Fostering saves two lives – the life of the dog in the foster home and the future incoming pet who we now have space for in our kennel.
Shelters across the country are experiencing record-high stray intake, especially for dogs. After nearly four months of being at nearly maximum capacity for kennel space, we can confidently say that York County is mirroring this national trend.
To address these record-high stray intake challenges, the York County SPCA’s leadership team has devised a strategic approach to expanding our capacity of care without increasing the number of physical kennels to care for more incoming pets. The strategic approach hinges on a new position in our canine leadership team that is specifically aimed at overcoming our stray intake challenges. The new position, Canine Foster and Rescue Coordinator, will focus on decreasing our average length of stay and creating more live outcomes for dogs by placing them in caring, dedicated foster homes or with specialized rescue partners.
The York County SPCA is excited to announce that we recently hired Meagan Shenberger as our new Canine Foster and Rescue Coordinator. Meagan joined the York County SPCA in May 2022 as a Client Services Counselor. She has been involved in animal services for more than ten years and has personally fostered more than forty dogs.
This brand new, essential leadership position within our canine team is responsible for all aspects of the York County SPCA’s foster and rescue programs. Initially, Meagan will focus extensively on recruiting, training, and support for our canine foster families.
During the last four years, our team has focused on piloting new and innovative programs to create more live outcomes for York County pets. The efforts resulted in a 42 percentage point increase of our save rate, from 53% in 2018 to 95% in 2022. In October 2022, we created a new three-year strategic plan, outlining our goals for sustaining at 90% or better save rate.
We need our community’s help to sustain our save rate based on recent overwhelming levels of stray intake. We must recruit more foster families so that we can support all these incoming stray dogs. Please consider applying or sharing this information with your network. People who open their homes and their hearts to this opportunity are truly joining our effort to save every animal who has a chance at a live outcome. Fostering can give us so much useful information about where a dog will best thrive based on the unique makeup of their foster family. The York County SPCA assumes all financial and medical responsibilities for animals enrolled in our foster program.
Photo of Meagan Shenberger, Canine Foster and Rescue Coordinator