York County SPCA Temporarily Closing to Public in Support of Community’s Efforts To Reduce Large Group Gatherings

March 16, 2019The nearly 300 shelter animals will continue to receive quality care; shelter officials assure there is no evidence pets can contract or spread Covid-19 infection.

The York County SPCA will be closing to the public starting Monday, March 16. The independent not-for-profit organization anticipates reopening the Brougher Companion Animal shelter to the public on Tuesday, March 31. The Spay/Neuter Clinic is anticipated to reopen on Monday, March 30th. This decision came out of an abundance of caution and in response to health officials’ recommendation to reduce face-to-face contact to prevent the spread of infectious disease.

“Our commitment to providing comfort and care to vulnerable animals remains as strong as ever,” said Executive Director Steven Martinez. “Be assured that the dogs, cats, and small critters entrusted to us will continue to receive the affection and attention they deserve.”

The shelter had been proactively managing its intake to maintain a lower animal population in preparation for such a scenario, and as a result, it expects many of the pets currently in its care to be either placed within its network of foster volunteers or cared for in the shelter by a lean group of staff and volunteer supervisors. Any pet not able to be matched with a foster volunteer will continue to have their needs met by onsite animal care staff.

While the York County SPCA will be closed to the public, we encourage those who are seriously interested in adopting an animal to schedule an adoption appointment. Adoption appointments can be scheduled by calling the shelter at 717-764-6109 and leaving a voicemail if a staff member does not immediately answer. We will not be taking in surrendered or stray animals at this time.
Services and activities that were scheduled to happen within the timeframe of this temporary public closure will be suspended and rescheduled for later dates. This includes public veterinary appointments, Humane Education events, media segments, and fundraising events. Additionally, all staff and volunteers not required onsite for direct animal care and who would feel more comfortable working remotely will be encouraged to do so.

As we take precautions for our staff and the community in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recent order to shut down nonessential business by Governor Tom Wolf, we regretfully must cancel all spay/neuter surgeries for our spay/neuter clinic for the next 2 weeks (3/17/2020-3/27/2020). For those clients who have appointments scheduled after 3/27/2020, please be advised that this closure may extend beyond this date, and we will be in contact via email as the situation develops. Thank you for your understanding during this time.

“We will continue to monitor and evaluate how best to respond this issue,” Martinez said. “Our goal is to protect our community of both people and pets from unnecessary exposure to large groups of people and to contribute to our region’s efforts to slow transmission by reducing gatherings of large groups of people. We greatly appreciate the community’s support as we work to ensure public safety and provide our staff and volunteers with the opportunity to focus on their own health and personal care.”

This precautionary measure does not mean that the shelter’s animals are in danger of either contracting or transmitting this infection. Veterinary officials worldwide are in agreement that there is no evidence that dogs or cats can become ill from this strain or serve as a carrier of the infection.

While domesticated animals are not impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, this is a good opportunity to review your pets’ role in your disaster preparedness plan. Both York County SPCA veterinary staff and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that pet owners keep on hand the following: a two-week supply of food and water for each pet in your care, a two-week supply of each pet’s medications, and a file that contains each pet’s care plan, vaccination and ownership records, microchip information, and a preferred contact in case of emergency. People should also identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if someone in the household becomes ill.

As this is a fluid situation, the shelter asks that the public monitor its social media channels for regular updates, as the closure timeline is subject to change based on guidance received from local and national public health officials.


Press Contact: Kaila Young, Communications Director, kyoung@ycspca.org
Steven Martinez, Executive Director, smartinez@ycspca.org

About the York County SPCA
The York County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization dedicated to providing long-term human and animal services to residents of York County through programs that find permanent, loving homes for displaced and stray animals, help control animal population growth, investigate and prosecute cruelty offenders and educate the general public about animal wellness and safety. We do not receive funding from the national ASPCA. We are a community resource supporting all York County residents and their animals. More at www.ycspca.org.

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