History & Mission

Our History and Mission

Hillside SPCA, Inc is a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation that provides animal welfare services to all of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The county presently has a population of approximately 153,000. Our service area covers approximately 783 square miles.

The Hillside SPCA, Inc. operates an animal shelter facility located at 51 SPCA Road, Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The shelter houses many cats and dogs and the number of animals in residence at any given time varies with the seasons, spring and summer often being especially busy.

The animals in need of our help at the Hillside SPCA, Inc.are received as releases from private owners, stray animals and animals seized in connection with cruelty investigations.

The Hillside SPCA does not put a time limit on how long an animal will be maintained at the shelter defining us as a “no kill” facility. We give the animals we accept or rescue every attempt at adoption possible. Sadly, not every animal that comes to us can be adopted. Euthanasia may be performed if an animal is so sick it cannot be helped, or is so vicious or lacks socialization that it cannot be placed in a home.

“Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission–to be of service to them whenever they require it… “ ~ St. Francis of Assisi

What also sets the Hillside apart from other shelters is that the animals are not sentenced to a life in a crate, but are free to play and interact with others throughout the day in large fenced-in yards or cat condos.

In addition to operating the animal shelter facility, we also conduct investigations of animal cruelty and prosecute those individuals found to be violating the Pennsylvania Cruelty Statute. The organization attempts to provide 24 hour coverage, but this is sometimes limited due to staff shortages.

The staff includes trained and certified humane officers appointed by the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County as well as humane investigators who perform animal cruelty investigations and issue citations as necessary.

The Hillside SPCA, Inc. conducts educational programs in local schools focusing on the humane treatment of animals and the need to control the animal population through spay/neuter programs. The shelter also provides financial assistance to individuals who cannot afford to have their pets spayed/neutered.

We operate almost solely through donations received from individuals, groups and businesses and fund-raising events and our operating budget climbs on a regular basis taking hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep our doors open and serve the animals in need.

It has been the experience of Hillside SPCA that individuals prefer to bring homeless animals to this facility because of our reputation of kindness to our residents. We do our very best to provide care and comfort for the animals. Each is given a name and is generally treated as an individual. Animals at the Hillside SPCA do not spend the entire day in kennels and/or cages. All the animals at our shelter facility are fed both canned and dry food and each is provided with a blanket every night.

Over the years, major renovations were completed at the Hillside SPCA animal shelter facility including improvements to the dog quarters dedicated to Jim and Peg Stine. Here, canine residents are provided access to large fenced-in exercise yards each day. The new and improved dog quarters also includes housing designed to give puppies room to run and grow. Quiet, enclosed kennels are available for dogs that are sick or just need some solitude.

Recently, through the amazing generosity of some donors, we were able to put up an additional building in which we have a dedicated area for animals in need of quiet; those who are recovering from injuries, new mothers and those adapting to life at the shelter. We also added another building which expands our offices and enables us to better care for the animals in residence. This building also has a “meet and greet’ area where potential adopters may spend time with a dog they are interested in adopting. This ability to meet dogs in a quiet area allows people interested to get to know them better and highlights the dog’s true personality much better than when they are in the midst of other barking, excited animals. As a result, our adoptions have increased and returns have decreased.

Housing for feline residents is provided in the Etta Shepard Memorial Building which was recently renovated and enlarged thanks to the generosity of some marvelous supporters. This building is equipped with large indoor cat condos which give cats room to move about and play. The cats have access to outdoor enclosures in warm weather. This building also provides a sick room for those felines needing some extra medical attention.

Each year, Hillside SPCA is able to find homes for hundreds of animals. Animals will only be adopted to those individuals who meet specific adoption requirements and who sign our adoption contract.

It is required that all adopted animals be maintained as indoor pets and must be spayed or neutered within a specified time period after adoption if not already altered before leaving us. The Hillside SPCA is very diligent in checking on adopted animals to insure that they are spayed/neutered and that they are receiving proper treatment. If needed, we provide financial assistance for spay/neuter expenses.

The physical and emotional well-being of the animals is the top priority of the dedicated Hillside staff and volunteers.

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