Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County Animal Care & Control waiving dog adoption fees to alleviate capacity issues

Anne Arundel County Animal Care & Control is waiving adoption fees for dogs to alleviate capacity limits, the agency said Monday.

Effective immediately, the $17 adoption fee is suspended because the Millersville facility “has reached the limit of its ability to house and care for the dogs it already has,” Administrator Robin Catlett said in a news release.


“Throughout the United States, many public, open-access shelters like ours that must accept all pets brought to them from their jurisdictions are experiencing capacity issues,” Catlett said. “Our own shelter is now over its capacity for care.”

The shelter needs space to house animals and to allow staff to provide care. More strays are arriving each day and owners are giving up their pets, Catlett said. Animal Control has not had to euthanize adoptable animals for space reasons in “many years,” she said.


“But we are currently on the brink of being forced to make those awful decisions for dogs,” Catlett said. “We hope that with the support of our community, we can avoid this, but we believe in transparency and we want Anne Arundel County citizens to know what we might be forced to do if we cannot find homes for more of our dogs.”

Adoptable dogs at the facility are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Staff members observe dogs to see how they behave with people and other dogs in a variety of situations, and the information on each dog is available to adopters. Approved potential adopters can meet with individual dogs at the shelter and also arrange for their current dogs to meet a potential new family addition.

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While it’s now free to adopt dogs, potential adopters will need to meet specific requirements, including having a driver’s license, proof of address and proof of rabies vaccinations among all pets in residence, the agency said.

Homeowners need a mortgage stub and a printed copy of their property information from the Department of Assessment and Tax. Renters need a rental and/or lease agreement, landlord’s phone number and proof of payment for a pet deposit. Adoption requirements can be found at

Photos of available dogs are posted on the agency’s website. On Animal Control’s Facebook page, live videos are available three days a week to showcase adoptable pets. The live videos begin at 9:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and are posted for later viewing.

Those who cannot adopt a dog can consider fostering one to free up kennel space. Residents from outside Anne Arundel County can also help by fostering from one of their local pet shelters, which can then house more dogs from this county.

Anne Arundel County residents should send foster applications and required additional documentation to Applications can be found at or picked up at the shelter.

There will still be a $14 adoption fee for cats younger than nine years. Older cats and smaller pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs are free to qualified adopters.


The animal control facility, 411 Maxwell Frye Road, is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. It’s also open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on one Sunday a month.