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Shelter Operations FAQ

Where is the Humane Society of Washington County? 

The Humane Society of Washington County is located at 13011 Maugansville Road in Hagerstown, Maryland.

How do I get to your shelter?

  • From the North: Southbound on Interstate 81, take Exit 8, Maugansville Road. Turn left at the end of the exit ramp. The building/parking lot is on the right.
  • From the South: Northbound Interstate 81, take exit 7A, Salem Avenue-Hagerstown, MD 58 East. Turn left onto Rhode Island Avenue, then left onto Marshall Street. Stay straight and go under the Interstate 81 overpass. The building/parking lot is on the right.

Why do people bring their pets to the shelter? 

Owners relinquish their pets for a variety of reasons such as behavioral issues, costly health problems, unwanted litters, relocation, and a change in lifestyle that results in insufficient time for the animal. Some animals come to the shelter as strays while others are here as a result of a cruelty or neglect investigation, or are seized as a result of a violation of the vicious or dangerous ordinance. Members of the public who are surrendering an animal to us, whether owned or stray, are asked to fill out this Surrender Form. Surrender survey.pdf

How much does it cost to surrender my pet to the shelter? 

Washington County Residents 
Dogs and cats (six months and older) $20
Rabbits or guinea pigs  $10
Litters: puppies or kittens $15 per animal
Small animals and birds $10 per animal
Exotics $50

Out-of-County Residents
Dogs and cats (six months and older) $50
Rabbits or guinea pigs  $20
Litters: puppies or kittens $20 per animal
Small animals and birds $20
Exotics $85

Is there a veterinarian on staff?

Yes, there is a veterinarian on staff at the HSWC who is contracted to work 30 hours per week. We also work with a number of local veterinarians in the community to provide healthcare for the animals when our veterinary team is not working. Our animal care staff provides routine healthcare and makes decisions concerning which animals must see a veterinarian.

Do you get more cats or more dogs?

We get about twice as many cats as we do dogs. Cats make up about 71% of admissions, dogs make up 24% with the remaining 5% being wildlife, small animals, and livestock.

What other types of animals come to the shelter?

Most representatives of the animal kingdom have come into the shelter at one time or another. We have cared for mice, rats, chinchillas, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, snakes, lizards, iguanas, fish, birds, goats, pigs, chickens, horses, and more.

How many animals can you care for in the shelter? 

Our humane capacity is 185 animals at the shelter.  During the summer months we can have over 400 animals living in HSWC Foster Homes.

How long do you keep animals before they are euthanized? 

There is no set amount of time for animals. Space, health and behavior issues are determining factors as to the length of stay. Owner surrendered animals are available for evaluation and/or disposition upon surrender to the shelter. The HSWC abides by the Washington County Animal Control Ordinance.

Are you part of the Washington County Government?

No. We are a private, non-profit 501(C) (3) organization. We have a contract with the Washington County Government to provide Animal Control Services for all county residents.

Do you have an internet presence? 

Yes. In addition to our website, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!   

How long have you been in business? 

The HSWC has been in existence since November 1921.

Are you hiring? 

Please refer to our jobs page for open positions. We encourage interested persons to complete an employment application. Qualifying applicants are contacted when we begin the interview process for open positions. Applications are kept on file for 60 days.

What are your hours? 

We are open to the public from Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm, except on Wednesdays when we open at 1pm. We are closed on Sundays.

Do you get purebreds in the shelter? 

We do get some purebred animals, but the majority of our animals are mixed breeds.

How many animals do you care for in a typical year? 

Approximately 6,000 animals.

How do you euthanize animals? 

Euthanasia is a quick and painless procedure and is handled with compassion. Professionally trained and certified euthanasia technicians administer an injection of sodium pentobarbital. Two technicians handle the process: one to hold and comfort the animal while the other technician administers the solution.

Who do I call if my pet is lost? 

Call our Customer Service Department at (301) 733-2060 ext. 209. You can also report your lost pet on our online form.