ruling in Maryland

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The General Assembly in Maryland will come together for a last session August 9/10 2012. The Joint Task Force Group, a 10 member group that was created after the MD Court of Appeals ruling (Tracey v Solesky), will try to introduce a legislation that will prevent any Breed Specific Legislation that was created by the MD Court of Appeals. The legislation of the Joint Task Force Group, which was drafted after the hearing of the Joint Task Force Group on June 19 2012, will include strict liability for dog owners. Currently Maryland is a minority State for not having this strict liability in place, 33 States across the United States do have the strict liability for dog owners in place. What it simply means is that the dog owner (and only the dog owner) will be held liable for the actions of his dog, regardless of the breed. The strict liability will exclude the liability for Landlords, veterinarians, dog groomers, dog trainers and any other 3rd parties. Removed also will be the “inherently dangerous” section for Pit Bulls.

I urge everybody to contact your elected official and ask to support the legislation of the Joint Task Force Group. You can find your local elected official here