Main Line Animal Rescue aims to become PSPCA affiliate

To better protect our furry friends, two Philly-area animal welfare organizations are planning to join forces. Main Line Animal Rescue, a 20-year-old animal rescue based in Chester County, is moving toward becoming an official affiliate of the PSPCA, officials from both organizations announced today.

“Our mission dovetails with the PSPCA’s mission,” said Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR) interim executive director Susan Chew. “We just felt now was the time.” 

The PSPCA, originally founded in 1867 to protect working horses, is continuing to operate as a 100-percent donor-funded animal welfare organization with shelters and hospitals in North Philly, Danville, Fishtown and in Lancaster County, as well as a team of Humane Law Enforcement officers working to protect animals in 23 counties. 

PSPCA Humane Law Enforcement Officer Greg Jordan with a rescue dog

“A lot of the animal welfare organizations work together in some way,” said PSPCA CEO Julie Klim. “We have so many commonalities that we just knew this would be a good fit. 

Both organizations’ boards have approved MLAR becoming a PSPCA affiliate. The process still requires passing a few legal hurdles. Leaders said the animal communities they serve won’t lose out due to the change, but might actually start to see some gains.

From the PSPCA perspective, they can start sending dogs struggling with kennel life out to MLAR’s 60-acre farm, where dogs have access to training classes and can stretch their legs and run. For MLAR, they will have access to PSPCA vets, and possibly be able to expand the veterinary services they offer.

“We can operate more cheaply by combining forces and be able ot put more money toward the animals,” Klim said, mentioning that medicines, foods and other supplies would cost less when purchased in larger quantities. 

Changes at Main Line Animal Rescue

Main Line Animal Rescue was founded some 20 years ago by former executive director Bill Smith, originally with the intent of stopping rampant puppy mills in the region. Smith left his position in 2017 and went on to found 1Love4Animals

For the PSPCA, which has in recent years expanded to its new Fishtown Center, and taken over the Lancaster SPCA, the new affiliation with MLAR is the latest in a series of positive steps including the No Kill Philly coalition created with the PSPCA, ACCT Philly (Animal Care & Control Team) and the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). 

In June, ACCT Philly reported a 90 percent life-saving rate for strays found around Philly, meeting the threshold for a “no-kill” shelter. Klim credited the milestone to the coalition’s efforts in cooperatively working to adopt out strays.

“You used to hear that Philadelphia wasn’t an area where people were always particularly collaborative,” Klim said. “What’s great about this affiliation with Main Line and the coalition is that we’re at a place now where we’re all working together.”

By the numbers

MLAR currently has some 175 animals in its care: approximately 115 dogs, 50 cats and three rabbits. 

In 2017, they reported:

Intake of 565 cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals.

640 adoptions

985 wellness visits

9,133 core vaccinations

874 spays/neuters

1,524 animals treated in shelter hospital

PSPCA at any given time is caring for roughly 500 animals, although the number currently is a bit higher due to an influx of bunnies.

In 2017, they adopted out 5,000 animals to “forever homes.”

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