Baltimore Co Fails to Notify Owner of Impounded Dog with Microchip

Shayla, as pictured on the WBAL website.
Shayla, as pictured on the WBAL website.

Helen Turner’s microchipped shelter dog Shayla escaped her Maryland yard one day last month.  Baltimore Co Animal services picked her up close to home.  Instead of knocking on doors in the neighborhood to see if anyone recognized the dog, the impounding officer apparently just took Shayla to the pound.  Missed opportunity number one.

The Turner family searched the neighborhood for their lost pet, circulated her photo online and contacted area shelters.  Ms. Turner left several messages at the Baltimore Co pound but those messages were all ignored.  Missed opportunity number two.

A member of the public alerted Ms. Turner to a photo of a dog at the pound who looked like Shayla.  Ms. Turner went to the facility, showed the staff a photo of Shayla and asked if she was there.  The staff advised Ms. Turner that Shayla was not at the pound.  Missed opportunity number three.

Ms. Turner decided to walk through the kennels herself to find her dog.  She found Shayla, noted her kennel number and her kill date:  four days after impound.  After doing so, she returned to the front desk and told the staff she wanted to reclaim her pet. The staff regarded her with suspicion:

“I said, ‘Shayla’s here. No. 16.’ And they said, ‘Are you sure? It doesn’t look like her.’ I said, ‘I’m positive that’s our dog. Did you scan her? Because she’s chipped.’ And they were like, ‘Well, I just got here. I don’t know if she’s been scanned,'” Turner said.

Missed opportunity number four. Plus bonus points for side-eyeing the person trying to save the dog from the kill room and sidestepping the chip issue.  No thanks to the staff at the pound, Shayla is now home with her family, enjoying life.

Good going, Baltimore Co.  Remind me again how we all want the same thing and it’s the irresponsible public’s fault that shelters kill animals.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

16 thoughts on “Baltimore Co Fails to Notify Owner of Impounded Dog with Microchip

  1. White dog with distinctive “eyebrow” marking. Anyone half paying attention could match this dog to a photo. Or, you know, check for a chip.

    According to the comments section, this is par for the course at this “shelter”.

    1. Seems from the article that she did eventually get her dog back alive, but it was like pulling teeth to get the shelter staff to do their damn jobs.

      1. thanks, sarah. I was hoping that was the case. And yes, unfortunately typical. It’s a “job” – no interest in the animals or their caretakers. Not ALL facilities but too many.

  2. I surely hope the owners got their dog back, alive. I still ask the question, how much does a pound get to kill a dog vs. adopting it out? There seems to be a huge profit in the killing, which should not be.

  3. Well, if shelters were’t so persistently overwhelmed I’m sure they’d be happy to improve their quality of care. Maybe you should try working at one of these over-populated, underfunded facilities before criticizing so harshly. I’m not saying that all is well there. Dealing with shelter bureaucracy is usually some level of nightmare. I’m just saying that this is not the root of the problem; this is one of its symptoms.

    1. So if Ms. Turner had not continued to press these people to do their jobs and hadn’t gotten her dog back before the kill date, whose fault would it then be that the dog was dead?

    2. Your reasoning is backwards. Am I supposed to wait for the whole world to take care of their pets responsibly before I can expect my shelter not to kill my microchipped dog out of hand?

      This dog was neutered, microchipped, and had a person actively looking for him. There was ZERO reason why this dog should not have been reunited with his person the same hour he was impounded.

      Even when told that yes, this was their dog, they STILL got stonewalling – what’s with that? If these people can’t identify a white dog with an eyebrow marking, how well are the plain browns going to fare?

      Clearly the plan is to bring dogs in and kill them. The only reason this dog is still alive is because his person didn’t trust the shelter workers to be competent or compassionate at what they do. And thank goodness for that.

    3. Dev, I don’t know if you are familiar with this particular shelter, but being underfunded or overwhelmed is not the problem. The problem is years of old school, catch and kill culture, a lazy, stubborn, sociopath director and zero accountability to the community. I saw this as the former director of the animal control, open admission shelter in the next county. So with all due respect, yes, I have worked in shelter environments and I do know the realities. This a very poorly run shelter.

  4. In any other type of work, an employee would be fired, or at the very least reprimanded, for not doing his/her job. But oh, wait, in this type of work, even the employer doesn’t do his/her job.

  5. With a County Executive who believes and publically responded to questions from CAPA for Maryland with, “The county is doing a fine job. We are fulfilling our legal obligations by providing a storage space for dangerous dogs,” it is no wonder that Baltimore County has the worst performing animal shelter in Maryland. With a 63% kill rate, the highest in the state and a completely unapologetic adminstartion, incompetence, neglect and even abuse are the order of the day, every day at BCAS. Thankfully there is a vibrant group of citizens who have formed Reform Baltimore County Animal Services in an effort to change this. They are bringing attention and making headway, but it is a steep uphill battle. Thank you Yesbiscuit for sharing this and all injustices toward pets and the people who care about them. Shining a spotlight into the dark is an import step in the journey toward the light.

  6. As a previous Volunteer, I was let go of taking pictures of animals and putting them on social media sites or networking everything. The rules were more complicated , constantly changed and poorly communicated to the volunteers on how to photograph animals. Now the county is saying no one, even a citizen can take a picture of an animal.

    Mind you the picture this family saw on facebook was sneaked by a volunteer.

    To top it off this dog had a tattoo on it, because it was adopted out of a local no-kill shelter….they didn’t see the tattoo either!

  7. All reasonable safeguards for reuniting the dog with her owner including checking for a chip were disregarded. There is no excuse for this. Underfunded or not. The entire staff needs to be fired and replaced with dedicated hardworking personnel who DO Their jobs! Seems to me the people working there are lazy as well as non caring. In no other sector of work would this be tolerated!

  8. They might not be so overwhelmed if they would have taken the first missed opportunity. If they would have knocked on a couple of doors and scanned the dog in the field, they could have saved themselves the work of bringing the dog back, killing one in the process, fielding all these troublesome questions from an owner who clearly loves their dog. They would have saved themselves the work and time. One visit resolution. They are multiplying their own workload by not attempting to resolve the issue in the first place and return te dog to the owner in the field. So sad.

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