Pa. SPCA to take over operations after Lancaster SPCA closes this weekend

Written by Abbey Zelko/The York Daily Record | Aug 25, 2017 10:12 AM

FILE PHOTO: Puppies look out from behind a kennel's glass door as the play at the Animal Haven animal shelter in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(Lancaster) -- Lancaster city officials have chosen the Pennsylvania SPCA to take over operations at the city-owned Mary K. Dano Animal Shelter facility when the Lancaster County SPCA moves out this weekend.

The decision comes about a month after the Lancaster County SPCA announced it was going out of business due to a failed business model and lack of funds.

"Quick action by the Pennsylvania SPCA will allow Lancaster County municipalities to remain in compliance with PA Dog Law without interruption or disruption," Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray said.

The law requires municipalities to collect stray, abandoned or abused dogs and house, feed and walk those dogs for a minimum of 48 hours, during which time the municipality must attempt to find the owner. After 48 hours, the municipality can make the dog available for adoption or release it to a rescue group.

Initially, the shelter will only house dogs delivered by municipalities, the release said. But it will gradually expand its services to include those currently being provided.

City officials cited the Pennsylvania SPCA's "proven record of strong and stable financial management and growth" and "clear and realistic business plan that ensures long-term sustainability" as some of the factors that led them to choose the organization as the shelter's new operator, according to the release.

The Pennsylvania SPCA, which operates two facilities in Philadelphia and Danville, has provided Humane Law Enforcement services to Lancaster County for nearly 10 years. As the oldest continuously operating animal welfare organization in the state, it has a 97 percent live release rate and has demonstrated success with rehoming the cat population.

The organization's primary focus will be "improving the Lancaster County SPCA's live release rate through increased adoptions and support services aimed at reducing owner surrenders," the release states.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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