Cumberland Valley First launched

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

The Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter is launching a new project to create a dialogue between the shelter and the jurisdictions it serves.

The initiative, called Cumberland Valley First is named for both the region the shelter serves and the fact that it's the first of its kind. The shelter's board of directors, staff and volunteers are hoping the idea will serve as a model for other shelters in the state.

CVAS will provide statistics, prepared by the CVAS staff, of animals coming from each jurisdiction to the shelter, to be included in the agenda of each jurisdiction. A representative of the shelter will attend township meetings quarterly to provide information on programs and to answer questions township residents might have.

The townships and municipalities in the CVAS service area are Greene, Guilford, Hamilton, Letterkenny, Lurgan, St. Thomas, Southampton — Franklin County, Southampton — Cumberland County, Shippensburg Township, Metal and Fannett townships, and the boroughs of Chambersburg, Shippensburg and McConnellsburg.

The Cumberland Valley First program will recognize the fact that animal welfare is an ongoing effort supported by community residents who understand that pro-active measures are necessary to ensure not only humane treatment of animals, but also public health and safety.

As one of the only two open admission shelters in Franklin County, CVAS has the obligation to help county residents, and the residents of the area CVAS serves, to understand shelter operations.  

"Because area residents have always shown a great deal of compassion for animals, this is a good place to start a partnership program that we hope will be emulated by other shelters in Pennsylvania," said Nancy Gardner, CVAS board president.  "Only good things can come from improved communication and exchange of ideas. Caring for homeless animals is a shared responsibility."