DELCO SPCA goes no kill in 2012
CHESTER, Pa. - January 20, 2011 (WPVI) -- What to do with the thousands of unwanted dogs that are found every year may be a predicament in Delaware County.
The county SPCA is no longer euthanizing, and that means municipalities have to devise their own plan to reduce the stray pet population.
One little pit bull lab mix was picked up Thursday by Animal Control Officer Dave Schlott; she's just one of many dogs Schlott has been seeing throughout the 12 Delaware County municipalities he covers, especially in the city of Chester.
"There's just so many strays. It's basically out of control," Schlott said.
But soon, animals like the pit bull lab won't be getting dropped off at the Delaware County SPCA, because they have decided to become a no kill facility, and that means they will no longer be offering animal control services to municipalities come July.
"We released our decision to go in a new direction back in July of 2010, so they've had a good 6 or 7 months so far, and they'll have a good year to figure out a plan," said Justina Calgiano.
This means all 49 municipalities throughout the county have to find a home for all 7,000 strays that pop up every year.
It's left officials like Edgemont Township Manager Samantha Reiner envisioning the worse.
"I picture golfers out on the Edgemont Country Club golf course being approached by wild hungry dogs for their burrito that's back in the golf cart," Reiner said.
Tom Hickey, Sr. of the Pennsylvania Dog Law Advisory Board says the issue isn't the fact the SPCA no longer wants to euthanize animals that come through their doors. For them the issue is time.
"All we're saying is we need more time, we need to put a process in place that will work, we can't do this with a gun to our head," Hickey said.
But Calgiano says they've all been given ample time thus far and they won't be giving any more extensions.
"There could have been a plan put in place. We feel that if we gave them an extension, it would compromise our organizations' plan to go no kill by July of 2012," said Calgiano.
Since the SPCA is not going to budge, the municipalities have less than 6 months to devise a plan.
pennsylvania, delaware county, spca, local/state, shirleen allicot
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