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York Co. SPCA accepting pets during power outage

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With tens of thousands of people in the dark following this week’s storms, the York County SPCA is allowing pet owners to drop off their animals until their power is restored.

“We never want people to leave their pets behind in any situation,” said the SPCA’s executive director, Melissa Smith.

Smith said she’s especially concerned about birds and reptiles, which are more susceptible to cold weather. “They need a heat source, and so we are very concerned about those animals,” said Smith.

Any York County residents impacted by the storm are allowed to bring their pets to the SPCA. The shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Though the shelter is usually closed Sundays and Mondays, Smith said employees would be available those days to let people pick their pets should their power not come back on until then.

Smith said the SPCA is providing the service for free, though donations are welcome. It’s an expansion of the SPCA’s safe pet program, which started as a way to help pet owners who are victims of domestic violence.

In East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, the Living Hope Community Church has been allowing both people and their pets to stay there until power is restored.