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Lancaster SPCA opens up new animal shelter

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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.


  • Kathy Risko

    Thank You for stepping up to help these poor animals. It must be so traumatic to surrender your family pet not knowing what will happen to them. Thanks to you now the animals and their owners have hope !


    Two Pups Pastries.

  • Alley Family

    We will be stopping by I have a bundle of new leashes to donate, this is such a great thing offering animals and owners a place to know that the animals will be cared for and hopefully rehomed quickly.
    Alley Family

  • Pam Gigac

    You have my total support! I used to donate food and supplies to the Humane League of Lancaster until they told me they couldn't help me with kittens from a stray momma that was dropped off. My township didn't pay them to take strays!!! I spent hundreds of dollars, fostered the kittens and found them new homes. The innocent are not to blame. I am working with the local farms to catch and fix their cats. But I can't afford to do it alone. If you will help me to stop the insanity…You will have every donation I can afford! The Humane League WILL NOT. I want to make a difference but when the local Humane League turned me away I felt very alone.
    Thank You!

    • Dawn

      glad to hear someone else is helping to neuter the stray cats and the farm cats we need to all to our share in all the townships to help those poor innocent kitties. Thank you Pam

  • Mk

    Can you explain why you killed my friend’s 16 month, sweet Australian Shepard in less than 24 hours, separating the brother and sister? They found a home for both of them , and you killed one! Horrible horrible horrible! You should be ashamed of yourselves. Money hungry people. They even donated $500!!!!

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