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Two First State animal shelters turn away strays

Nhandler/Wikimedia Commons

Two First State animal shelters have stopped accepting stray animals.

Last year, the state approved a $6.5 million contract with the Brandywine Valley SPCA in Pennsylvania to shelter Delaware’s stray animals. This was after the First State Animal Center and SPCA abruptly ended its contract with the state in September.

Typically, other organizations would pull animals from the contracted open admissions shelter and put them up for adoption. While the Brandywine Valley SPCA has forged relationships with Faithful Friends Animal Society and the Delaware Humane Association, the Delaware SPCA and First State Animal Center chose not to cooperate.


Adam Lamb, executive director of the Brandywine Valley SPCA, says doing this frustrates those downstate who want to adopt pets from their local shelter.


“A lot of people are upset that they’re going the shelters in Kent and Sussex County and they don’t have any animals and they want to adopt but they’re not in a position to drive up to New Castle County where the majority of shelters are," said Lamb.

However, Andrea Perlak, executive director of the Delaware SPCA says that having enough room for strays is not the issue. The organization simply cannot afford to spay and neuter the stray animals because the state has not funded those services. She says pulling those animals from the Brandywine SPCA would bankrupt them.

“It doesn’t matter if we want to do it, we can’t do it because we don’t have the funding to take in a lot of stray animals, particularly aggressive animals that are very hard to adopt," said Perlak.

Delaware SPCA has nine veterinarians, with another coming soon to their Georgetown clinic. Perlak says taking on strays would require more vets to help spay and neuter the animals they’d receive.

She adds the organization is focusing instead on taking in “public animals," pets who have already received medical care up front.  

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