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October 13, 2019
Helping Our Furry Friends, Your Pennsylvania SPCA Lancaster Center
The Pennsylvania SPCA is here to help the furry friends in our community. They operate out of the Mary K. Dano Animal Shelter—right in the heart of the City of Lancaster. As a community hub, the Lancaster Center is dedicated to reuniting lost animals with their pet parents, finding new homes for adoptable animals, and providing low-cost services to the community. They also have a Humane Law Enforcement Officer dedicated to rescuing animals from cruelty and neglect in Lancaster County. We had the opportunity to speak with Rachel Golub, the behavior and training manager for the PSPCA, about how they are serving our community and how you can help.
“The world of sheltering is very different now. It used to be really negative. This is more of a progressive place. It’s an enriching experience. It’s about care and love.”
The PSPCA’s mission is to rescue animals from cruelty and neglect, to help the homeless and abandoned animals in Lancaster County live healthy lives and find their forever homes. Animals that find themselves in rescues like the PSPCA can often be viewed as “damaged,” and while they may have been in bad situations, these animals are just as loveable.
Meet Amelia. She was brought in on July 31st of this year with a terrible flea allergy and signs of being used by a breeder. She is a perfect example of the animals the PSPCA is helping out on a daily basis—the ones that need the most care that would be otherwise cast aside. Now Amelia gets to be a lady of leisure enjoying her days at the rescue until she finds her forever family.
One of the things that make the PSPCA so unique from other shelters is that they are Lancaster-centric. Most of the dog population is coming from the city, and all of their strays are from the community. Since 2017 alone, they have rescued 1,087 dogs and 592 cats in Lancaster County!
The shelter is incredibly forward-thinking in the world of humane animal treatment. “The world of sheltering is very different now. It used to be really negative. This is more of a progressive place. It’s an enriching experience. It’s about care and love,” says Rachel. Sheltering as a whole has moved towards more humane treatment of animals and the PSPCA is proud to be one of the organizations leading the pack with an impressive 50% Return to Owner rate in comparison to the industry average of 13%. What makes them different is their staff. Each staff member is dedicated to our community because they’re a part of it!
The PSPCA offers so much to Lancaster including low-cost health services, such as vaccines and spaying and neutering, alongside a Humane Law Enforcement team which rescues animals from cruelty and neglect. Jennifer Nields is PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement officer dedicated to Lancaster County. “Lancaster is the puppy mill capital of the US. So we have a big reputation when it comes to breeding facilities,” says Nields. “If you see something, say something. You need to be their voice. We take for granted our voices. These animals need our help.” The PSPCA investigates animals that are being neglected or abused by their owners. The animal’s safety is Jenn’s top priority. To better their situation she will always promote better education on proper care and treatment, but if necessary she will work hard to find them a safe home. This process can take months, especially if the animal needs to be put under Protective Custody.
One of the ways the shelter tries to be more helpful to the animals after bringing them in is their unique adoption process. When going to adopt with the PSPCA you’ll be given a personality assessment to help you match with an animal that best suits your lifestyle and family. The shelter doesn’t do walkthroughs of their kennels instead opting for one on one meetings with the dogs so people can get a more accurate and real reflection of the dog’s personality.
The PSPCA is such a vital organization for our furry friends but the organization can’t run to its fullest without your help! Volunteers are an incredibly important and integral part of the way they operate—and there are tons of different ways to share your time. Try fostering kittens or taking the dogs on an adventure around the city. It’s a great way to bring joy to the animals and those volunteering. Of course—if you just so happen to adopt your newest friend along the way we understand! Check out their website at pspca.org/lancaster for adoption and volunteer opportunities today.