To ensure Brandywine Valley SPCA’s important animal rescue work continues, the organization has opened the Eastern Shore Pet Resort in Georgetown.
SPCA officials held an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 23 at the former Safe Haven facility on Shingle Point Road, where both the pet resort and animal rescue center are based.
“We were able to purchase this facility through the generosity of donors, but we wanted to have diversity in the revenue stream to keep the rescue center going,” said Linda Torelli, marketing director for BVSPCA. “It’s not only a really posh place to take your pet, but you can do it knowing you’re saving lives.”
The pet resort has 13 rooms for dogs for private boarding.
All rooms, each named after a Delaware beach town, have a raised bed made to look like a human bed, a television and diffusers with scents relaxing to dogs. There are also several options for owners to customize their dog’s experience.
Each room is also equipped with a webcam, so owners can check in on their loved one 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The resort has two fenced-in outdoor play areas and one indoor play yard if the weather is poor.
Boarding rates range from $45 per night to $75 per night. Doggie daycare services are also available, starting at $30 for a single day.
There are also facilities for cats, designed like a four-story townhouse, with a bathroom/litter box on the bottom, kitchen and play room in the middle levels and a bedroom on the top floor.
“We wanted to offer cat boarding, but we didn’t know it would be as in demand as it is,” Torelli said. “A lot of our first clients were cats.”
Cat boarding starts at $20 per night.
The rest of the facility is dedicated to animal rescue.
Adam Lamb, CEO of BVSPCA, said the primary purpose for purchasing the building was to open an animal rescue facility, and it was put into use almost immediately.
“Twenty-four hours after we purchased it we were taking in animals from Hurricane Florence, and it really has put Delaware on the map,” Lamb said.
The facility has a full medical suite with two surgery rooms that can accommodate spay and neuter or needed immediate medical care.
At any given time, the facility will have a variety of dogs, from cruelty cases and strays to dogs relocated to Delaware for adoption through the Second Chance Program.
The center currently has German Shepherds that were rescued from properties in Georgia. Torelli said BVSPCA worked with the Atlanta Humane Society to relocate 16 dogs. The society had recently worked to save more than 500 German Shepherds from horrible conditions on two properties.
“They were in just devastating conditions,” Torelli said. “When the people went out to get the dogs, they were up to their knees in mud.”
Upon receiving the dogs, Torelli said, staff assessed each canine through their behavior program. Dogs deemed to be well behaved were matched with a home experienced with undersocialized dogs. The rest remained at the facility for more behavior modification training.
The organization also works internationally, partnering with Humane Society International. One of the society’s current initiatives in South Korea is working with dog meat farmers to convert to another sustainable crop. The Georgetown facility currently has several dogs rescued through that program.
The SPCA also participates in the Second Chance Program. The goal is to promote adoption over buying a dog from a breeder. BVSPCA accepts dogs from parts of the country where spay and neuter programs are lacking or nonexistent. Through the program, the facility recently accepted dogs from Alabama.
“In other parts of the country, small dogs and puppies are getting euthanized because there are too many of them,” Torelli said. “We bring them in. We would rather a family that really wants a puppy to save a life that would’ve been lost in another part of the country.”
Once each dog is ready for adoption, it is sent to one of BVSPCA’s adoption centers in Georgetown, New Castle and West Chester, Pa.
The Eastern Shore Pet Resort and BVSPCA Animal Rescue Center are located at 19022 Shingle Point Road, Georgetown. To learn more about the pet resort, go to www.easternshorepetresort.com or call 302-777-PLAY.