Humane Society of Harford County runs out of room for new dogs, asks for help and offers alternatives

Oct. 27—The Humane Society of Harford County is asking for help once again as the animal shelter is full with dogs.

Representatives of the Humane Society said they have been trying to make space and keep kennels open for new dogs coming into its shelter in Fallston. But after taking in 46 dogs since the beginning of October, all 65 kennels inside the facility are occupied, according to a news release.

"Our team is very good at moving animals through the shelter," said Bob Citrullo, executive director. "Whether networking with other shelters and rescue groups who can take a dog or two, to quickly locating owners to reclaim lost dogs, to posting to social media and even letting adopters pick their own 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."

The space crisis felt in Harford County is being felt at shelters and rescues all across the country, Citrullo said.

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

However, legal cases involving animal control have also taken a toll. When a dog becomes part of a pending court case, the shelter is under contract with Harford County to treat and hold the animal, pending the decision of the court. This process can take months and some cases years. One dog has been held at the shelter almost two years.

"The majority of the cases the Humane Society places on hold for Animal Control are humane cases," said Kyle Andersen of the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Those animals are seized by the Animal Control because of neglect or abuse.

The Morning Sun

None of the dogs that are currently in custody at the shelter are involved in dogfighting cases, Andersen said.

The Humane Society is offering several options for anyone to help. Those who are interested in adoption can visit the shelter at 2208 Connolly Road in Fallston or browse the listing of pets at

The shelter is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays from 12-4 p.m. During October, adopters can pick their own adoption price.

If adoption is not an option, you can become a foster parent and give a homeless dog a temporary place to live for a few weeks until space is available again. Foster parents care as well as provide information about how the pet behaves in a home setting, while the shelter can provide supplies and medical care.

To read more about the program and apply to become a registered foster parent, visit

Other ways to make a difference include contacting your veterinarian or visiting the shelter to microchip your pet and ensure that the chip is registered correctly with your current phone number. If your pet becomes lost and ends up at the shelter, this will ensure your pet is only at the shelter a few hours, as opposed to a few days or weeks.

"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 an undesirable behavior, our partner trainer, Mutt Magic Training, offers free consultations. Our adoptions counselors can offer resources to help with other situations, so please talk to us before making your decision. Oftentimes, the best place for your dog is at home with you."