Adoption Spotlight: Marshall’s Story

March 6th, 2019 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Adoption Spotlight: Marshall’s Story)

by Chelsea Cappellano, Donor Relations Coordinator, Humane Pennsylvania

It was on April 8, 2017 that Marshall, an emaciated American Pitbull Terrier, was brought into the Humane Society of Berks County. I can remember it was a typical day at the shelter – a few adoptions, a few surrenders – nothing out of the ordinary. Later that afternoon, a gentleman came into the shelter and stated that he had found a dog. The dog was in his car and he needed help getting him inside, since the dog did not have a leash or collar on to safely bring him into the lobby.

The team and I, quickly responded grabbing a few pieces of hot dogs (to earn trust and make friends with the dog), and a slip lead. I followed the man out to his car. As the car door opened, my jaw dropped. The dog was extremely skinny and was covered in ticks from head to toe. Due to the dog’s condition, he quickly took the pieces of food and I escorted him on the leash inside.

Marshall upon arrival, 2017

I remember taking the dog to a quiet room to keep an eye on him until our animal care technicians could take him for evaluation. As I began to process this situation, I knew he deserved a name immediately. Marshall was the first name that came to mind since he was found at Blue Marsh Lake. As one of our lead technicians came around the corner, we both looked at each other and began sobbing. Never in my life have I seen a dog in such poor condition. While we were all sad and frustrated by Marshall’s situation, we used it as motivation to begin providing him with the care he so desperately needed.

Marshall was put on a strict health recovery plan by the veterinarians at the Humane Veterinary Hospital – Reading. The staff provided Marshall with everything they could to ensure his best chance at a full recovery. This included removing all of the ticks, multiple baths, fluids, medications, and a nutrition regimen. Multiple times throughout the day, the team would hand feed him, and of course give him endless affection. Despite the lack of care Marshall received prior to being brought into the shelter, he did not let that hinder his love for people. He loved to give kisses, be pet and play – especially with tennis balls!

On May 5, 2017 Marshall was deemed healthy enough to be neutered and placed for adoption. Because this was not your typical adoption case, potential adopters filled out an application and interviews were conducted to ensure that Marshall found the best home possible. One day on the radio, Ashley and her husband heard about Marshall. They quickly inquired about him and sat down with our Director of Shelter Operations, Leann, for an interview. After learning more about him and having him meet with the whole family, we knew this family was a perfect match for Marshall.

It has now been over a year since Ashley and her family adopted Marshall. Ashley recently shared…

“Marshall is the most amazing, loving, loyal, gentle 70lb lap dog ever! He is the absolutely sweetest with both our young children. He has been such a pleasure to have and is especially playful with other dogs, he also loves to play with Div (when she lets him).

He listens so well and followed commands almost instantly after he joined our family. He loves to give kisses and loves to snuggle. We LOVE him and I just could not imagine our life without him.”

Our deepest gratitude to Ashley and her family for opening up their hearts and home to Marshall. It is tough cases like Marshalls’ that encourage the Humane Pennsylvania team to work hard each and every day for the animals in our shelters.

Marshall with his family, 2018

Marshall would not have made a full recovery without receiving critical care that was provided through the financial support of community members like you and the Miracle Maisy’s Medical Fund. This fund supports all life-saving services and emergency medical care for abandoned, abused and neglected animals in need.

To help animals like Marshall receive life-saving care, please donate to the Miracle Maisy’s Medical Fund.


Bunny Basics: Pet Care Tips

February 25th, 2019 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Bunny Basics: Pet Care Tips)

by Dr. Misha Neumann, Humane Veterinary Hospitals Lancaster

Rabbits are growing in popularity as pets due to their compact size and social natures. While they may seem to be the perfect pet for an apartment or tight city living, rabbits can need some big time care. Here are some basic dos and don’ts when considering taking a bunny into your home.

Room to Roam

Pet stores will sell rabbits as an all in one package including a cage, water bottle and food. While this is a good starting point, rabbits do best with some space to roam around in. This can be easily done by buying or building an exercise pen. You can also litter train your bunny, so they can have free access to roam.

