Humane Society Of Harford County Saw 17% Increase In Rescues Last Year, Plans To Expand Services In 2023


Credit: Van Fisher/Patch

HARFORD COUNTY - The Humane Society of Harford Couty saw a 17% increase in rescues in 2022 and is planning to expand services further in 2023, according to a news release from the non-profit.

The shelter was awarded a gold-level Candid charity seal for 2022, demonstrating its commitment to community service and transparency.

Executive Director Bob Citrullo took charge halfway through last year, along with veterinarian Traia Roper, the shelter’s new director of the medical department.

“Our goals in 2023 include expanding our surgical capabilities, and thanks to the backing from our donors, we are well on our way,” Citrullo said.

The shelter’s intake increased from 2,196 animals in 2021 to 2,575 in 2022, a massive increase that saw them briefly run out of space for new dogs.

“We have this one building in which to house dogs, and the constant influx is catching up with us,” Citrulllo said in October.

Despite these challenges, the shelter achieved a 98.2% live release rate for the year. More than 1,250 animals were adopted in 2022, with the most significant increase coming from dog adoptions, which went up 144.6% to 296 dogs.

Cat adoptions also increased slightly, up 1.3% over the prior year, with 760 cats and kittens getting adopted.

According to the shelter, 13% more animals were reunited with their owners this year. The shelter says this is partially due to the increased prevalence of microchips and ID tag collars. The humane society also offered microchip services for free, tagging 1,156 pets throughout 2022.

The shelter reopened its volunteer program for the first time since the pandemic. Citrullo said the outpouring of support was inspiring.

“Using the latest Value of Volunteer Time report from, the 5,165 hours our volunteers gave last year is worth $154,692,” Citrullo said in the release. “This does not include the time dozens of our foster parents contributed to care for the 262 animals placed with them in their homes.”

In another sign of community support, on “Giving Tuesday,” the shelter raised over $27,000 to acquire specialized equipment for veterinary dental procedures. Including dental work, the veterinary team completed over 1,000 procedures in 2022.

“We are making investments for the future but also keeping true to our roots,” Citrullo said. “We will continue to spay and neuter animals prior to adoption, but will also be able to perform routine dental cleanings as well as x-rays and extractions and won’t have to pass these costs on to adopters.”

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