Animal Instincts

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated – Mahatma Gandhi

The Queen Anne’s County Department of Animal Services held an Open House last Saturday in an effort to thank the many individuals and organizations who contributed in 2007 to the department’s mission of promoting humane treatment of all animals. 

“We wanted to honor them to let people know how much we appreciate their service,” says Morris “Bunky” Jones Sr., Director of QAC Department of Animal Services. 

Trish Bartz, who donated 416 hours of volunteer service to the organization, received the Volunteer of the Year Award. Other volunteers recognized were Joan Oliver with 247 donated hours and Nancy Thrush, who volunteered 157 hours. Johanna Powers, Gabriel Becker, Tom Anderson, Denise Hubbard, Irene Pappas and Doy Schultz all received recognition for numerous volunteer hours. 

Veterinarians Dr. Jenifer Russell, who serves on the Animal Control Commission Board and donates her professional services, and Dr. Michael Forney who provides spay/neuter services both received special awards for their valuable contributions to the department.

Additionally, several area businesses and non-profit organizations received awards for countless services and funds they provide for the animals within the shelter.  

Before 1978, the Humane Society of Queen Anne’s County, Inc. provided services for neglected, abused, lost and stray animals, according to Dawn Nodi, of the Humane Society. Now the Humane Society donates volunteer services, educational resources and spay/neuter assistance. Animal Services, previously known as Animal Control, is an official department of the county and is the only animal control entity on the Eastern Shore operated by government personnel.

“We changed the name to Animal Services because we do much more than control animals,” says Bunky. “We provide spay/neuter services at a reduced cost for those who cannot afford to have that done for their pets through other means.” He adds, “Our goal is to spay and neuter all animals to reduce the population of strays.” 

“We also provide a very pro-active adoption service program for all animals,” says Bunky. “For every animal that comes through our doors; our goal is to find a home.” Through their efforts, the department has re-homed many dogs, cats, birds, snakes, guinea pigs and even a pot-bellied pig.

One such case, “Blake” a Yellow Labrador, showed enormous potential as a search and rescue dog. Animal Control officers invested their own time to train Blake to track a person’s whereabouts based on scent. Not only does Blake have a new, loving home, but also he will soon be able to serve the county in the event of an emergency. Similar dogs from the shelter have found productive lives as police or guard dogs – even at the Whitehouse! 

Animal Services also intervenes when citizens have an altercation with wildlife such as raccoons, fox or deer. Additionally, officers are called in when animal neglect or cruelty is suspected.

“We want to make sure animals are properly treated,” says Bunky. In the case of malnourished or abused animals, officers step in to confiscate those animals and even fine the owner. They may also educate and work with the owner, under certain circumstances. 

Among the Open House attendees was Jeanne Guinter.  The Jeanne Guinter Spay/Neuter Clinic, was named in honor of Jeanne’s dedication of service, compassion and love of the animals.

For more information about the QAC Department of Animal Services, to volunteer or adopt a pet, visit www.petfinder.com or call 410-758-2396.

 

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