The Humane Society of Harford County Is Out of Room for New Dogs


Credit: Van Fisher/Patch

HARFORD COUNTY - For most of the year, the Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC) has been waging a battle, trying desperately to make space and keep kennels open for new dogs coming into the shelter in Fallston, MD.

After taking in 46 dogs since the beginning of October, all 65 kennels inside the facility are occupied, and officials worry about where they will put the next new arrival.

Bob Citrullo, executive director of Harford Humane Society, says the shelter tries its best to make space.

"Our team is very good at moving animals through the shelter," he said. "Whether networking with other shelters and rescue groups who can take a dog or two, quickly locating owners to reclaim lost dogs, posting to social media, and even letting adopters pick their adoption fee, it all helps to find placement for the dogs. But we have this one building in which to house dogs, and the constant influx is catching up with us."

According to Citrullo, the lack of space in Harford County also affects shelters and rescues across the country.

"The current economic climate is tough. People are tightening their budgets, and adopting a new pet is not part of the plan."

The shelter says Legal cases involving Animal Control are also taking a toll. When dogs become part of a pending court case for cruelty allegations, ownership issues, or dangerous dog contentions, they end up at the shelter.

The HSHC is under contract with Harford County to treat and hold the animal pending the court's decision. This process can take months and, in one current case, almost two years.

HSHC is requesting help from the community to give these dogs a place to go. If you cannot adopt, one option is to become a foster parent for a dog, giving them a temporary place to live for a few weeks until space is available again.

Citrullo also recommends seeking help before putting a dog up for adoption.

"If you need to bring your pet to the shelter because you can't afford to feed him, talk to us first," Citrullo said. "We have a pet food pantry. If you need help correcting undesirable behavior, our partner trainer, Mutt Magic Training, offers free consultations. Our adoption counselors can offer resources to help with other situations, so please talk to us before making your decision. The best place for your dog is often at home with you."

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