LanCo stray dog plan leaves cats out in the cold

At the end of the month The Humane League of Lancaster County becomes the latest Pennsylvania shelter to close its doors to stray cats and dogs in an effort to cut costs and become a so-called "no-kill" facility.

Today we learn that the newly-formed Lancaster City SPCA will step in to house stray dogs from the county's 60 municipalities, at least temporarily, in the city's vehicle maintenance facility.

But not cats.

Like this one, named Mack. 

He was shot in the head with an arrow last month outside his house in Bainbridge. His picture just turned up in the Lancaster Intelligencer yesterday.

Of course, Mack, who miraculously survived this horrendous attack, has a home.

But who will take in feline victims of cruelty and other cats abandoned or turned out on the street come Feb. 1?

No one has apparently answered that question.

The new shelter will have room for 40 dogs, but that won't come close to solving the stray dog crisis in Lancaster County.

And it does not address the cats because the state law requires that municipalities provide animal control - for dogs.

But there is no similar governmental responsibility for stray felines.

The city took as many as 500 dogs to the Humane League each year, Mayor Rick Gray told members of City Council at their Tuesday meeting, according to the newspaper.

"We have a legal obligation to provide for them and we had, by far, the most of any municipality, so we were under the gun," Gray said.

Who is running the new SPCA? Who will fund it?

Answers to those questions appear murky at this hour - just 3 1/2 weeks before the shelter is to open.

The city of Lancaster will cover the costs for dogs found within the city limits. Other municipalities will be charged $300 for each dog brought there, but that won't be enough.

Oh, and the cute kitty in the picture?

He is recovering from his injuries. Police told the newspaper they are looking for the "sick individual" responsible for the attack.

Police ask anyone with information to contact them at 717-426-1164. Tipsters also may call Lancaster City/County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-1913 or anonymously text LANCS plus your message to 847411 (TIP411).

(Photo/Lancaster Newspapers)