Options for Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Services in Maryland.

Q: My boyfriend and I inherited an almost 2-year-old pit bull mix from his cousin. He is such a great dog, we love him. However, after our first trip to the vet we were told the cost to neuter him would be close to $300, and another $30 to microchip! Are there any low-cost programs available? — Jennifer Klatsky, Finksburg

Many counties offer free or low-cost spay and neuter services at their municipal shelters. Baltimore County Animal Services, the municipal shelter for the county, offers these services at three locations: the main shelter, 13800 Manor Road in Baldwin; the BCAS Spay and Neuter Center, 7702 Dunmanway in Dundalk; and the BCAS Southwest Area Park Spay and Neuter Facility, 3941 Klunk Drive in Brooklyn. The cost for spaying or neutering is $20 and includes a rabies vaccine, distemper and Bordetella shots, deworming, county license and microchipping.

Several ZIP codes in East and South Baltimore also may qualify for free spay and neuter services. For information, visit the BCAS website at baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/animalservices/index.html

BCAS has transformed itself in the last two years. The beautiful new shelter offers Baltimore County residents an array of animal information and services. BCAS is also where lost pets are sent if they are found in the county.

Below is a list of some other shelters and rescues that offer low-cost spay and neuter programs:

Baltimore Humane Society 410-833-8848 bmorehumane.org

Maryland SPCA 410-889-SPAY fixem@mdspca.org

All Paws Animal Wellness Clinic  http://www.allpawsawc.net

SPCA of Anne Arundel County 410-268-4388, ext. 123

Animal Advocates of Howard County 410-880-2488  animal-advocates.org

Q: How do I stop my little dog, Delta, from darting out the front door? She knows how to stay and will do it for five minutes when we practice. If someone knocks on the door, she will “stay” but as soon as the visitor pets her, she pushes through the screen door and runs down the street. How can I stop her? — Barb Eisenburg, Marriottsville

There are a few ways to work with Delta. First, have a 6-foot leash on her every time someone comes to the door. Hold her leash and give her the stay command. When she attempts to dart out, tug her back, call her name and give her a high-value treat (something she rarely gets). The more you practice, the less she will try to escape. Holding her leash gives you control over the front door space.

You also can practice the stay command when you and Delta are outside. Hold Delta on a 10-foot leash. Do not drop the leash unless you are in a fenced yard.

If Delta is able to stay when she is outdoors where there are lots of distractions, she will be more likely to stay when she’s indoors and the environment is predictable.

Joy Freedman is a dog behaviorist and obedience instructor. She can be reached at joy@4pawspetservice.com or www.joyfreedman.com.




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