Animal Shelter Minimum Standards of Care



Reminder! By July 1, 2019, all rooms where animals are housed must have a fire alarm system
that will alert authorities of fire or heavy smoke.​

In 2017, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 626- Agriculture - Animal Shelters - Standards of Care and Protocol Implementation and Enforcement, which required the department to develop standards of care for dogs and cats kept in: 
  1. A shelter that is owned by a county or municipality; 
  2. A shelter that a county or municipality contracts with for animal control services; or 
  3. A shelter that has received a grant from the Maryland Spay and Neuter Grant Program during the previous year. 
These standards became final April 23, 2018. The Maryland Department of Agricutlure is responsible for enforcing these minimum standards. Inspections of shelters will begin in 2019. 
Note: These standards do not apply to private or commercial kennels unless they receive funding from the State Spay & Neuter Grant Program. 

Vanessa Orlando
Executive Director 
vanessa.orlando@maryland.gov

Susan Husk
Assistant Director - Field Operations
susan.husk@maryland.gov

Board Office
410-841-5862

50 Harry S Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401

Helpful Resources 

Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters, by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians,