Delco approves animal control services

MEDIA — Delaware County Council on Tuesday officially approved an agreement it made late last week with the Delaware County SPCA, regarding municipal animal-control services.

“On behalf of the SPCA, we’d like to thank you for all your work,” SPCA board member Marcia Noa said to county council.

Noa also specifically thanked Councilman Mario Civera for his efforts to move forward plans for a new animal-control facility to be constructed on Calcon Hook Road in Darby Township by the end of December.

“The county stepped up … we hope the municipalities will step up now,” said Civera.

This issue began about a year ago when the SPCA announced its intentions to get out of animal control. In a July 2010 letter sent countywide, the shelter stated animal control and its subsequent high euthanasia rates were no longer compatible with the shelter’s commitment to becoming no-kill by July 2012.

In its letter last year, the SPCA indicated it would end services for stray animals by June 30, 2011.

But in recent weeks, county officials repeatedly requested the SPCA grant a six-month extension.

County and SPCA officials reached an agreement late last Thursday night. The extension will act as a stopgap until the dedicated animal-control facility is constructed in Darby Township.

The agreement enabled the SPCA to retain municipal animal-control contracts with 38 currently contracted municipalities.

As part of the agreement, the county will pay the shelter $125 per animal for the SPCA’s animal control costs. This is in addition to the municipalities’ contract fee of $116, bringing the SPCA’s total animal control revenue per stray to $241.

Delaware County will advance the funds monthly, with the initial installment of $40,000 coming no later than Friday, according to the contract, and a projected six-month total of no more than $120,000.

The county may pay additional costs not in excess of $6,000, which are associated with the shelter’s transition to a no-kill facility. The funds could possibly be used for a separate intake area, according to the contract.

County spokeswoman Trish Cofiell said the county intends to use gaming funds for costs related to this agreement rather than the general fund.

Staff Writer Paul Luce contributed to this article.

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