Chester County (Pa.) SPCA gets $6.5M contract for Delaware animal control

DOVER — The Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare has looked out of state to find a contractor to shelter Delaware animals.

The office announced Monday it has selected Chester County SPCA in Pennsylvania for animal sheltering services in support of the state animal control enforcement unit starting Jan. 1. The $6.5 million three-year agreement may be renewed for up to two additional years.

According to the Monday announcement, Chester SPCA will provide services at a permanent facility located in New Castle County, with satellite facilities in Kent and Sussex counties. The stated purpose is to ensure Delaware animals will stay in the state for care and adoption.

The Office of Animal Welfare said it sought animal-sheltering bids as part of a plan to launch the second phase of Delaware Animal Services, the state’s first animal-control enforcement unit. During the first phase, launched in mid-September, Animal Services officers began enforcing all animal cruelty and complaints concerning humans exposed to the rabies virus.

Starting in January, Animal Services also will handle all animal control complaints, including stray dogs and seriously injured or endangered cats.
Chester County SPCA has provided temporary animal-control services for Wilmington and Kent County, as well as emergency cruelty sheltering services for the state since September.

“The CCSPCA has a solid reputation for delivering progressive and innovative programs to rehabilitate and re-home stray and abused animals, which is a population of animals with a unique set of needs,” says Hetti Brown, director of the Office of Animal Welfare.

“The organization also prevents animal homelessness through pet owner counseling and the delivery of compassionate resources. This is the key to ensuring every healthy and treatable animal has a home in Delaware.”

The Chester County SPCA is the only open admission shelter in Pennsylvania that does not euthanize healthy or treatable animals, according to Delaware Office of Animal Welfare.

Under the new agreement, stray animals will be housed in Delaware so owners have a chance to recover pets. Animals that are not recovered, or animals that are the victims of animal cruelty, will be placed into the rehabilitation or adoption programs at the Chester County SPCA’s New Castle location, or transferred to a Delaware-based shelter or rescue partners for foster or adoption.

The services outlined in the contract are for stray and abused animals. Through the contract, the Chester County SPCA will provide all medical and sheltering, rabies quarantine and adoption services for animals retrieved by Delaware Animal Services. The contract also includes requirements for programs to minimize stress levels, address social and exercise needs, and reporting requirements.

The contract will cost a total of $6,514,500 over three years; including:
• $2.15 million for year one costs
• $2.15 million for year two costs
• $2,214,500 for year three costs

Beginning Jan. 1, citizens wishing to report stray animals should call Delaware Animal Services hotline at (302) 255-4646. It currently accepts calls concerning animal cruelty and rabies exposure to a human.

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