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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                   Winter 2012

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Joe Flacco Brings Awareness to the Baltimore Humane Society

by Jen Swanson, Executive Director, Baltimore Humane Society

If you live or practice in the Baltimore area you may have noticed billboards featuring the Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco, as spokesperson for Baltimore Humane Society. The focus of the campaign is to encourage Marylanders to team up with the Baltimore Humane Society to adopt, volunteer or donate to the area’s only no-kill shelter. Through this campaign we hope to clarify the following:

  • We are not connected to any national humane societies or any local government.

  • We survive solely on donations and fundraising events along with a small trust set up by our 1927 founder, Elsie Seeger Barton.

  • We are the area’s only large no-kill shelter located on 1601 Nicodemus Road in Reisterstown.

These three points are frequently misunderstood. Our no-kill philosophy is one I’d especially like to explain in more depth to the Maryland veterinary community.

No Kill Philosophy

The Baltimore Humane Society was founded to protect our region's pets and to address their suffering. In 2008, BHS became a no-kill shelter, meaning that we do not euthanize due to lack of space and we do not put a time limit on our animals. Animals that come to BHS are first assessed by our intake staff, our trainer, and of course, our veterinary director, Dr. Mary Zink. When an animal is found to have a behavioral issue, a plan will be made to correct the issue, in partnership with a certified behaviorist that sits on our Board. Animals that arrive in need of medical care will receive needed attention thanks to our Yukon Medical Fund. By addressing both the mental and physical health of all animals that come to our shelter, we are able to maintain a 99% live release rate, one of the highest in the country.

Yukon's Story

Yukon arrived at BHS in April 2010. When he was being neutered, the veterinarian at the shelter discovered that he had a very large cleft palate on the roof of his mouth. He was probably born with this abnormality and he was lucky to have survived. Most dogs with an opening as large as Yukon’s cleft palate would have died due to pneumonia. Yukon beat the odds and survived an entire year with this medical condition. By working with the Animal Dental Center, an area specialty practice located on Cromwell Bridge Road in Towson, the shelter was able to get Yukon scheduled for a surgical procedure that could repair his cleft palate. Dr. Ira Luskin and Dr. Tiffany Brown, both graduates of the American Veterinary Dental College, were able to devise a surgical plan to get Yukon healthy again. According to Dr. Luskin, the owner of the Animal Dental Center, “We love being able to help our patients and serve our community by working with organizations such as yours, to make those small differences in the lives of these animals, and hopefully offer them a better quality of life as a result.” Thanks to these wonderful veterinary specialists, Yukon is now recuperating in the loving care of a very special adoptive family that made a place in their home and their hearts for him.

An Invitation

On behalf of the staff and Board of BHS, we would love to welcome you for a private tour of our facilities. Our partnerships with area veterinarians are so important to us, and we want you to see for yourself what we offer. In the meantime, please visit our website at or our Facebook page at I look forward to providing ongoing information for this newsletter, and hope that I will hear from you soon! You can contact me at 410-833-8848 x 207 or


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