Designated by the Board of County Commissioners, the Animal Care and Control Authority is an independent agency tasked with meeting the County’s animal control needs. Duties performed by the Authority include licensing dogs, and animal care providers and shelters operating in the County. The Authority also appoints animal control officers, who respond to complaints of stray or dangerous animals, and are responsible for the enforcement of State and local animal ordinances (County Code, secs. 81-1 through 81-17).

The Animal Matters Board of Appeals was created by the Board of County Commissioners to oversee and assist the Animal Care and Control Authority, and hear cases of alleged violation of animal control ordinances.

Eight members constitute the Animal Matters Board of Appeals. Members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and serve at the will of the Board.


For the Metro Region of Maryland (Carroll, Frederick & Howard counties), the Deputy State Fire Marshal serves as an assistant to the State Fire Marshal, and is responsible for fire safety in the Region. The Deputy oversees the investigation and enforcement of laws regarding arson; fire prevention; the installation and maintenance of fire detection and extinguisher equipment; the availability and adequacy of fire exits at public and commercial establishments; and the storage, sale, or use of explosives and combustibles (Code Public Safety Article, sec. 6-305).

The Deputy State Fire Marshal is appointed by the State Fire Marshal (Code Public Safety Article, sec. 6-303).


The Department of Public Safety began as the Office of Public Safety Support Services and was renamed in 2015. Serving as liaison with local emergency responders, the Department of Public Safety advises and assists in the administration of public safety matters. It develops policies and procedures for emergency medical, fire and rescue providers operating in the County. The Department also staffs the Emergency Communications Center, which receives 911 calls, dispatches responders, and coordinates their work. Other duties include conducting inspections, and ensuring that new construction in the County meets State and local fire code standards.

In cooperation with the County Health Department, the Department of Public Safety develops the Citizen's Guide to Emergency Preparedness.

Under the Department of Public Safety, the Emergency Management Agency coordinates federal, State and local units to best respond to residents' needs during disasters. Following emergencies, the Agency assesses damage, applies for and distributes federal disaster relief, and considers what measures can be taken to minimize damage from future events (Code Public Safety Article, secs. 14-109 through 14-113).

The Emergency Management Agency advises the Board of County Commissioners on matters related to disaster and emergency preparation, mitigation, and recovery. The Agency is responsible for preparing and updating the County's Emergency Operations Plan, which outlines and addresses general emergency preparations; and develops plans related to specific concerns, such as the Hazards Mitigation Plan, Hazardous Materials Plan, and the Continuity of Operations Plan.

Emergency response programs and training are conducted by the Agency to prepare responders and local residents for disaster management.

Appointed by the Governor on recommendation of the Board of County Commissioners, the Director oversees the Agency (Code Public Safety Article, sec. 14-109).

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