If you are doing this, however, be sure to go through your living space very carefully to make sure there are no exposed wires, foreign objects to chew on, or places to get stuck in. If you are going to stick with a cage, make sure it has a solid surface as grated cages can cause damage to a bunny’s feet. Also, please keep your rabbit indoors as they are not suited to the extreme temperature changes.

Healthy Habits

In terms of diet, rabbits are strict herbivores with constantly growing teeth. Their diet should consist of primarily hay (Timothy or Orchard Grass are best, NOT Alfalfa). Hay is THE BEST food to wear down constantly growing teeth. Next, your rabbit should be fed a wide assortment of fresh veggies and dark leafy greens. Lastly, they can get a small amount of pellets per day (usually no more than 1/8 of a cup).

When choosing pellets, stay away from the party mixes that have brightly colored treats in them. These are just junk food!

Rabbits are relatively clean creatures and do not need bathing. They can often benefit from regular nail trims and occasional brushing to remove excess fur, especially during season changes. If you notice soft stools in the cage or stuck to your bunny’s bottom, call your veterinarian as this may be a sign of a potentially life threatening condition!

Hopefully, this has provided you with some basic information on rabbits. If you would like to continue your research, is a good place to start, as well as contacting your veterinarian.


The Power of an Invisible Cape

February 18th, 2019 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Power of an Invisible Cape)

by Leann Quire, Director of Shelter Operations, Humane Pennsylvania

“I don’t know how you do it.” “How do you not take them all home?” “I couldn’t work there, it would make me too sad.” These are common comments shelter staff hear when a family, friend, or even stranger finds out where they work. There are so many people who want to work with animals in shelters, but surprisingly a few actually know what it is like to work in an animal shelter.

Every shelter is different, but at Humane Pennsylvania if you are an Animal Care Technician or Adoption Counselor then you are working directly with the public to facilitate adoptions and assist with the intake of surrender and stray animals. The Adoption Counselors provide wonderful care to the clients and perform a plethora of administrative work to ensure paperwork is in order and our clients are getting the best experience. Our Animal Care Technicians consist of…

  • Kennel Technicians
  • Adoption Technicians
  • Clinic Technicians

Everyone works to provide the best possible care to each animal that comes through our door seven days a week, 365 days a year. Through blizzards, floods, and blistering heat.

Each morning brings lots of cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning. Our kennel technicians are busy throughout the day making sure the animals have a clean kennel to stay in, fresh food and water, and that surrounding areas are also clean to prevent spread of disease and make sure our public has a nice space to meet their future furry loves. Our Adoption Counselors are busy in the morning making sure our lobby is clean and ready for a new day of what we hope brings lots of adoptions. This, you probably knew though.

But, did you know our staff also assists our veterinarians to catch sicknesses and medical issues with the animals? How about actually medicating them? Maybe you thought that was our wonderful vet staff, but the day to day medical care of the shelter animals is usually performed by our shelter staff employees. A typical day for a clinic technician may involve entering veterinary exams, assisting with veterinary exams, administering medications, fluids and treatments, and counseling the public on what medications their new family member needs in order to go home.

The adoption technicians perform vaccinations at intake to prevent spread of disease and they also are in charge of reviewing intake notes and using their experience and training to identify any potential behavior or medical concerns. They are working with the animals to observe behavior information that will hopefully aid in better matchmaking.

Unfortunately euthanasia can also be a part of a shelter workers day. Our staff provide end of life services for the animals of owners who made the difficult decision that it is time. They also provide euthanasia for animals who are surrendered to the shelter and are sick and suffering or exhibiting dangerous behaviors. The staff goes through training to become compassionate and experienced euthanasia technicians so they can be a kind and calm presence. This skill, along with all of the other daily stresses the staff face can bring emotional and physical fatigue. It is an everyday reality that shelter staff burn out because, despite devoting their lives to helping animals, they sometimes cannot handle the secondary traumatic stress they are exposed to when frequently caring for animals who were abandoned, neglected, or need to be euthanized.

Our staff do it all.

