The Kent County SPCA has changed its name to the First State Animal Center and SPCA.
If you're in Camden anytime soon and are looking for the Kent County SPCA, you won't find it.
Instead, you'll find the newly-christened First State Animal Shelter and SPCA in the same location at 32 Shelter Circle.
The new name was approved at the organization's annual meeting Oct. 14, said Executive Director J. Kevin Usilton.
"The name change reflects the SPCA's expanded outreach in Sussex and New Castle counties as well as its long-term presence in Kent County," Usilton said in a letter released the following day.
"The name change was discussed at length with board, volunteers and members of the community," Usilton wrote in an email to the Dover Post. "It was determined that such a new, expanded name would better explain our mission in the whole state, not just in Kent County."
According to its website, the Kent County SPCA was incorporated in 1964, but has been in existence since 1953. The organization first operated out of a facility on Horse Pond Road, and moved to its current location in 2001.
In late September, the organization took over the county's dog control program after Kent County Levy Court canceled a prior contract with Georgetown shelter, Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary.
"We have no reservations to Kent County SPCA changing their name to First State Animal Center and SPCA," said Levy Court spokeswoman Kia Evans. "We do not foresee this decision impacting in any way the recently signed contract with Kent County Levy Court."
Usilton said there might be some confusion as people get used to the name change, but that it ultimately will benefit the group.
"It should help us as we raise funds to help more animals," he said. "It should help as we talk and educate people about animal welfare issues. It should be a benefit because we are located in the center of the state, we have four main buildings on our campus here, so 'center' better reflects our true services."
In addition to handling dog control issues for all three counties in Delaware, the center offers pet adoptions, lost pet returns, obedience training, rabies enforcement and numerous other services, Usilton said.