York SPCA Humane Actions

a new leash on life

york spca humane actions

humane actions

The mission of the York County SPCA Humane Society Police Officer is to educate the public on the proper care and needs of their pets, provide animals with protection from abusers by removing them from harmful situations, ensure that animals are provided with necessary veterinary care and provide a place for abandoned and unwanted animals who would otherwise be left behind.

How you can help

The York County SPCA employs Humane Society Police Officers who are professionally trained to investigate and prosecute Section 5511 of the PA Crimes Code, otherwise know as the Cruelty to Act of cruelty, please contact either the York County SPCA or York County 911. Humane Society Police Officers are accessible 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week to respond to emergencies.

In the state of Pennsylvania, summary offenses under the Cruelty to Animals statute are punishable by a fine ranging from $50 to $750 and/or 90 days in jail. It is important to note that these penalties are set by the presiding magistrate, not the York County SPCA nor its officers.

humane society police officers

Cruelty to Animals is extremely serious and is sometimes partnered with other offenses at the scene of the crime. Please do not take matters into your own hands if you have a concern about a situation. You could be breaking the law and putting yourself in harms way. In addition, you could disturb a crime scene that could potentially inhibit a Humane Society Police Officer from properly investigating and prosecuting the crime.

Please help us in protecting the animals of York County. We need your assistance to alert us of potential animal abuse. If you suspect an animal is being abused, contact the SPCA immediately.


Abandoned in Dumpster

sad dog

This little puppy was found abandoned in a dumpster in Dover. A good citizen heard suspicious noises in a dumpster and investigated. Wrapped inside a plastic bag, discarded in the dumpster, with outdoor temperatures in the 20s, this puppy did not have a bright future. Thankfully, we have a good story to tell. A call to 911 resulted in notification to the animal control officer in Dover. The animal Control Officer brought the puppy to the SPCA early Saturday morning where he appeared in good conditions despite his brush with abandonment. A family found the puppy on the very same Saturday and requested adoption. PA Dog Law, however, requires us to hold "stray" animals for 48 hours so our adopters were required to wait 2 days before they could take their new puppy home.

Trying to unravel mystery of dog found shot in the face

Reported by Elizabeth Evans, The York Dispatch

The York County SPCA doesn't usually enlist the help of state police to help stray dogs. Then again, most stray dogs haven't been shot in the face. Found wandering in the area of Stine Hill Road in York Township on March 13, a mixed black Labrador retriever appeared to have been hit by a car, said Melissa Smith, executive director of the SPCA.

The medium-sized dog was picked up by Animal Control Officer Tim Kohler after a resident called to report the stray, she said. "We authorized Tim to take the dog to the Animal Emergency Clinic, where an X-ray showed she was actually shot," Smith said. The bullet entered the top of her muzzle and exited out her throat, according to Smith. Fragments of the bullet also lodged in the dog's chest.

Fragment recovered: "The clinic was able to pull a bullet fragment out of (the muzzle)," Smith said, although some fragments still remain in the dog's chest. "I took the bullet fragment to the state police barracks yesterday," she said. "At this point, it's believed to have been a .22. It appears to me that somebody was trying to shoot to kill and obviously was unsuccessful." State police Cpl. Jeff Rineer said troopers examined the bullet. "Due to the condition of the fragment, positive identification of the caliber is not possible," he said, but troopers' "best guess" was a .22-caliber, he said.

The dog, named Meg by the SPCA staff, spent three days in the hospital, according to Smith, and is now recuperating at the shelter.

Unanswered questions: Smith said the SPCA wants to "solve the mystery" of who shot Meg -- and why. "We're looking for anyone who might recognize this dog or knows where she lives, or knows who was last seen with her, or knows who shot her," Smith said.


Meg was found in a very rural area of York Township, not far from Hess Farm Road and just north of the North Hopewell Township border, she said. Meg is primarily black with a few white markings, including a blaze on her forehead. She's about 5 years old and was wearing a red collar with no tags, Smith said. She's smaller than a full-bred Lab, and fully socialized.

"That makes me conclude she was someone's pet and was cared for at some time," Smith said. "She's the happiest dog -- just adorable."

Our Latest Updates on Heaven

March 5
Heaven's progress as of March 5th

Heaven continues to do very well with her recovery although her leg needed to be wrapped in a cast due to a slight shift in the position of the pins in her leg.

There has also been a change in Heaven's final destination. Unfortunately, the home that was going to take Heaven is now unable to do so. But, to everyone's delight, the foster home has fallen for her and has offered to adopt her on a permanent basis into their home!

