Lancaster City officials today announced plans for the Pennsylvania SPCA to begin operating at the Mary K. Dano Animal Shelter when the current occupant vacates the facility this weekend. According to Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray, “Quick action by the Pennsylvania SPCA will allow Lancaster County municipalities to remain in compliance with PA Dog Law without interruption or disruption.” Initially, the Dano Shelter will house only dogs delivered to the shelter by municipalities. The Pennsylvania SPCA will gradually expand services at the Dano Shelter to include those currently being provided.
The City-owned shelter facility was built three years ago, after the Humane League of Lancaster County stopped accepting dogs delivered by municipal authorities to the Lincoln Highway facility. Pennsylvania’s Dog Law requires municipalities to collect stray, abandoned, or abused dogs and house, feed, and walk those dogs for a minimum of 48 hours. During this “hold” time, the municipality must attempt to find the dog’s owner. After the 48-hour hold period, the municipality can make the dog available for adoption or the dog can be released to a rescue group.
In selecting the Dano Shelter’s new operator, City officials cited the Pennsylvania SPCA’s:
- Well-established organizational structure, with demonstrated Board leadership and Staff expertise;
- Proven ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with the community through on-going communication, public engagement, and partnerships with allied groups;
- Proven record of strong and stable financial management and growth;
- Clear and realistic business plan that ensures long-term sustainability;
- Familiarity and experience with needs and challenges specific to Lancaster County;
- Mission-driven operating and governance model;
- Willingness and capacity to begin providing services required by the PA Dog Law by August 28th, in accordance with existing municipal contract requirements in order to allow for uninterrupted compliance with PA Dog Law.
The Pennsylvania SPCA operates two facilities in Philadelphia and one in Danville, and has provided Humane Law Enforcement services to Lancaster County for nearly a decade. As the oldest, continuously operating animal welfare organization in the State, the Pennsylvania SPCA currently boasts a 97% live release rate and has had significant success with rehoming the cat population. The Pennsylvania SPCA’s primary focus will be on improving the Lancaster County SPCA’s live release rate through increased adoptions and support services aimed at reducing owner surrenders. The Pennsylvania SPCA has no affiliation with the Lancaster County SPCA.