Lancaster SPCA opens up new animal shelter

Lancaster County SPCA founder Susan Martin, with some help from the city of Lancaster, has been working tirelessly for the past several weeks to get the new shelter animal ready.

The animal shelter is temporarily set-up at 599 Chesapeake Street, in the old PA National Guard Armory complex.

It’s a true labor of love for Martin, who left her job in public accounting to run the shelter full time.

Martin had always planned to open an animal shelter in a few years, but her plans were majorly sped up after the Humane League of Lancaster County announced in October it was transitioning to a no-kill and would no longer accept strays.

“My biggest concern was, with no other shelter in the county taking owner-surrendered dogs and taking in our stray dogs, that there would not be any outlet or avenue for people to have anywhere to take their animals,” Martin said.

The shelter will be reliant on donations.  Friday morning, That Fish Place dropped off about two months’ worth of dog and cat food, as well as cat litter, to get Martin started.

The city of Lancaster is not only providing a building, but also gave Martin a $60,000 interest-free loan to get the shelter up and running.

“We look forward to working with the SPCA and Miss Martin,” Mayor Rick Gray said. “She seems to me to be really sharp and on the ball, has thought this out from a business perspective.”

Martin’s heart is in it as well.

“Just my passion for animals and seeing that there was such a desperate need for help, a countywide effort,” she said.

The shelter is set to open to the public on Monday, February 4.

For more on hours and how to donate, visit the Lancaster County SPCA’s website here.