'Clear the Shelters': COVID-19 pandemic hasn't slowed adoptions at York County SPCA
Clear the Shelters is a nationwide effort to help animals find their forever homes in August.
Locally, the York County SPCA is once again taking part in the event, which has expanded from one day to a monthlong event this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Because we’ve had extra challenges due to COVID-19, they wanted to give us a month to really achieve our adoption goals.” said Steven Martinez, executive director of the York County SPCA.
“They also wanted to give the community an opportunity, if they didn’t want to adopt, to still support us with a financial contribution, which we can use to support the animals that are currently in residence.”
Martinez said COVID-19 hasn't affected adoptions all that much at the shelter located at 3159 N. Susquehanna Trail in Manchester Township.
"We're doing well in that we've had a lot of adoptions and not a lot of returns," he said. "So our shelter numbers are at a healthy, manageable level."
There were 39 cats available at the kennel as of Thursday morning, and 19 cats had already been adopted this month, according to communications director Kaila Young.
“We want to adopt a cat a day, so that is 31 cats by Aug. 31,” Martinez said. “Right now, we’re ahead of our goal.”
The shelter had adopted five dogs this month and had eight more available as of Thursday morning, along with 12 rats, four guinea pigs and three rabbits, Young said.
"Now that it’s Clear the Shelters month, probably for the first time since we’ve been participating, we actually have a legitimate chance at literally clearing the shelters of our adoptable dogs," Martinez said.
York County SPCA temporarily closed its spay/neuter clinic on Wednesday after an employee was exposed to another person with a confirmed case of COVID-19. The clinic will remain closed until Sept. 1.
The remainder of shelter operations, including adoptions, surrenders, animal enrichment and human service programs, have continued without disruption.
Fees for adoption can vary on the age and breed of the animal. Included in the fee is the microchip, current vaccinations, relevant testing and the spay or neuter surgery.
The average adult cat, ages 1 to 5 years old, is $85. Kittens under 4 months are $140 and senior cats 6 years and older are $45, according to the SPCA’s website.
The average adult dog, ages 1 to 5, is $235. Puppies are $260. Senior dogs ages 6 years and older are $175.
To adopt a pet, go to the tab at ycspca.org and submit an adoption application online. There also is a donation button on the website, or donors can mail a check to the York County SPCA.
— Ron Musselman can be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.