Joyce and Terry Hemler worked side by side 24 hours a day for 10 years.
Together they ran Hemler Animal Control Services out of their home in Glenville.
Then Terry Hemler died on Nov. 15, 2011. He and Joyce Hemler had been together 21 years.
Terry Hemler started the animal control business in 1987, and Joyce Hemler joined him in early 2000.
Now Joyce Hemler said she plans to close Hemler Animal Control Service, effective Dec. 31, the last day of the year-long contracts the service has with 37 municipalities it serves around York County.
The municipalities received the service's closure notification in the July billing statements, she said.
"I'm going to quit," she said. "Without my husband, I can't take it. I don't need to do the middle-of-the-night stuff. I used to be a very, very patient person. I lost my patience and I'd rather quit now before I lose patience with the public."
Joyce Hemler said she also considered her age in her closure decision.
"I just turned 60 years old," she said. "I don't need to wrestle around with a pit bull or (Rottweiler). I don't need to be out there at 3 o'clock in the morning because someone found a dog."
The service: Hemler Animal Control Service helps reunite stray animals with their owners. The service has also removed skunks and other varmints living under porches and sheds, and handled all types of animal complaints around the county.
"We try to get animals back to their owners, instead of loading up the shelters," Joyce Hemler said. "We have a pretty good record of getting dogs back to their owners."
Joyce Hemler said she met at least two people who do animal control work and are interested in serving municipalities. If they are able
to set up service contracts with municipalities, she will help them short-term as they begin work in those areas.
"It has always been our goal to save our municipalities as much money as possible," she said. "I hope whoever offers (animal control) services next would do the same."
The Hemler home has a 20-by-40-foot garage with built-in kennels. However, Joyce Hemler said there are no plans to operate a boarding kennel. She said she plans to spend more time with family, meet new people and do some type of part-time work.
Joyce Hemler also said that deciding to close her animal control business is a relief to her, as she has experienced other losses since her husband's death.
"I lost my grandma, lost my dog, lost a sister to cancer," she said. "I'm going to take it easy, and I'm going to enjoy life."