The Anne Arundel County Animal Control and Shelter runs a non-lethaltrapping program that captures stray animals alive for later removal, either to the woods or back to the owners.
The program's supervisor, Jan Worrell, says citizens can rent one of several types of box traps for up to 10 days. There are about 10 to 12 squirrel traps at $5; 25 to 30 cat traps renting for $10; and about 12 dog traps for $15. The traps are designed to humanely capture average-sized animals.
Those who come to the shelter to rent traps will be asked for their name and address and the reason for the trap. Dog traps are delivered because they are a special expandable model made by the county.
After capture, residents should let trained program representativescollect the animal.
"They've lost so much of their forests aroundhere, that they are forced to come out, even in the daytime, to lookfor food. They are hungry, and so they can get into everything."
According to Worrell, raccoons have the highest rate of capture. Unfortunately, captured raccoons are generally euthanized because they are often rabies carriers.
Other animals caught in the program's traps, like squirrels, are less of a hazard and will be safely transferred to other wild areas.
But the wild kingdom is not the only source of offenders, she said. Dogs and cats are a large part of the trapping program's stock in trade, totaling several thousand animals a year.
"We hold them up to five working days" at the county's compound, 7409 B & A Blvd. in Glen Burnie, "while we try to contact the owner, or anyone who would be willing to adopt the animal. If they aren't claimed, then we have to put them to sleep."
However, to avoid doing this the shelter runs an adoption program.
The animals are still held for five days, she said, but people can put in a bid for it, on a first-come, first-serve basis. That way, if the animal isn't claimed by the fifth day, it has a new home.
To learn more about the county's trapping program, call 222-6690, 222-6691, 222-6692 or 222-6693 (the answering service).
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE ALSO APPEARED IN HOWARD COUNTY EDITION