  • They are therapists who listen to the client who just had their 16 year old dog pass away and is heartbroken and unsure if they are ready to open their home again and need some advice.
  • They are counselors and matchmakers working to pair the wonderful families in our communities with deserving animals looking for their forever home.
  • They are nurses who have helped thousands of animals who were seriously ill to make a complete transformation and go to their new home, happy and healthy.
  • They are dog trainers who teach the jumpy dog on the adoption floor how to “sit” so the potential adopter is impressed and invites Fido to come home with them.
  • They are some of the strongest people I know because they work in an environment that pushes them to their emotional and physical limits and encourages them to develop the mental strength and health to continue working in the field.

I could go on, and on, and on. Basically, shelter workers are ever day rock stars. They work hard to give the animals who come through our door the love and care they deserve. Next time you wonder how a shelter staff member works where they do, know that it is because they wear an invisible cape and are driven from their internal passion to help the animals in your community, and I am sure they would love to hear, “I am SO glad you do what you do.” To learn more about the work and passion of our team, visit


Cold Weather Pet Care Tips

February 11th, 2019 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Cold Weather Pet Care Tips)

Winter weather can bring about increased risks for your pets. When the temperatures drop pets are at a higher risk of experiencing hypothermia and/or freezing if left outside without adequate shelter for an extended period of time. These useful tips will help keep your pets, warm, happy, and safe during the winter months.

Provide Adequate Shelter

  • Like humans, pets like to be warm and cozy during the winter. If you have pets that primarily live outdoors during other seasons, they should be brought indoors when sub-freezing temperatures arrive.
    For community cats and other outdoor pets, provide adequate shelter that faces away from the wind with a covered doorway. The shelter should be insulated, dry, and draft-free. The shelter should also be large enough to allow them to move about comfortably, and small enough to maintain their body heat.
  • Be sure to keep outdoor pets hydrated and well-fed. Ensure these pets are provided with fresh, unfrozen, water that is changed frequently. Warm bedding should also be provided. Hay or straw, as well as cozy pet beds, warm blankets, and pillows are recommended.
    Outdoor pets burn more calories and need more food as keeping warm depletes energy. During the winter months, use plastic food and water bowls as a pet’s tongue can get stuck to metal.
  • Pennsylvania state law governs that companion animals must have access to sanitary shelter which preserves body heat and keeps the pet dry. If a dog is tethered outdoors, which refers to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary object or stake, usually in the owner’s backyard, as a means of keeping the animal under control. These terms do not refer to the periods when an animal is walked on a leash.
    If a dog is tethered outdoors, the law states that the dog should not be tethered for more than 9 cumulative hours within a 24 hour period. The tether is secured to a well-fitting collar with a swivel and by a tether of no less than 10 feet or three times the length of the dog. The dog has access to water and an area of shade. The dog is not tethered for longer than 30 minutes when the temperature is over 90 degrees or under 32 degrees.
    These standards must be met in order for the assumption to be made that the dog has not been neglected. If the dog is not tethered in a manner that satisfies these requirements, a law enforcement officer may file neglect charges. – Act 10 of 2017 Limits the Continuous Tethering of Dogs in Pennsylvania

Check Your Vehicle

  • Cats and other wildlife may seek shelter from the cold winter weather by crawling in to the wheel well or under the hood of your vehicle. Your vehicle provides a warm place for the animal, however, this can be a very dangerous location for them.
    – Bang on your hood and honk your horn before starting the engine in order to awaken any animals and give them the opportunity to escape the vehicle before for you pull away.

Keep their Skin Clean

  • Salt and chemicals from ice melt can irritate your pet’s skin and paws. Following your winter stroll, thoroughly wash and dry any exposed areas of skin with clean water to remove any potential irritants from the belly, paw pads, and between the toes.
    – Monitor exposed skin, such as the nose, ears, paws, and belly for and belly for signs of irritation and prolonged redness, lasting longer than 24 hours. You can also protect your pet’s sensitive skin with a warm pet jacket or sweater. Prior to taking your dog for a walk, apply a layer of petroleum jelly to your dog’s paw pads. This will act as a barrier and help protect their pads from salt and other irritants. Dog booties are also a great option to protect their pads from winter irritants.

