Brandywine Valley SPCA Reopens After Fire

BVSPCA’s cat adoption room temporarily repurposed for wellness exam room

While some parts of the Brandywine Valley SPCA (BVSPCA) are still under construction, the facility worked a little magic to officially reopen their New Castle Campus just in time for a large pet adoption weekend. Adoptions at the shelter kicked off with National Mutt Day on July 31st. Thanks to some incredible adopters, 132 animals found “forever homes” the first week the facility reopened. 

The BVSPCA serves as an adoption center, public veterinary clinic and shelter, and all services are now available. On July 9th, shortly after midnight, a vehicle crashed into the building sparking a massive fire. Tragically the driver, in addition to four cats, lost their lives. But thanks to the support of nearby neighbors, volunteers, BVSPCA staff, and first responders, nearly 100 animals were rescued from the burning building.

Lobby of the BVSPCA after the July 9 crash

BVSPCA’s New Castle Campus was left severely damaged. The front lobby was destroyed, and the clinic had to be completely gutted. So other parts of the building are temporarily equipped for spay/neuter surgeries and wellness visits.

All of the animals were taken care of after the crash and during the transition. Some were transferred to other shelter locations in Dover, Georgetown, and West Chester. And other local animal shelters, including Delaware Humane Association and Faithful Friends Animal Society, stepped up to take in animals.

The outpouring of support from the community has led droves of visitors to BVSPCA’s other adoption centers since the day of the accident. Visitors are hopeful that they will find their new best friend to adopt. In fact, some of the individuals who rescued the animals from the burning shelter have sought out the animals they helped that night to adopt.

One of the rescuers, Joe, returned to adopt a puppy he later named Squirt

Pictured is Joe, holding the puppy he helped rescue as BVSPCA worked to get animals transported to temporary housing. He returned to adopt the puppy he has named Squirt. Many animals, including Squirt, have been adopted however there are many more still waiting for forever homes.

Facility clean-up began immediately following the fire. Construction crews have worked around-the-clock to quickly repair the adoption center. The clinic needs to be completely rebuilt and will take up to two more months to finish. During the renovation another area of the shelter has been equipped for spay/neuter surgeries and wellness visits open to the public. Adoption and veterinary services resumed two weeks after the fire.

The reopening could not come fast enough for the animals who call the shelter a temporary home says BVSPCA CEO, Adam Lamb. “Our staff and vendors pushed all the limits to reopen as quickly as possible. The animals need us as a safe haven, and the incredible outpouring of support from the community underscored how vital our services are to the pet families in the area.”

Construction at the BVSPCA lobby is nearly complete

BVSPCA has raised over $50,000 from nearly 700 donors towards their $100,000 fundraising goal. While most of the reconstruction will be covered by insurance, there are still many outstanding costs. BVSPCA continues to seek donations to support the rebuilding efforts. Donations can be made online at: or mailed to Brandywine Valley SPCA, 600 South Street, New Castle, DE 19720.

Adoptable animals can be viewed on their website: 

Adoptions:    Tuesday-Friday 12pm-7pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm

Wellness:        By appointment Tuesday 12pm-7pm, Wednesday 9am-3pm

S/N Surgery:  By appointment Tuesday-Friday

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About the Contributor

Brittany Anthony

Brittany Anthony

Brittany Anthony is the development manager at Cancer Support Community Delaware and a running coach at Ursuline Academy. She previously served for 5 years as the development / pr manager at Faithful Friends Animal Society and is in fact the proud owner of her own rescue dog, Jackson.

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