SPCA seeks families for shelter pet holiday sleepovers

NEW CASTLE — The Brandywine Valley SPCA is looking for families to host shelter pets for holiday sleepovers.

The sleepovers are a short-term foster arrangement in which a dog or cat currently available for adoption at one of the BVSPCA’s shelters stays with a family temporarily for a duration of a few days up to a week.

“This is a great opportunity for families staying home over the holidays to give a homeless dog or cat a much needed break from the shelter,” said Walt Fenstermacher, BVSPCA senior director of operations. “Sleepovers have been shown to reduce stress for shelter animals, and we also learn more about the pet’s personality in a more natural environment.”

The Brandywine Valley SPCA is looking for families to host shelter pets for holiday sleepovers. (Submitted photo)

This is the second year the BVSPCA is offering holiday sleepovers. Last year’s pilot program sleepovers resulted in more than 30 homeless pets spending the holidays with a family. The BVSPCA hopes to far exceed that number in this second year of the program so as many homeless pets as possible can experience the love of a family over the holidays.

The BVSPCA offers two sleepover options:

• Santa Sleepover: Pickup Dec. 20-23, Return: Dec. 26-30

• Winter Break: Pickup Dec. 20-23, Return: Jan 2-5

Families interested in hosting a shelter pet for a sleepover can sign up at www.bvspca.org/sleepover.

The BVSPCA will work with each family to match the shelter pet to a particular home’s situation when it comes to factors such as other animals and children.

Founded in 1929, the Brandywine Valley SPCA is the first open admission no-kill shelter in Pennsylvania and Delaware. In 2018, the BVSPCA cared for more than 14,000 stray, owner-surrendered, wayward owned, and abused and neglected animals while achieving a 95 percent live release rate.

The BVSPCA provides animal protective services for Chester County and much of Delaware County in Pennsylvania, and it holds a five-year contract with the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare to provide state-wide animal services for dogs.

Animals are placed through three adoption centers: West Chester Campus, New Castle Campus, and the Georgetown Campus.

In addition, the BVSPCA provides families with safety net and low-cost veterinary services at its three clinic locations: the Malvern Animal Health Center, the New Castle Animal Health Center, and the Georgetown Animal Health Center. The BVSPCA also operates the Animal Rescue Center (ARC), a facility dedicated to helping animals with additional needs prior to being ready for adoption, such as cruelty cases, disaster victims, and infants.