Protect Against Poisons

  • Many common household products are poisonous to your pets. Spills and leaks from vehicle can be especially dangerous. Coolant and antifreeze, for example, have a sweet taste that can attract your pet. However, these products can be deadly if ingested.
    – Effectively clean up all vehicle spills to ensure your pets does not come in contact with these toxic materials.

Keep ID Current

  • During the winter months, snow and ice can mask familiar scents that would help a lost pet find their way home. Be sure your pet is always wearing a collar with accurate contact information and keep them on a leash during walks.
    – Have your pet microchipped to increase the likelihood that they will be returned to you safely if a separation were to occur.

Watch the Temperature Gauge

  • Limit your pet’s exposure to the outdoors, for example, reduce duration of walks and leave your pets outside for quick bathroom breaks and for short burst of exercise.
  • Also, senior pets may have a particularly hard time keeping warm in cold temperatures and may not be able to manage cold weather hazards, such as ice, with the same agility as a younger pets.

See Something, Say Something

  • Speak out if you see an unsheltered or inadequately sheltered pet. Dropping temperatures can be deadly.
    – Contact your local police or animal control agency if you see an animal that needs help.
    In Berks County Contact: To report suspected Animal Cruelty call, the Animal Rescue League at 610-373-8830
    In Lancaster County Contact: To report suspected Animal Cruelty, call the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office at 717-917-6979

Who’s Who in Animal Welfare in Pennsylvania?

February 5th, 2019 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Who’s Who in Animal Welfare in Pennsylvania?)

There is often confusion regarding the various animal welfare organizations in Pennsylvania with similar names and sometimes overlapping missions. Each year after the Super Bowl, someone asks me why some nasty group bought an advertisement harassing us, “the humane society”,and I have to explain it’s a different group that has nothing to do with Humane Pennsylvania. We just have similar names. So, Humane Pennsylvania has prepared this simple explanation of the “Who’s Who” of Pennsylvania’s animal welfare organizations.

Humane Pennsylvania (us!):

Humane Pennsylvania was founded in 1900 and is a locally operated, staffed, and funded charitable organization. Originally the Humane Society of Berks County and the Humane League of Lancaster County, Humane Pennsylvania changed its name to reflect the larger service impact of the organization following the merger of these two local organizations in 2014. We directly house nearly 5,000 animals a year and help tens of thousands more through community services. We are your local “boots on the ground.”

In Berks and Lancaster Counties, we…

  • Have two animal shelters, two nationally accredited public animal veterinary hospitals, a public dog park, an equine rescue facility, a national management services and training division, and a charitable foundation.
  • Receive no tax subsidies and no funding from any national animal groups such as HSUS or the ASPCA.
  • Are not part of, managed by or controlled by any national organization.
  • We advocate for issues and legislation, we do not engage in electioneering.
  • If you live in Berks or Lancaster County, we are your “boots on the ground.”

Other local organizations:

Across Pennsylvania there are many local humane societies, SPCA’s, rescue leagues, and other organizations with similar sounding names. Despite having similar names, they are not related to one another or any national groups. These are all independent local organizations working to help animals in their local communities, with local boards of directors and local staff and donors, just like Humane Pennsylvania. These are their own community’s “boots on the ground.”

Federated Humane Societies of Pennsylvania:

Federated is the statewide member organization of over 65 animal shelters (like us and the others mentioned above). Through 2018 it oversaw Humane Society Police Officer training and continuing education in Pennsylvania (and hopes to continue under the upcoming RFP). Its volunteer board of directors represents animal shelters from across the state. It is the Federation of all the “boots on the ground” organizations across Pennsylvania and represents the broadest voice of local constituencies across the state.

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS):

HSUS is a national animal advocacy organization based in Washington, DC and Hagerstown, Maryland. It operates no animal shelters in Pennsylvania. It is not affiliated with any local organization and does not directly or regularly fund any local organization. It employs a State Director, who serves as its issue advocate in Harrisburg, but she does not represent or speak for any local animal welfare organization (very often, but not always, local organizations are in agreement with HSUS positions). Although they are often considered interchangeable with “the humane society” and even use for their email, HSUS is not your local organization.

