The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

April 8, 2011

Danville SPCA could get more animals

Smallest shelter in state is closing

DANVILLE — The closing of the smallest Pennsylvania SPCA branch shelter could result in some animals being transferred to the Danville Adoption Center.

In a strategic realigning of services, the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced Thursday it will suspend operations at its animal shelter in Wellsboro, Tioga County, on April 30.

The Danville Adoption Center, which is the busiest of the branch shelters, will remain open, said Corey Cohen, PSPCA branch operations and outreach director.

“The Danville shelter is a strong asset to the Pennsylvania SPCA,” he said Thursday.

Cohen said the PSPCA is asking for continued support from the community to maintain the success in Danville. The shelter, at 2801 Bloom Road, serves several counties, including Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union.

It is possible some of the six horses in protective custody at Wellsboro could be moved to the Danville facility after the shelter closes, Cohen said. Some of the horses may be sent to the Centre Hall branch shelter.

The 16 cats, eight dogs and one rabbit at Wellsboro can be adopted for one cent each, and Cohen is hopeful they will be adopted by April 30. If not, some animals could be transferred to Danville, he said.

If an organization stepped forward with a solid plan to take over the Wellsboro shelter, it could be reopened by that organization, he said.

Wendy Marano, public relations specialist in PSPCA headquarters in Philadelphia, said the Wellsboro shelter will stop accepting animals as of today. It has a capacity of 35 animals. Marano said the horses aren’t available for adoption because they are part of a humane law enforcement case.

The Wellsboro facility faced annual budget deficits, she said. The deficit was just more than $100,000 in 2010. The loss for the two months ending Feb. 28 was nearly $30,000, she said.

The five employees probably will be laid off, Marano said.

“We will still have a presence in the community by providing humane law enforcement not only in Tioga County but in the northern tier counties,” she said. “That presence fits in line with our mission of prevention of cruelty.”

A nonprofit organization, the PSPCA has realigned its services, CEO Susan Cosby said in the announcement about the Wellsboro shelter. The PSPCA has developed an operations plan that addresses its mission to prevent animal cruelty while balancing its finances, she said.

“This was a difficult decision,” Marano said. “In a tough economy, it’s challenging to raise the funds needed to sustain shelter operations at this facility without seriously impacting other services we provide.”

She said the PSPCA will work with any interested community-based groups to potentially transfer ownership and possibly reopen the facility. The PSPCA shelter in Stroudsburg was successfully transferred to another organization.

— E-mail comments to kblackledge@dailyitem.com.

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