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Activists Rally For Reform At Baltimore County Animal Shelter

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—Outrage, anger and allegations. A group of activists claims animals are living in deplorable conditions at Baltimore County's animal shelter. Right now they are rallying, demanding change.

Investigator Mike Hellgren took a tour of the facility.

WJZ went inside Baltimore County's animal shelter following complaints from a group demanding reforms. Activists claim volunteers are often shut out and the euthanasia rate is too high--at more than 60 percent.

They've produced videos documenting some of the animals they believe could have been saved and better cared for.

"These are healthy, adoptable animals that are being killed," said Lynn Greene, Reform Baltimore County Animal Services.

"It's run like it's the 1930s. It's run like a rural shelter is run. This is Baltimore County. We're not a poor county," said Jordy Rosoff, Reform Baltimore County Animal Services.

WJZ went to the director of the county's health department-- who has oversight of the shelter. He says spaying and neutering have expanded, weekend hours have been added, along with two veterinarians.

"What they're saying is absolutely not correct," said Dr. Gregory Branch, director of Baltimore County Health Department. "Our euthanasia rates have gone down, and we have to understand that when we are a public facility, I cannot turn down any animals."

A new $5 million shelter opening next year will replace the old one.

The county's shelter is government run like those in Howard and Anne Arundel counties. Baltimore City's is run by a nonprofit, but despite attempts, no outside groups have wanted to take over management.

"We're all on the same page. We all want what's best for the animals in this jurisdiction," Branch said.

But those concerned believe the shelter ultimately needs better outreach and management.

"We feel the animals deserve better, and the people who voice concerns should not continue to be ignored by the county government," Greene said.

The county's new shelter is scheduled to open next August. Spaying and neutering services are now available to the public for a small fee.

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