Dogs Overwhelm the Humane Society of Harford County

Shelter out of room after large confiscation of dogs last week

For Immediate Release

Erin Long, Marketing & Development Manager | Humane Society of Harford County
410-836-1090, x106 | [email protected]


Fallston, MD (February 20, 2024) – After taking in 34 dogs last week, including 17 dogs seized last Thursday by Harford County Animal Control, the Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC) has reached critical capacity and needs the community’s help to make room for new arrivals.

“We were already close to capacity last week when we got the call that almost two dozen dogs would be brought to us the following day,” says Bob Citrullo, HSHC’s executive director. “All of these animals are part of an investigation, which means we will be caring for them for at least the next few weeks, but it could become months while things are sorted out.”

HSHC is the only municipal shelter in Harford County and is under contract with the county to house and care for animals surrendered by citizens, stray pets found in Harford County, and animals seized by Animal Control as the result of hoarding, abuse, or neglect. After operating from an old farmhouse for 70 years, HSHC’s new 19,000 square foot facility opened in 2016 in Fallston and was designed to house around 65 dogs, which is normally adequate. However, last week’s seizure, compounded by an already high number of dogs in residence, has left the shelter struggling for space for all new arrivals.

To combat the current space crisis, Citrullo says in addition to adopters, the shelter is looking for foster parents who can give a homeless dog a temporary place to live for a few weeks until space is available again. Foster parents provide love and care as well as valuable information about how the pet behaves in a home setting. HSHC will provide supplies and any necessary medical care. Interested foster parents should email [email protected].

The shelter is also strongly urging anyone who is thinking of parting ways with the family dog to delay their decision – or reconsider entirely. “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.”

Animal shelters nationwide are facing an overcrowding crisis due to rising inflation, evictions, housing restrictions, lack of access to affordable veterinary care, and an overall decrease in adoptions. Since the beginning of the year HSHC has taken in 160 dogs.

“To help encourage folks to adopt, we’ve added several programs,” Citrullo added. “We waive adoption fees for first responders as part of our Hometown Heroes program. Adoption fees are also waived for senior citizens who adopt a senior pet. Adopters who choose an animal who’s been at the shelter for over 4 months get a free bag of food and 3 months of flea, tick and heartworm preventative, a package that’s valued at $150.”

HSHC is located at 2208 Connolly Road in Fallston or online at The shelter is open to the public Monday-Friday from 11-6, Saturdays from 10-5, and Sundays from 11-4.

About the Humane Society of Harford County
The Humane Society of Harford County, Inc., is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the welfare and well-being of the approximately 3,300 animals that arrive each year. HSHC promotes the kind treatment of homeless, stray and abandoned animals by providing shelter, care, adoptions, and community education. HSHC is not a county agency nor is it affiliated with any national or regional organization. Tax-deductible donations, bequests, and proceeds from events are crucial to its life-saving efforts on behalf of the animals in the community.