Delaware Animal Shelter Reopens After Deadly Crash and Fire

The SPCA's New Castle campus has been closed for nearly three weeks after incident displaced almost 100 animals

Renovations are complete and the doors are open at a Delaware animal shelter a mere three weeks after a car tore through the building, starting a fire and killing the driver.

The Brandywine Valley SPCA reopened its New Castle campus Thursday after the July 9 accident that destroyed the veterinary clinic and damaged adoption areas in the shelter.

"Our staff and vendors pushed all the limits to re-open as quickly as possible,” said Adam Lamb, BVSPCA's Chief Executive Officer.

On July 9, around midnight, a van driven by 33 year-old mother Latoya Cooper tore through the side of building, sparking a fire and evacuation of the facility. The crash took Cooper’s life, and killed four cats in the shelter while nearly 100 animals had to be evacuated.

The shelter's staff has been working since the incident to restore the facility, which had to be gutted as a result of the damage. Now, the clinic has been rebuilt and the adoption center is open for business.

“It could have been even worse if not for the amazing work of the first responders and all the neighbors who worked together to get the animals out safely,” Lamb said following the incident.

The Brandywine SPCA is the only open admission shelter for Delaware and Chester Counties, and the first one in Pennsylvania to attain “No Kill” status. The campuses currently care for over 10,000 animals.

Over $50,000 dollars have been raised by the public to support the New Castle shelter’s repairs, many of which are not covered by insurance. You can donate to the shelter here.

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