Delaware Humane Association and Delaware SPCA Announce Intention to Merge


Merger aims to save more homeless animals and increase access to services for the diverse communities Delaware SPCA and Delaware Humane Association serve.

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – June 2, 2021 – Delaware Humane Association (DHA) and Delaware SPCA are pleased to announce that their Boards of Directors have voted to commence a merger process to combine the two organizations. This merger will result in an empowered organization that together, will better serve animals and people in Delaware and the surrounding region, provide greater access to programs and services, and have a deeper impact. The integration process is expected to be complete in fall 2021, pending completion of the legal process, allowing Delaware SPCA and DHA to fully combine business operations within the coming year. As long-standing animal welfare leaders in Delaware, DHA and Delaware SPCA will work to expand upon their shared goals of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of companion animals through temporary housing and adoption, spay/neuter, and affordable veterinary services. Operations will continue at each organization’s current locations in Wilmington, Stanton/Newark, and Rehoboth Beach. The merger will result in a greater ability to innovate, centralize, and reduce duplication of services; produce greater programmatic impact; and simplify access to services.

Both organizations are non-profit, no-kill agencies sharing complementary missions to support animals and people in Delaware and the greater region, and that will continue with the merger. Delaware SPCA and DHA have been collaborating for many years on animal transports, pet food pantry events, and sharing resources. This long history of collaboration positions the organizations well for a smooth merger implementation process. After the merger, DHA’s Executive Director, Patrick Carroll, will serve as Chief Executive Officer. Delaware SPCA’s Executive Director, Anne Cavanaugh, will serve as Chief Operating Officer. The Boards of Directors of both Delaware SPCA and DHA have full confidence in Patrick and Anne’s skills, talents, and experience to see the process through and support the future vision of the combined organization. DHA’s Board of Directors is led by President Michele Ahwash, and Delaware SPCA’s Board President is Representative Kim Williams. “I am incredibly honored to lead this combined organization, which, collectively, has served people and animals in Delaware for more than 200 years. We will bring together our strengths and resources and continue to do great things throughout the state and region,” commented Patrick Carroll, Executive Director of DHA. “I look forward to working with Anne and the Delaware SPCA board and team to continue ‘giving a paw a hand’ and ‘making friends for life.’” “We couldn’t be more excited to combine our experience and resources with the DHA team to continue our lifesaving work,” said Anne Cavanaugh, Executive Director of Delaware SPCA. “By coming together as equal partners offering complementary services, we expect to multiply our collective impact, ultimately helping more animals and people in Delaware.” During the transition period, both Delaware SPCA and DHA’s day-to-day operations, programs, and services will continue as normal, without interruption. Those interested in learning more about DHA and Delaware SPCA can visit each organization’s website (, As specific details are finalized during the merger implementation process, DHA and Delaware SPCA will share updates via their websites and social media channels.

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About Delaware SPCA

Delaware SPCA, founded in 1873, is the state’s first animal shelter and one of the oldest animal welfare agencies in the country. Delaware SPCA’s mission to prevent cruelty to animals is evidenced by its commitment to rehoming unwanted pets, reducing pet overpopulation through affordable spay/neuter, and helping owners keep their pets through low-cost veterinary services and pet food banks. For more information or to donate, visit and connect on Facebook and Instagram at @delawarespca.

About DHA

Delaware Humane Association (DHA), located in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, is a nonprofit, no-kill animal care and adoption center. DHA’s mission is to make “friends for life” by connecting people with animals and building strong relationships to serve the community better. DHA is committed to providing for the needs of homeless and owned dogs and cats by providing temporary shelter, affordable spay and neuter services, low-cost vaccination clinics, a pet food pantry, adoption and placement resources, and more. For more information or to donate, visit and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at

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