Humane PA PAC (Political Action Committee):

Humane PA PAC is a political action committee. It has both out of state and in state animal advocates involved and engaged in election work as well as issue advocacy. It operates no shelters and provides no direct animal services. It is not in any way associated with Humane Pennsylvania (us!), the animal welfare and sheltering organization. It merely has a similar name.

ASPCA, Best Friends, American Humane Association:

There are many out of state animal organizations such as these. Some provide animal sheltering and services in other states and some are issue advocacy organizations. None have local animal service locations in Pennsylvania and none directly operate, fund or are affiliated with any local Pennsylvania organizations.

One thing is really important to remember:

No other organization gives us money! Please don’t think you are supporting your local shelter when you support a national group. These national groups often do great and important work. We often work with them to pass legislation. We provide training for and to them. But donations don’t flow to us from them.

Local, regional, and national groups are all important, but they are all different. I hope that clears up any Super Bowl confusion. To learn more about the direct animal welfare programs and services we provide the communities we serve, visit


Funding Second Chances

January 28th, 2019 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Funding Second Chances)

by Lauren Henderson, Director of Events & Corporate Relations, Humane Pennsylvania

Before I started working at Humane Pennsylvania, animal welfare was not something that crossed my mind on a daily basis. Of course, I wanted animals to be treated humanely, but the constant thought about donations, being an advocate, raising funds, who could I talk about sponsorship, those thoughts were not something that kept me up at night. But that was almost three years ago. 

I have been a part of Humane Pennsylvania since June of 2016 and the support I see for the animals we serve everyday could bring tears to your eyes, and sometimes it does. I hear all the time how much people love animals, but on a daily basis I see so many people prove that. By the donations they make, the support they provide, the sponsors that care about their community, and the staff that fights every day for that hope.

Animals like Marshall, Maisy, Lady Luck and so many others that don’t make it into the headlines. Those are the ones that you, our donors, help to save. That gives me goosebumps just writing it. It is not the easiest thing to say, but money saves the lives of so many helpless animals.

Humane Pennsylvania is not subsidized by any national animal welfare organizations or any county, state or federal tax funding. It is only with your generosity that we’re able to save the lives of thousands of animals each year!

Your contributions give our shelter staff the resources they need to care for the animals, some of those animals facing the most extreme circumstances. Your contributions give our veterinarians the tools they need to perform lifesaving surgeries and give those animals a second chance.

For some money is a scary word, that just the mere thought of it causes anxiety. But money here at Humane Pennsylvania means hope.

On a daily basis, I look for that hope in every event sponsor I obtain, in every corporate meeting I have, in every fundraiser someone hosts on our behalf. Because that hope is what gives a family the animal they never knew they needed. That hope becomes a second chance.

Fundraising allows me to provide countless animals with a second chance. But I couldn’t do any of that without the incredible generosity of our sponsors, donors, corporations, supporters, and volunteers.

Whether you’ve supported Humane Pennsylvania a month ago, or ten years ago – thank you. You provided hope to an animal that desperately needed it.

I invite anyone and everyone interested in providing hope to the animals to contact me, Lauren Henderson, Director of Events & Corporate Relations, at [email protected] to learn more about how your support can provide second chances.

There’s always more hope to give and you can be the one to give that hope to so many animals in need.


Driven to Provide Purposeful Community Engagements

January 21st, 2019 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Driven to Provide Purposeful Community Engagements)

by Lindsay High, Director of Marketing, Humane Pennsylvania

Humane Pennsylvania is thrilled to share that Lauren Henderson, former Events & Corporate Relations Manager, has been promoted to Director of Events & Corporate Relations at Humane Pennsylvania.

Lauren joined the Humane Pennsylvania team in June of 2016 as the Events & Donor Relations Manager. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a minor in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management from Penn State University, she was eager to focus her talents on unique fundraising and event planning opportunities.

“I am excited, honored, and humbled to have been promoted to Director of Events & Corporate Relations for an organization that is leading the way in animal welfare. I’m so fortunate for their belief in me and my abilities to make a difference in the lives of the animals!” – Lauren Henderson, Director of Events & Corporate Relations


Along with receiving her Principles of Fundraising Certification from Villanova University, Lauren applies her depth of event development experience to create meaningful donor engagements throughout both Lancaster and Berks Counties. With a focus on continuously evolving her skills, Lauren is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Berks County.

