Animals: Pets and Wildlife
SOECA members work to protect both domesticated and wild animals within our neighborhood. Below is information on how you can take part in protecting animals and supporting our neighbors who care for them.
Seven Oaks-Evanswood is home to many great people, and many great cats, dogs, and other companion animals. If you live here long enough, you’ll get to know many of your neighbors, both two- and four-legged, by name.
Naturally, there are some laws that cover our furry friends. Maryland law requires that all dogs, cats, and ferrets over the age of four months be vaccinated against rabies. Failure to vaccinate an animal as required may subject the owner to a $500 fine.
In addition, all dogs and cats 4 months of age or older must have a County pet license. Please see the link to Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center Control at the bottom of this page for more information on licensing.
It is also an excellent idea to get your companion animal micro-chipped. According to the American Humane Association (AHA), more than 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen each year in the United States. The AHA reports that only about 22 percent of lost dogs that enter animal shelters are reunited with their families. However, the return-to-family rate for micro-chipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase). For cats, less than 2 percent of lost cats that enter animal shelters are reunited with their families, but the return-to-family rate for micro-chipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38 percent (more than 2000 percent better). Please consult your veterinarian for further information on micro-chips, and remember that it is important not only to micro-chip your dog or cat, but also to register that chip in a database.
Lastly, for people with dogs, the County’s Parks Division is developing a dog park in Ellsworth Park, on the location of the old Silver Spring library. SOECA will keep you updated on the dog park’s progress.
If You See an Animal in Distress
Montgomery County law requires that pets be provided with adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care, and prohibits cruelty to animals in general. If you see an animal-related emergency, including cruelty happening at that moment, animals locked in hot cars, an animal caught in traffic, etc., call 9-1-1. If you see a pet animal in distress and suffering from abuse or neglect, call the police non-emergency number 301-279-8000.
For 24 hour emergency veterinary service, you can go to the Metropolitan Emergency Animal Clinic. They are located at 12106 Nebel Street, Rockville, MD, phone number (301) 770-5225.
A note about hoarders: Contrary to what many people believe, animal hoarders are not kind-hearted people who take in too many animals. Animal hoarding is a crime, and hoarders often suffer from mental illness in which controlling the animals they collect, rather than caring for them, is the underlying motivation. Hoarders will intentionally starve animals in their control, lock them in tiny and filthy cages, and deprive them of needed medical care even when the animal is clearly suffering. No neighborhood is immune from having hoarders; in fact, a hoarding situation was discovered in Woodside Park in 2000. In that case, an individual living alone had hoarded nearly 100 cats, many of whom were sick and starving when rescued. If you suspect a neighbor of hoarding, contact the police. Animals trapped in hoarders’ homes are helpless; they need you to rescue them.
For more information on animal cruelty and animal control laws, please visit the Montgomery County Animal Services Division's website.
Seven Oaks Evanswood is fortunate to be home to a thriving community of wildlife. Thanks to our beautiful trees and nearby Sligo Creek Park, we have raccoons, foxes, opossum, deer, skunks, rabbits, beavers, groundhogs, bats, raptors, songbirds, turtles, snakes and, of course, squirrels (including flying squirrels). Even coyotes are making a small but steady comeback in Montgomery County. Many of these animals can often be seen in our yards, especially at night.
For the most part, wild animals will avoid direct contact with people, and it is of course a good idea to enjoy these animals only from a distance. However, if you should find an injured wild animal, or an infant animal that you believe may be orphaned – although most of the time they are just fine, with mama somewhere nearby or soon to return -- you can obtain assistance from Second Chance for Wildlife, a wonderful organization that has provided veterinary care for injured and orphaned wildlife in Montgomery County since 1996. See the “Useful Links” section below for contact information.
Please remember that bats and snakes are important parts of our ecosystem. While bats can be vectors for rabies, and contact should be avoided, according to a March 2013 article in the Baltimore Sun, only one person in Maryland had died of rabies since 1976. If you are bitten or scratched by a wild animal you suspect may have rabies, promptly seek medical attention. As for snakes, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, there are 27 species of snakes in Maryland, and only two are venomous. The two venomous species are the Northern Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake. Copperheads live in remote, rocky wooded areas, and the Timber Rattlesnake lives in remote, rocky, mountainous sections of the State. Like bats, snakes of all species are important members of our ecosystem.
What to do When Disaster Strikes
While natural disasters are not common in our community, they can and do happen. Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and other extreme weather affect us from time to time. The possibility of human-caused disasters is always present, and fires and other emergencies can leave many temporarily homeless, especially if they destroy apartment buildings or other joined homes.
Fortunately, if a disaster should strike, the Montgomery County Animal Response Team (CART) is here to help. CART is a volunteer organization run by Animal Services Division. Team members are trained to assist police and other first responders in animal-related emergencies when extra help is needed. Moreover, should mass sheltering of people and their companion animals be necessary, Montgomery County will provide co-sheltering of both people and animals. Together with the Red Cross, CART will set up and run a shelter for animals in the same location as the shelter for people; typically, in one of the County’s recreation centers. In this way, people will not be forced to choose between fleeing their homes and leaving their animals behind, as happened tragically when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. If you would like to learn more about CART services, including information on training and volunteer opportunities, you can go to the CART website.
Useful Links and Contact Information
Provides information on pet adoption, to report abuse or neglect, a list of rescue organizations, local laws, and for animal services in general.
Animal Services and Adoption Center Control
7315 Muncaster Mill Rd.
Derwood, MD 20855
Phone: (240) 773-5900
A collaboration between Animal Control Services and local volunteers. MCART provides emergency response training, and co-sheltering (with the Red Cross) for people and their pets in the event of natural or human-made disasters.
Montgomery County Animal Response Team (MCART)
Phone: (240) 773-5900