Lancaster Co. SPCA to close; no animal will be left behind

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LANCASTER, Pa. -- The Lancaster County SPCA gave a heart-wrenching announcement for animal lovers: The shelter is expected to close down in August.

Jennifer Ericson, a public relations officer with the Lancaster County SPCA, said, "We don't want people to think the doors are closing today because they're not. You can still come in in the weeks ahead to adopt."

The SPCA is the only shelter in the county that takes in all stray animals, and according to state law there needs to be a shelter in place for people to drop off those animals.

For the animals that don't get adopted, Ericson said they will not be left behind.

Ericson said, "If the animal is adoptable, our goal is if we can't adopt it out, transfer it to another organization that might be able to."

At least one organization plans to help the animals in any way they can.

Jennifer Nields, a humane officer with the Lancaster County Animal Coalition, said, "Regardless of if they lose their temporary space at the SPCA, I'm sure they'll find a safe haven with another space until they find that forever home."

Nields said this is a time where the community needs to come together.

"I think in a way it'll show in a positive light how many different organizations are willing to step up to care for them," she said.

As for what's next for the shelter, city officials said they are looking for another animal organization to move into the facility.

Nields said the LACC wants to do just that.

"We definitely want to continue it as a shelter as you know as it is now. We want to be able to give the municipalities somewhere to bring the strays. We want to just continue to just give a safe haven to the animals within the county," she said.

Ericson said the major issue the county faces is so many stray animals need a good home, and now the SPCA will not be able to help provide one for them.

Ericson said, "It's a huge county-wide problem that existed before we came into operation and will exist after unfortunately. And I think the solution is going to be more costly than we even know."

Animals at the SPCA are still up for adoption until the shelter closes.

Not only are the animals affected, 13 people will be out of a job after the SPCA shuts down.