“If we could hire people, the number of animal shelters would not increase”

The York County SPCA is experiencing a staff shortage – and that means problems for animals trying to get adopted, officials said.

Applications for veterinary technicians, customer service representatives and animal care technicians have been open since July. Despite this, few people apply, said York County SPCA executive director Steven Martinez.

“You need people to get the animals out and that’s where the bottleneck occurs,” Martinez said. “If we can hire people, we wouldn’t have the number of animal shelters increasing.”

Many dogs, cats and other small pets that pass through the doors of the SPCA are often ill or require additional care before they can be adopted. If the shelter had more vets and animal care technicians, these animals could be healthier sooner and have a shorter stay at the shelter, Martinez said.

The York County SPCA is currently seeking two individuals for each of these three positions. Applicants can visit https://ycspca.org/ to apply or search for “York County SPCA” at https://www.indeed.com/.

Nova, a 4 year old male terrier / pit bull mix, is available for adoption at the York County SPCA in Manchester Township on Friday August 6, 2021. Photo by Dawn J. Sagert

“It’s a great place to work, you are surrounded by cute animals all day,” Martinez said. “If we don’t have enough people, we can only do a limited number of adoptions per day.”

Currently, Martinez estimates that the York County SPCA processes 12 to 18 adoptions each day.

The refuge still cannot open to the public due to its understaffing.

All animals available for adoption can be viewed by visiting the York County SPCA website at ycspca.org. Not all of the animals currently at the shelter are available for adoption immediately, however, which few people know, Martinez added.

Kennel Technician Cindy Robertson passes one of many loads of laundry for the day's kennel cleanings at the York County SPCA in Manchester Township on Friday August 6, 2021. Photo by Dawn J. Sagert

At one point, the York County SPCA has a maximum capacity of 90 for dogs and 250 for cats.

If a person isn’t able to adopt, Martinez said just sharing information on social media can help. Hospitality is also an option.

Since the influx of animals, Martinez said the shelter has used its network of animal shelters to take care of the transfers.

For example, if a husky comes to the shelter, the York County SPCA may hire a husky rescue organization to deal with that specific breed.

“If we could get our numbers back to normal levels, we might be okay,” Martinez said. “But if things continue as they are and we can’t hire more help, then I’m afraid our savings rates will start to drop – which is the worst-case scenario.”

– Contact Tina Locurto at [email protected] or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.

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