Looking to adopt your next pet? To help you find your perfect companion, Jeanne Rowzee lists some of Maryland’s animal rescue shelters, as well as what you can expect from your visit and how to plan for adoption.
Maryland SPCA — Baltimore
Before visiting, Jeanne Rowzee reminds individuals that you should first ensure that your apartment is pet-friendly. Be sure to bring your lease or landlord contact information (if you are renting), any roommates or family members to meet the animals, and a photo ID with your current residence.
Adoption fees for dogs are $125 for medium and large dogs, $250 for small dogs, and $250 + $75 training fee for puppies under 6 months. As for the felines, cats can be expected to have an adoption fee of $55 for adults and $100 for kittens under 6 months.
Once you have selected the animal you want to adopt, you will need to fill out an application and meet with the counselor for an interview and to discuss the animal’s history. After this step, it’s time to bring your animal to its new forever home and license it to ensure its safety.
Charles County Tri-Country Animal Shelter — Hughesville
As the only government-run shelter for the tri-county area, Charles County houses lost and stray animals as well as offering animals available for adoption. Adoption fees are $150 for dogs and $85 for cats. Those interested can also call in to hear about monthly adoption specials. As an added bonus, the shelter has a live cat camera stream online to satisfy those who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge.
Baywater Animal Rescue — Cambridge
Celebrating 70 years of animal service, Baywater has a long-standing record of improving the lives of animals and people in the Dorchester County area. They provide pre-adoption assistance as well as post-adoption.
As is customary, you’ll be required to fill in an adoption form before you can adopt. Dogs and puppies are priced with adoption fees at $185 while cats and kittens are $50 — this includes spay/neuter fees as well as vaccinations and microchip registration. Barn cats and warehouse cats are free of charge, adds Jeanne Rowzee.
As a strictly no-kill shelter, they often host events like Stayin’ Alive dinners to raise money for medical and surgical care for their animals.
Kent County Animal Care Shelter — Chestertown
This shelter offers same-day adoptions, but you must first submit an online adoption application and wait at least 5 business days for processing. Jeanne Rowzee encourages you to bring all household members when visiting the shelter to make sure your pet will be a good fit for everyone.
Adoption fees are $75 for cats and kittens, $175 for adult dogs, $250 for puppies under a year old, and $25 for senior animals. These fees include various tests and treatments like vaccines, parasite and flea treatments, heartworm disease tests, feline leukemia tests, as well as microchipping.
This shelter also hosts events like Chili Cook-Offs to raise money for animal care.
Barcs Animal Rescue & Care Shelter — Baltimore
Potential adopters must first interact with their potential animal, then complete an adoption application. Afterward, applicants meet with an adoption counselor to discuss the next steps.
All adoptions include spay/neuter, vaccinations, flea and parasite treatment, micro chipping, a starter bag of Hill’s Science Diet pet food, and unlimited free certified training classes during your animal’s lifetime.
Adoption fees are $75, or $100 if you want to include a leash and collar for dogs and travel carrier for cats. The adoption is free for pets 5 years and older, outdoor barn cats, animals who need long term medical care, and for 2 animals that have grown up together that need to be adopted in the same household.
Introducing pets into your household is beneficial for everyone — you gain a new family member and the animal gets a forever home. As Jeanne Rowzee says, a home is not complete without a pet in it.