Delaware SPCA will soon transfer ownership of its Georgetown facility to Pennsylvania-based Brandywine Valley SPCA, which shelters animals for Delaware’s Office of Animal Welfare.
Officials say as a result of the transfer, the nearly 8,000-square-foot Georgetown facility will be upgraded and services will be expanded. The Sussex County shelter also will provide a place for Brandywine Valley SPCA to house animals picked up by animal control in southern Delaware, a press release states.
“Sussex County residents will benefit from a much-needed state-of-the-art facility almost immediately — much more quickly than we would have been able to provide,” said Delaware SPCA Board President Diane Ferry.
Brandywine Valley SPCA has a 3-year, $6.5 million contract with the state Office of Animal Welfare to provide shelter services and care for animals from Delaware Animal Services animal control and cruelty cases. Brandywine Valley SPCA operates its main shelter in West Chester, Pa., and a second shelter in New Castle. Dogs picked up in other parts of the state are temporarily held at satellite locations until their owners are found or the pets are relocated to one of the primary shelters.
In 2016, three in 10 dogs sent to Brandywine Valley SPCA came from Sussex County, the press release states. With no dedicated shelter in Sussex County, Brandywine Valley SPCA has been leasing space from private facilities, like All Aboard Grooming & Kennels in Dagsboro.
“This agreement is a win-win for both organizations, but the biggest win is for the pets and pet families of Delaware,” said Brandywine Valley SPCA CEO Adam Lamb.
Brandywine Valley SPCA officials say they plan to maximize the available space to save as many lives as possible, estimating they will double the number of animals held in Georgetown. Delaware SPCA’s website shows 21 cats and dogs are available for adoption at the Georgetown shelter.
Brandywine Valley SPCA spokeswoman Linda Torelli declined to disclose how much Brandywine Valley SPCA will pay for the Georgetown shelter. “The agreement between the two organizations is a financial agreement for an undisclosed amount for the purchase of the building,” she said.
By transferring ownership of the Georgetown facility to Brandywine Valley SPCA, Delaware SPCA will focus on expanding services at its Stanton shelter, where animals will be ready for adoption by late summer.
Delaware SPCA and Brandywine Valley SPCA remain two separate entities. The Georgetown shelter, which opened in 1972, will remain open while ownership is transferred.
The shelter will continue to operate normally during the transition, Torelli said. “Our goal is to minimize disruption to the community,” she said.
Planned renovations to the Georgetown shelter include new cat rooms, upgraded dog housing, lobby improvements and upgraded clinic equipment. A press release states Brandywine Valley SPCA will attempt to staff the facility with current employees; Delaware SPCA spokeswoman Suzanne Herel said the shelter employs 15 people, not including veterinarians. Torelli said a renovation cost estimate is unavailable, but community donations will be needed to complement private funding sources.
Torelli said no timeframe for transferring ownership and completing renovations is available.