The York County Commissioners are mulling a proposal to help the York County SPCA fund a $1.35 million high-volume spay/neuter clinic, with at least two members of the three-man board expressing support for the idea.
Under a proposal made at Wednesday's commissioners meeting, the county would pledge $136,000 a year for 12 years to the shelter. That pledge would help secure a loan for the project, said Kevin Smith, vice president of the SPCA board.
Commissioner Doug Hoke said the proposal calls for the county contributing $36,000 more per year than it has allocated the shelter this year and last, but residents from Delta to Dillsburg have long bemoaned the problem of feral cats.
He said the organization has demonstrated the
Smith agreed, saying the shelter would save money on sheltering and euthanasia, which costs $250 per animal, if the number of strays were reduced because they were never born.
President Commissioner Steve Chronister said the county can't "keep kicking the can down the road" and should try to mitigate the stray population, which is an issue for both animal lovers and those who choose not to have pets.
The board is expected to vote on the proposal at its meeting Wednesday.
SPCA Executive Director Melissa Smith said the shelter's adoption numbers are dropping while euthanasia numbers have been increasing each year - from 1,374 in 2007 to 3,144 in 2011.
She said the SPCA performs about 3,000 spay/neuter surgeries a year, but that number could increase to 18,500 with the new clinic. Studies have shown one female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in just seven years, Smith said, while one female dog and her offspring can reproduce up to 67,000 puppies in six years.
The SPCA has been working with the Asheville, N.C.-based Humane Alliance, which pioneered the high-volume spay/neuter clinic model in 1994 and helped more than 100 shelters across the country start up their own.
The local SPCA board would like to be the first shelter in Pennsylvania to open a Humane Alliance-model spay/neuter clinic, eventually offering services to Adams, Dauphin, and Lancaster Counties, Kevin Smith said.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.