As she continues to develop memorable events and experiences for the community, Lauren is dedicated to ensuring that all Humane Pennsylvania events and fundraisers are mission-driven and focused on providing sustainable funding resources for the animals she serves.

Please join us in congratulating Lauren on her new role! For more information about Lauren Henderson and ways you can get involved with the organization please call 610-750-6100 x211 or email: [email protected].


Volunteer Spotlight: Making a Meaningful Difference

January 14th, 2019 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Volunteer Spotlight: Making a Meaningful Difference)

by Kristi Rodriguez, Volunteer Coordinator, Humane Pennsylvania

Humane Pennsylvania and its partners can only do the work we do for animals with the help of the over 600 volunteers who donate their time, expertise, and love every single day. Each quarter we take a moment to highlight two of our caring and committed volunteers.

Whether it’s animal care and dog walking, event support, clerical, fundraising, weeding, adoption promotion, or any other of the many volunteer opportunities we have to offer, every volunteer job is part of our success.

Thanks to each and every one of our 2018 volunteers, last year was a phenomenal year for Humane Pennsylvania. Because of their dedication and volunteer efforts, our organization continues to serve homeless animals in both Berks and Lancaster Counties and provide our community with new family members all year long.

Below we are thrilled to spotlight two of our pawsome volunteers!

Humane Society of Berks County: Melissa Snyder

Melissa Snyder began volunteering at the Humane Society of Berks County as a Cat Room Assistant in August 2018.

In just a few short months, her dedication to our shelter felines has become quite evident! Melissa spends just about every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday assisting in the daily cleaning and care of our shelter cats. And as if she doesn’t have her hands full enough with her family and volunteer efforts, Melissa recently adopted a giant, fun-loving Cane Corso from the Humane Society named Tank.

Thank you Melissa, not only for being such an amazing volunteer, but for not having to go far to find a loving family for an amazing dog.



Humane League of Lancaster County: Wilma Beachy

Wilma Beachy has been a foster for the Humane League of Lancaster since April this year.

Since she started fostering she has helped 3 nursing mothers and a total of 18 kittens! Wilma’s most recent litter was the most challenging. At times she would wake up every two hours to help supplement feed the kittens and stimulate them to go to the bathroom. Wilma documents her experience on Instagram at Purrs in Paradise.

We are truly grateful for everything she does for our organization and for all the animals she has help saved.




Want to join our pack of all-star volunteers? Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities or contact Kristi Rodriguez, Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] to get involved. We welcome volunteers to help us make Pennsylvania the most humane state in the nation!


Announcing a New Chief Veterinary Officer of Humane Pennsylvania

January 8th, 2019 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Announcing a New Chief Veterinary Officer of Humane Pennsylvania)

Humane Pennsylvania is excited to announce Dr. Alicia Simoneau has been promoted to Chief Veterinary Officer of Humane Pennsylvania, which represents the region’s largest partnership of animal welfare organizations.

Dr. Alicia Simoneau

Dr. Simoneau is a graduate of Western University of Health Sciences in Southern California. She attended Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA where she attained a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology before veterinary school. Her special interests include holistic and integrative medicine, spay/neuter surgeries and nutrition.

She practices classical homeopathy and is certified to perform acupuncture on dogs, cats and horses. She adores the three rescued Siamese/DSH cats and two adopted Thoroughbred horses.

Dr. Simoneau began her career with Humane Pennsylvania as an Associate Veterinarian then advanced to Senior Veterinarian prior to being promoted to this new role as Chief Veterinary Officer.

In her new role and in alignment with the organization’s mission to build the best community anywhere to be an animal and to provide the highest level care, Dr. Simoneau will be the veterinary director and coordinate the veterinary initiatives undertaken by Humane Pennsylvania’s shelters, practice, and the consulting services.

Dr. Simoneau will also serve as Chief Veterinary Officer for Animal Welfare Management Services, Humane Pennsylvania’s consulting division, which provides consulting and management services across the nation and in Canada.