February 7
Heaven's progress as of February 7th

Heaven had her staples/sutures removed today. This will be the first day that she will not be bandaged around the area where the stick was removed. She is really enjoying her freedom! Heaven will stay in her foster home for a couple of weeks and then will be transferred into her permanent new home. Her new adopter is very well equipped to handle her medical needs.

Knowing Heaven has been a pleasure to all of us at the York County SPCA. The opportunity to help her overcome her horrific circumstances has been so rewarding.

We would like to acknowledge the actions of Serenity Rhoades. Her act truly saved Heaven's life. We hope that she has set an example for others her age to follow."

January 31
Heaven's progress as of January 31st

Heaven arrived safely in her foster home where she will be receiving the rehabilitation that she needs to make her recovery.

Heaven is shown with her York County SPCA foster parent, Scooter Deller.

We would like to thank everyone for their warm wishes and donations towards Heaven's care.

January 28
Heaven's progress as of January 28th

Heaven arrived safely back at the York County SPCA on 1-28-10 after several days of intensive care at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center. Her fractured femur has been repaired and she is doing very well. She will even wag her tail for us which is miraculous to see! Our plan for Heaven at this point is for her to go to foster care with an SPCA volunteer for several weeks of recuperation. Then, after assessing her progress, we will entertain the possibility of adoption for her.

The York County SPCA is following a solid lead on Heaven's origin. We are hopeful that this information may lead us to the circumstances of her condition and abuse.

January 23
Heaven's progress as of January 23rd

At this time, the York County SPCA is seeking information from anyone who might have information on who may have owned this dog or who may have abused her in such a cruel and inhumane manner. York County Crimestoppers has joined the York County SPCA in the search for the perpetrators and is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information may contact the York County SPCA at 764-6109. You may remain anonymous if you wish.

If you would like to assist the York County SPCA in the cost of caring for this dog, you may make a donation to our shelter earmarked for the Second Chance Fund. This fund will be used to assist us with the costs we are incurring while we strive to save this unfortunate little girl.

York County SPCA is named as partner with the HSUS

So, what does that mean exactly? If the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) rescues a large number of animals in our local area the York County SPCA will be called in to help provide housing, long term care, and adoption services.

In order to become an HSUS partner, the YCSPCA had to meet eligibility requirements and go through an application process. Although we receive no funding or financial assistance from the HSUS, we feel that this partnership will help fulfill our vision of creating a humane community where all pets are protected and wanted. We are very proud of being named as an Emergency Services Placement Partner!

HSUS brings 100 Sled Dogs to York

The York County SPCA is accepting 6 dogs from the 100 Eskimo sled dogs rescued in northern Canada. The HSUS stopped at our shelter on November 21 to deliver dogs to us and nearby shelters. From York the tractor trailer was continuing on toward Wash DC stopping at other Humane Society partners.


Horses, of course!

Everyone knows that the York County SPCA houses and cares for countless dogs and cats every year. Plus, we also provide for a variety of small animals such as rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and birds. But, did you know that we attend to horses as well?

In 2010, the York County SPCA received 68 calls regarding suspected equine abuse or neglect. Most of these complaints involved multiple horses at the same property. Of the 68 complaints lodged with Nicole Boyer, the York County SPCA Humane Society Police Officer, 17 were found to be false or invalid. This equates to 210 horses whose conditions warranted a scoring and/or exam by Officer Boyer or a licensed veterinarian.

At this time, 9 of the aforementioned complaints are still ongoing. Equine investigations can be very difficult to resolve as weight gain can be a time consuming process. Officer Boyer may need to recheck horses numerous times before she is satisfied with the results and can ultimately close her investigation.

horse horse horse horse horse horse horse horse

As in many cruelty investigations, there are times when an owner is unable or unwilling to make the improvements or provisions necessary to keep them in compliance with the Pennsylvania Cruelty Statute. When this occurs, the owner is given the opportunity to willingly sign custody of the animal over to the York County SPCA. Furthermore, there are times when a situation is so dire that an animal can be confiscated from an owner by reason of exigent circumstances or via a search warrant. Subsequently, since the York County SPCA is unable to house horses on our Emigsville property, we must seek help from local farms or rescue groups to assist us in their care once we become their custodians.

The York County SPCA currently has custody of three equine which are being housed on a farm in York County and we have been incurring the cost of their care. These animals are currently available for adoption. If you are interested in adoption or would like more information, please contact Officer Boyer at 764-6109 ext 127 or nboyer@ycspca.org.

If you are a horse lover and would like to assist the York County SPCA in our quest to care for equine in our community, please consider making a tax deductible donation to the York County SPCA Equine Fund. This money is used solely for horse care and greatly helps us defer the costs of caring for these animals.