Delaware establishes standards for animal shelters

    New animal shelter regulations are designed to help more animals get adopted and fewer get euthanized.

    As part of an ongoing effort to reduce the number of animals euthanized at animal shelters in Delaware, Governor Jack Markell (D) signed into law a new set of regulations to ensure abandoned or neglected animals get proper care.

    Markell was surrounded by legislators, representatives from animal shelters and a handful of dogs for the signing ceremony at the Delaware SPCA.  “Until now, we have had no state standards of operation in place for the animal shelters here in Delaware, and today, that changes,” said Markell.


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    The regulations direct shelters to maintain records on animals they intake, including how many are adopted, reclaimed, transferred or euthanized.  Those records must then be posted online.  The law also sets up standards mandating vaccinations and veterinary care procedures.  The regulations also call for animal shelters to take steps to make adoption as convenient as possible, including opening their facilities on nights and weekends.  “We want to keep animals, rather than kill animals.  These standards make Delaware’s shelter regulations probably the most comprehensive in the country,” said Markell.

    The Delaware Humane Association’s Patrick Carroll says the cooperative effort by the state’s animal shelters to get the measure approved by the General Assembly has also caused a side benefit creating a feeling of partnership among shelter leaders.  “We haven’t always had a history of working together or being in the same room,” said Carrol.  “I think it’s a great thing for our future, for the people as well as the animals.”

    Click on image to view a slideshow.
    Click on image to view a slideshow.
    You can find out more about what animals are available for adoption throughout the state by going to any of the following websites:  Delaware SPCA-, Kent County SPCA-, Delaware Humane Association-, Faithful Friends No Kill Animal Shelter-, or Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary-

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