The Baltimore Humane Society helps and cares for the region’s animals, whether it’s matching them with their forever home or providing assistance and support for pet owners. That ranges from pet food banks to low-cost spay/neuter procedures, and vaccination clinics to pet bereavement support groups.

As a private nonprofit, BHS receives no federal or organizational funding and relies solely on private donations and fundraising events, such as the upcoming Black Tie & Tails Gala being held on March 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Grand Lodge, 304 International Circle in Hunt Valley, and hosted by WMAR-TV news anchor Jamie Costello

Last year, the annual posh gala attracted more than 300 (human) guests with some of their critters tagging along.

Wendy Goldband, marketing and public relations director of the Baltimore Humane Society, with her friend, Jaxson. (Photo by Steve Ruark)

Jmore recently talked to Wendy Goldband, BHS’s marketing and public relations director, about the important role played by her organization in the lives of furry loved ones and their doting owners.

What is BHS’s overall mission?

Our mission, since we were founded in 1927, has remained the same — to provide a temporary home, a safe refuge and care for unwanted and homeless animals. To place each animal that comes to our shelter in a loving, permanent home.

To end the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals by promoting and offering affordable spaying and neutering to control the population of unwanted animals in our area and addressing the issues that cause people to give up animals. To advance the cause of the humane treatment of animals and increase awareness of animal issues through public education.

And finally, to ensure a peaceful final resting place for beloved pets through the operation of a beautiful and well-maintained cemetery for companion animals. [The pet cemetery is located on BHS’s 365-acre property in Reisterstown and is available to all pets, whether or not they were adopted from the organization.]

What kind of animals are available for adoption, and where do they come from?

BHS does not pick up strays. The owner might be moving and can’t take the pet, an owner may have died and the pet has nowhere to go, a member of the household may be allergic. … There are any number of reasons a pet owner may not be able to care for a pet.

What are the requirements for adopting a pet through BHS?

We want as many animals as possible to find healthy, loving homes. If you can provide for the medical and health needs of a pet, give them a secure, comfortable home, and loving attention, you should be a good pet parent.

 What kinds of volunteer opportunities are available?

 Just about anything you can think of, we need. If you have a talent or an interest, we can use you.

Tell us about the gala?

Besides being a lot of fun, the Black Tie & Tails is so important to us because we don’t receive any funding apart from donations and events such as this. You really can make a huge difference in an animal’s life.

Our featured guest honoree will be Dan Schachner, who is Animal Planet’s puppy bowl referee. It should be a lot of fun having him there. People should buy the tickets at There will be a pet fashion parade, and many guests will bring their pets. So you’ll see a lot of dogs in tuxedos and gowns. There will be games for the dogs to play and a pet fashion parade to show off their regalia.

It’s not your average black tie event. It’s a lot of fun and it’s important.

For information, call 410-833-8848, ext. 212, or visit

 Carol Sorgen is a Baltimore-based freelance writer.