TCAS Newsletter
January 2016
Train Your Dog Month

A new year is upon us, and resolutions are made to make our lives better... Don't forget about your dog!

January is National Train Your Dog Month. Why January? Many animals are adopted during the month of December and then returned to shelters in January because they have no training.

A shelter dog needs time to adjust to his new home. Once your dog has adjusted, it is time to start training. Treat your shelter dog the same way you would treat a new puppy. Assume your dog has had no training in the past. Even if your dog has had some training, he may need a refresher course. 

Crate training is always a good idea. Introduce your dog to a crate as soon as you bring Fido home. The crate becomes his retreat and gives your dog a sense of security. During this time you can work on housebreaking, and you will have peace of mind knowing that your dog cannot get into trouble when you are not around.

Obedience classes are the next step. This gives you the opportunity to bond with your new pet in addition to socializing him to other dogs and people. 

Training helps to reinforce good behavior. Your pet will learn to listen and obey when there are distractions all around.  Take the time to train your dog and learn how much fun it can be for both of you. Your dog will become a beloved member of your family and love you forever. 
Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Be mindful of the temperature and remember your outdoor furry friends this winter. Even with a fur coat, pets should be kept inside during extreme temperatures. 
  • Always check your car hood before you start your car, because cats like the warmth of a car engine. 
  • Bang on the hood or honk the horn. 
  • Wipe their paws after walking on snow to remove the chemicals that are used to melt snow. 
  • Clean up any antifreeze that spills or use pet friendly antifreeze. 
  • Dogs with short hair may need sweaters to keep them warm during their walk. 
  • Always make sure your animal is wearing its collar with an ID tag and has been micro-chipped since many animals are lost in the winter. 
  • Stay away from ice covered ponds, streams, and lakes. The ice may break and animals can very easily fall into the water and not be able to get back out. 
  • If you must keep your pet outdoors, provide an appropriately sized shelter for it to stay warm in. Check your animal control regulations for rules regarding shelters. 

Remember your pet just really wants to be curled up on the couch with you surrounded by your warmth and love.

For more pet safety tips, visit or AVMA.
Getting Fit with Fido
You've made the resolution to lose weight and get fit, so how about working out with your dog? Your dog needs daily exercise and would benefit from the time spent with you. 

Before starting any exercise program, be sure to get a checkup for Fido at the veterinarian. Your veterinarian can recommend a program that is appropriate for your dog's breed, age, and condition. 

Plan to start slowly and work your way up to longer walks or more exercise. In no time you will see that your dog looks forward to this time spent with you every day. 
FREE Feline Fridays!

Adoption Fees will be waived on Fridays during the month of January when you adopt an adult cat (age 1 year or older) from Tri-County Animal Shelter. Stop by and see if we have a furry feline friend perfect for you!
Spay/Neuter Clinics

Are you income disadvantaged and own pets? Some residents that live in specific areas of the county qualify for free altering of their pets. From chihuahuas to pit bulls, friendly cats and feral cats; all could be eligible for this excellent opportunity. 

Call the clinics listed below to see if you qualify.
  • Paw Prints Animal Hospital 301-885-0263
  • Humane Society of Charles County 301-645-8181
  • Calvert Well Pet Clinic 443-295-7873
  • SMAWL Vouchers 301-373-5659
Still want to get your pet altered but don't qualify for the income disadvantaged program? Contact one of the clinics listed below to discuss fees and schedule an appointment. 
  • Calvert Well Pet Clinic 443-295-7873
  • Southern MD Spay and Neuter, Inc. (SPOT) (Calvert Residents Only) 410-562-6516
  • Humane Society of Charles County 301-645-8181
  • Paw Prints Animal Hospital 301-885-0263
  • The Well Pet Clinic 301-866-0303
  • The Spay Spot 301-254-8151
  • SMAWL Vouchers 301-373-5659 
Getting your pet spayed or neutered can:
  • Reduce the number of homeless pets killed
  • Improve your pet's health
  • Reduce unruly behavior
  • Save on the cost of pet care
Volunteer Help is Always Needed

The shelter is in need of volunteers, age 14 years and older, to assist with caring for the many animals in our facility. There are several volunteer duties offered, including walking shelter dogs, spending time with the cats, taking photos of adoptable pets, general housekeeping, washing dishes and toys, cleaning kennels, and assisting with laundry. You can volunteer as little or as much as you would like. 

Volunteer paperwork must be completed and submitted in advance.

Can't come to the shelter but still want to help out? 
Come out to our adoption days in the community. The shelter staff will have animals available for adoption at various locations throughout the month. Come help get an animal adopted! Give the shelter a call to see if we will be in a neighborhood near you!
Tags and Licensing Are Required

Keep identification tags on your pet ... it could be your pets ticket to get back home. Both dogs and cats need ID. Be sure your animals wear a collar with an ID tag, a county license, and rabies tag. Also, don't forget to microchip your animal. Keep your personal information with the microchip company up to date. These identifiers could help your neighbor return your animal to you instead of taking him to the animal shelter. 

Dogs in Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary's Counties must have a county license. Cats in Charles and Calvert Counties also require a county license. 

To obtain a pet license you must have a current rabies vaccine for your pet.

Information on Licensing Your Pet

Guidelines for Responsible
Pet Ownership

The Tri-County Animal Shelter is located at 6707 Animal Shelter Road in Hughesville. Shelter staff can be reached at 301-932-1713 or 800-903-1992. 

View animals available for adoption at:

Adoption hours are Monday-Friday, Noon to 5 p.m. and  Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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About Charles County Government
The mission of Charles County Government is to provide our citizens the highest quality service possible in a timely, efficient and courteous manner. To achieve this goal, our government must be operated in an open and accessible atmosphere, be based on comprehensive long- and short-term planning and have an appropriate managerial organization tempered by fiscal responsibility. We support and encourage efforts to grow a diverse workplace. Charles County is a place where all people thrive and businesses grow and prosper; where the preservation of our heritage and environment is paramount; where government services to its citizens are provided at the highest level of excellence; and where the quality of life is the best in the nation.

It is the policy of Charles County to provide equal employment opportunity to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religious or political affiliation or opinion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other status protected by law.