In reviewing the website for the Chester Co SPCA in PA, I see the shelter sells county licenses, conducts cruelty investigations and accepts stray pets. These are often attributes of a taxpayer funded shelter although the Chester Co facility does not indicate whether it is a public or private facility, which is odd. The reason I was looking is because an article on Philly.com seems to clearly indicate the shelter is funded in part by taxpayers:
The shelter takes in stray animals brought in from the county’s municipalities, and it also has a five-year, $30,000-a-month contract with Delaware County to accept strays from 46 of its municipalities.
As such, it would appear Chester Co SPCA is subject to FOIA requests for their kill numbers. But Philly.com reports:
The shelter will not share its euthanasia numbers but acknowledges they are climbing.
Hiding the killing is always a bad sign. Volunteers and staffers are jumping ship with alarming frequency and many have spoken out publicly about the killing at the facility:
[T]he Chester County SPCA shelter has become a “kill factory,” say SPCA volunteers, a former board member, and ex-staff members.
More than a dozen volunteers have formed a group to push for a change in leadership and more effective programming. They are troubled when dogs are euthanized for what they see as easily corrected behavioral issues or treatable medical problems.
Volunteers say some cats are taken from the intake counter directly to the euthanasia room.
The Chester Co SPCA recently terminated a program to adopt out cats from pet supply stores, reportedly due to the “hassle” of saving cats’ lives. Some rescues are reporting trouble working with the facility.
The Chester Co SPCA sells puppies for $225 according to its website and Philly.com reports that the shelter has been importing puppies from other states which is unfathomable considering the secret killing taking place there. A state inspection in May faulted the shelter for failing to obtain the required health certificates on the imported puppies. Unsanitary cage conditions and pest control problems were also noted.
Board president Conrad Muhly paints critics as a few bad apples:
“I am thrilled with the people that work there. The staff does an excellent job,” Muhly said.
So excellent apparently, that the shelter has to hide the body count from the public.
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)