She will have direct management authority over the medical programs of the Humane Society of Berks County shelter as well as the veterinary services provided through the Healthy Pets, Healthy Lives program. This program is a groundbreaking initiative created by Humane Pennsylvania with support from The Giorgi Family Foundation, to help animals and their families lead better, healthier, and happier lives together.
Through this program, Reading area pet owners are encouraged to take advantage of paramount opportunities to receive low-cost veterinarian services from the region’s leading veterinarians to help their pet receive the highest level of care at an affordable cost.

Health and wellness, or lack thereof, are among the driving forces leading to the breakdown of the human/pet bond, potential shelter intake, and needless death. Dr. Simoneau will be leading efforts to help ensure pets in our community receive the care they need and are able to remain happy and healthy in their homes.

Humane Pennsylvania is also proud to be one of the nation’s only networks of non-profit veterinary animal hospitals. As AAHA Accredited veterinary hospitals, our Humane Veterinary Hospitals of America (HVH), located in Lancaster and Berks Counties, are recognized among the finest in the industry, and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine and veterinary excellence.

We believe that the best way to keep pets happy and healthy at home is to make sure they have access to high quality and affordable veterinary care. Access to veterinary care is shown to be one of the most important factors in keeping animals out of shelters, and our veterinarians help provide that care to animals throughout the community.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Simoneau on her new role. To learn more about her expertise and the exceptional care both her and her team provide to pets throughout our community, please contact us at [email protected] or call 610-921-VETS (8387).


The Healthiest Way to Serve Vegetables and Data: Raw

December 21st, 2018 | Posted by KMdirector2* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Healthiest Way to Serve Vegetables and Data: Raw)

We approach the time of year when animal welfare organizations start sharing their annual animal data.  That means it’s the time of year when I start getting frustrated and annoyed when shelters don’t share their raw data.  Raw data is exactly that, it means getting the numbers without them being “cooked.”

As shelters we may operate and report our numbers as we choose, as long as we can continue to get the support we need to keep the doors open.  We all define terms like “save rates” and “positive outcomes” in different ways.  For example, when we say we “save” 90% or more of our animals, we qualify that as treatable animals.  We exclude some animals from those we consider treatable.

We exclude animals that came to us dead (duh).  We exclude animals that came to us for end of life services, (owner requested euthanasia).  We exclude animals who fall under rabies law protocols due to bites.  So, we do sympathize with those who want to put their best foot, and best outcomes, forward.

But we also report our raw numbers.  We show every single animal entering and leaving our shelters, regardless of how.  We also post a detailed description of every term we use, so you know what we mean when we save “treatable,” “untreatable,” or “positive outcome.”  You and the rest of the public can analyze both our raw data and our contextual data and reach your own conclusions.  Some states, but not Pennsylvania, require this.  We’ve been doing this for 15 years and was among the first in PA to post these numbers online.  It is the only honest way to report numbers.

Some organizations only report their “save rates” with no numeric values at all.  That’s not only meaningless, it’s dishonest.  There, I said.  It’s dishonest and deceptive.

Saying nothing but “90% Saved!” without defining what saved means, or noting how many came in or went out, tells us nothing.  Were 9 out of 10 saved or 900 out of 1,000?  Both are 90%.  Did we include every animal or just those that are savable?  That would be like a store having a 50% off sale without telling you the price.  Maybe it’s a good deal.  Or maybe they just always charge a lot and 50% off is still worse than the store next door.

Pennsylvania should mandate consistent, transparent, and complete reporting.  Until it does, we should demand it, of ourselves and of other organizations.  I’m not saying organizations intend to be dishonest, but some do.  I’m not saying it means we put up numbers we are not always happy with, we do. I’m not saying reporting it’s not a major pain in the butt, it is.  Heck, I always run later in posting than I want to because we have to pull together all the data, double and triple check all the numbers, convert the files, etc.

But if a dummy like me can do it, so can everyone else. We deal with lives and the public deserves to know the reality behind the work we do on their behalf and with their money.  If we don’t deliver that transparency, we deserve their mistrust.