Animal Protective Services Division of the Brandywine Valley SPCA - Brandywine Valley SPCA


No animal deserves to suffer from cruelty and the Brandywine Valley SPCA’s Animal Protective Services Department works tirelessly to prevent abuse and protect companion animals.

What is Cruelty?

The following are some guidelines to help you recognize cruelty:

  • All animals require shelter from the rain, snow, wind, and sun. Shelter is any non-metal structure that will keep the animal warm and dry.
  • All animals require necessary veterinary care. Necessary vet care is that which is required to treat illness or injury.
  • All animals require clean and sanitary living conditions. Living space should be free of debris, and waste should be removed routinely.
  • All animals require necessary drink and sustenance. Water and food must be provided in amounts sufficient to maintain weight and hydration.
  • No animal can be abandoned. Abandoned animals are those whose caretaker has forsaken their duty of care.
  • No animal can be beaten or neglected.

What should I do if an animal bites me?

In addition to seeking medical treatment, you should notify the Brandywine Valley SPCA’s Animal Protective Services Division at 484-302-0018 as well as the local police department where the bite occurred. All animal bites, whether they are from stray, wild, or domesticated animals, should be reported right away.

Dangerous dogs

Dangerous dogs are governed by state law. By law, a dog may be declared dangerous dog if it has attacked, inflicted severe injury to, or killed a human being or a domestic animal without provocation. A dog may also be considered dangerous if it was involved in committing a crime. For a dog to be declared dangerous in Pennsylvania, a police officer must file a complaint with a magisterial district justice charging the owner or keeper with harboring a dangerous dog. Brandywine Valley SPCA’s Animal Protective Services Division does not have police powers and cannot file charges of harboring a dangerous dog. Police must file charges against the owner of the dog and the case must go before a judge in order for any dog to be declared dangerous. The judge will make the final disposition on the animal.

A dog that is declared dangerous will return to its owner per state law and the owner is required to follow the directives of the law which include:

  • Register the animal with the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and re-register on an annual basis. The registration fee is $500 per calendar year for the life of the dog.
  • Confine the dog in a proper enclosure and post a warning sign with a symbol that warns the public of the presence of a dangerous dog.
  • Keep the dog muzzled and leashed when outside of the proper enclosure.
  • Have the dog sterilized and microchipped.
  • Remain compliant with court ordered restitution.
  • Be compliant with court ordered restitution
  • Post a bond or purchase and maintain liability insurance in the amount of $50,000 to pay for injuries inflicted by the dog. This insurance must not be cancelled during the license period unless the owner disposes of the dog.
  • Sign a statement providing that the owner will notify the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, state dog warden, and local police if the dog is loose, attacks a human or animal, or dies.


If you have any questions or concerns about animal protective services in your neighborhood, please contact our Pennsylvania APS division at:


For Delaware residents, please contact Delaware Animal Services (DAS).

  • New Castle, Kent & Sussex Counties: 302-255-4646
  • City of Newark – within city limits: 302-366-7111 (Newark Police)
  • City of Dover – within city limits: 302-736-7111 (Dover Police)

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