DOVER, – The Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) has selected Chester County SPCA (CCSPCA) for animal sheltering services in support of the state animal control enforcement unit starting on Jan. 1, 2016. The agreement is a three-year agreement that may be renewed for up to two additional years. CCSPCA will provide services at a permanent facility located in New Castle County and satellite facilities in Kent and Sussex counties, ensuring that all Delaware animals will stay in the state for care and adoption.
The Office of Animal Welfare solicited animal sheltering bids as part of a plan to launch the second phase of Delaware Animal Services (DAS), the State’s first animal control enforcement unit. During the first phase, launched in mid-September, DAS officers began enforcing all animal cruelty and complaints concerning humans exposed to the rabies virus. Starting in January, DAS will also handle all animal control complaints, including stray dogs and seriously injured or endangered cats.
Chester County SPCA, which has been providing temporary animal control services for the City of Wilmington and Kent County, as well as emergency cruelty sheltering services for the state since September when the previous provider suddenly ended services, is expanding its Delaware-based operation, including new job opportunities in the state, to accommodate the new sheltering agreement. CCSPCA has also built strong partnerships with other local animal shelters and rescue groups, which currently work with the CCSPCA to find placement for stray animals and have hosted joint vaccine clinic events.
“The CCSPCA has a solid reputation for delivering progressive and innovative programs to rehabilitate and rehome stray and abused animals, which is a population of animals with a unique set of needs,” says Hetti Brown, director of the Office of Animal Welfare. “The organization also prevents animal homelessness through pet owner counseling and the delivery of compassionate resources. This is the key to ensuring every healthy and treatable animal has a home in Delaware.”
CCSPCA is the only open admission shelter in Pennsylvania that does not euthanize healthy or treatable animals, and it will bring that same experience to Delaware. “We are a proud partner of the Office of Animal Welfare in the collective goal of aiding the most vulnerable animals in Delaware,” says Chester County SCPA Executive Director Adam Lamb. “We are also excited to continue to be part of a community so dedicated to the advancement of animal welfare.”
Under the new agreement, stray animals will be housed at convenient locations in the state so their owners have a chance to recover their pets. Animals that are not recovered, or animals that are the victims of animal cruelty, will be placed into the rehabilitation or adoption programs at the CCSPCA New Castle location, or transferred to one of their Delaware-based shelter or rescue partners for foster or adoption at other facilities, serving as a statewide network for animals.
The services outlined in the contract are for stray and abused animals. Through the contract, the CCSPCA will provide all medical and sheltering, rabies quarantine, and adoption services for animals retrieved by DAS. The contract also includes requirements for programs to minimize stress levels, address social and exercise needs, and reporting requirements.
The contract will cost a total of $6,514,500 over three years; including:
- $2,150,000 for year one costs
- $2,150,000 for year two costs
- $2,214,500 for year three costs
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, citizens wishing to report stray animals may do so through the Delaware Animal Services hotline at 302-255-4646. The DAS hotline is currently accepting calls concerning animal cruelty and rabies exposure to a human.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.