Cumberland County SPCA Keeps Doors Open with Changes in Sight

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VINELAND, N.J. -

Because of new regulations and finance issues, the Cumberland County SPCA staff were worried they would be closing their doors come 2018.

Thanks to some help from local county officials, the shelter is able to stay open, but changes might be coming because of new state legislation.

Changes in animal shelter regulations put a strain on the Cumberland County SPCA towards the end of 2017.

“We really hit the wall this year and we talked to our County representatives and we told them we just couldn’t go on,” said Bev Greco, executive director of the Cumberland County SPCA.

After Cumberland County officials stepped up to the plate, the SPCA was hopeful.

Read: Volunteers Saving Lives During Harsh Code Blue Stretch in Cumberland County

Strengthened bonds with individual municipalities and advice from professional accountants helped them get their finances in order, which was their green light to continue helping residents and animals.

“With the right funding and the right support from our community and our community leaders, we’ll be right there,” said Greco.

Now that they are working on new contracts with municipalities and figuring out how to expand their services, the local SPCA along with other animal shelters around the state might start to see a few changes.

One bill that’s waiting for the Governor’s signature would change how humane complaints are handled; moving from a state-run SPCA to a county-run animal cruelty task force.

“It is very costly, it is very time consuming, and quite frankly, it’s very dangerous to do law enforcement these days,” said Greco. “That’s not something non-profit organizations should be doing.”

With that legislation, the Cumberland County branch would no longer handle those investigations.

Thanks to another bill that just passed unanimously through the Senate, an animal cruelty crime registry could also change how animal shelters handle adoptions.

“As it is now, the only thing that we have are our own records from our county,” said Greco. “But that would be something that I’m sure would be open to the public and we could utilize that for any adoption applications that would come in, that would be very helpful.”

But with all of these changes, one thing stays the same: keeping the animals safe.

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