Get to know the Humane Society of Harford County’s executive director

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Robert “Bob” Citrullo, 58, has always loved animals. As the executive director of the Humane Society of Harford County, he oversees about 150 dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, farm animals — and sometimes reptiles — in the shelter at any given time. Since stepping into the role last June, Citrullo, who grew up in Philadelphia, has increased the shelter’s team from 23 to 30 employees and remains committed to bulking up the organization’s community outreach.

“Things are really changing,” said Citrullo, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. For six years, he led the Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


Here are three things you might not know about Citrullo:

Bob Citrullo, executive director of the Humane Society of Harford County, holds Alfie, a puppy who was being adopted today.  March 29, 2023
Bob Citrullo, left, executive director of the Humane Society of Harford County, holds puppy Alfie as he interacts with his new adopted family.  Charles and Crystal Zuby and their daughter Elliana of Joppa play with Alfie.   March 29, 2023

He served in the Army for 25 years, from 1981 to 2006, and it led him to open a boarding kennel.


“My background in the military was medical. I was an ER nurse,” he said.

“I had a lot of friends in the Army who did canine work… so I helped them out with training, kind of more as a hobby. I thought, ‘well, you know, when I retire [from the Army] …I would really enjoy working with animals.’ And so I decided to open up a boarding kennel [in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania in 2000].”

He’s always been drawn to dogs — and now has four at home.

“I’ve had a dog from the time I was born. My first dog, her name was Lucky.”

“I’ve had shepherds, a lot of German shepherds, most of my life. But then about 10 years ago, I got into the hound mixes. Now, I have a little toy rat terrier, who was a special needs dog — he was a puppy mill-type animal, so he’s blind and he’s got some bad knees, but we take care of him.

“And then I have two basset hounds — they both had problems, medically, when they came into the shelter. My youngest is a 5-year-old mastiff bloodhound mix, her name is Anabelle.”

He spends his free time target shooting.

“I’m an avid target shooter — I’m not a hunter. When I do have time, I’ll go out to the range. I’ve done that my whole life. I go over to West Virginia. It’s a little bit of a hike from here, but it’s the Peacemaker National Training Center.”