Animal Control enforces the County's animal control ordinances through wardens. Responding to reports of at-large, diseased or vicious domesticated animals, wardens also investigate reports from the County Health Officer regarding animal bites. Wardens are assisted in these duties by the Sheriff’s Office, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Wardens also license and inspect veterinarian offices, as well as establishments boarding, breeding, selling, or training dogs in the County. In addition, Animal Control impounds at-large domestic animals, and conducts adoptions for those without owners. Through Animal Control, veterinarians may be authorized to issue licenses for domestic cats and dogs.

The Board of County Commissioners appoints the Chief Animal Control Officer, and all Animal Control wardens (County Code, Public Safety Article, secs. 2-101 through 2-105).


[photo, County Government Center, One West Market St., Snow Hill, Maryland] The Emergency Services Department is responsible for all emergency preparation, response, and recovery in the County. Operating the emergency communication system, the Department receives County 911 calls and interagency radio communication, and coordinates first responders to best respond to emergencies (Code Public Safety Article, secs. 14-109 through 14-113; County Code, Public Safety Article, secs. 6-101 through 6-207).

County Government Center, One West Market St., Snow Hill, Maryland, June 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

To educate residents on topics related to emergency evacuation, preparation, mitigation, and recovery , the Department conducts community outreach programs.

The main unit under the Department is Emergency Management. Assisting the Department is the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

Emergency Management develops the County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, which analyzes the greatest threats to residents, and describes how to prevent and respond to such emergencies. Presenting the Plan to the Board of County Commissioners, Emergency Management advises the Board on matters related to disaster preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. Maintaining mobile aid units, Emergency Management is able to provide residents with emergency medical assistance, communication, and shelter during and after emergencies.

With Board of County Commissioners consent, the Governor appoints the Director who oversees the County's emergency preparation and response, and coordinates federal, State and local agencies during disasters.


Overseen by the State Fire Marshal's Office, the County Fire Marshal is responsible for enforcement of laws and subsequent investigations concerning 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 Criminal Law Article, sec. 4-201; Code Criminal Procedures Article, sec. 2-208.4; Code Public Safety Article, secs. 6-304, County Code, Public Safety Article, secs. 1-201, 1-401).


The County Jail processes all those arrested in the County, and holds persons awaiting trial, and inmates serving sentences of less than six months. With assistance from the Sheriff’s Office, the Jail is responsible for transportation of inmates to and from court hearings, as well as medical and work release related matters.

The Jail Warden is appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, and is responsible for the health and well being of inmates (County Code, Public Safety Article, secs. 5-101 through 5-301).

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