Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
League: Jobs are lost
BY TOM KNAPP, Staff Writer
With its transition today to a no-kill shelter, Humane League of Lancaster County is idling about a third of its work force.
Mary Wallick, director of marketing, said the shelter is eliminating 13 full-time positions and adding one.
That leaves the shelter with 22 full-time and six part-time employees, Wallick said.
"We are looking, hopefully in the future, to reinstate those positions," she said. "That's one of our high priorities."
Among those out of work is animal cruelty officer Keith Mohler, who investigates reports of animal abuse.
Mohler -- who has been with the League at least 18 years, according to newspaper records -- could not be reached for comment.
He previously was let go in 2011 -- also because of funding -- and then rehired.
Mohler's salary was paid by municipal contracts with the League, Wallick said. However, with its switch to a no-kill philosophy, the League canceled its few remaining municipal pacts.
Officials said the shelter will no longer have space for stray dogs and cats.
Reports in October, when League president Joan Brown announced the shift in policy, indicated the shelter retained only eight municipal contracts. Most municipalities, citing increasing League fees, had made other arrangements for strays.
The new Lancaster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is stepping into the League's shoes. Executive director Susan Martin said this week that the LSPCA has agreements with more than 20 municipalities, with more expected.
Wallick said the League hopes eventually to pay for a cruelty officer through fundraising efforts and donations.
In the meantime, she said, animal violations can be reported to the Organization for the Responsible Care of Animals at 397-8922.
"They can also call their local police," Wallick said. "If they are actively witnessing animal abuse, they should call 911."
The other 12 employees being laid off are in the League's animal care and customer service departments, Wallick said.
The shelter is being reorganized, she said, and will make use of a "very active" team of volunteers.
The League also is adding a full-time veterinarian to the staff, Wallick said.
"We're moving into more medical-based care, with an increased number of spay-neuter clinics," she said. "The additional veterinarian will help us accomplish that."
The League previously had just one vet, she said.
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