Smith Wealth Advisory Group
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Advocate for the Animals: Bringing Pets and People Together to Experience the Richness of Life

Writer Michael Vyskocil
Photographer Eric Forberger

“Animals bring people together. We bring animals and humans together,” says Steven Martinez, the new executive director of the York County SPCA. 

Martinez joined the organization last September, bringing 10 years of nonprofit experience in community advocacy, organizational administration and service to the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania (CAAP). His concern for promoting the rich rewards of pet ownership and the well-being for animals and humans, he says, attracted him to the York County SPCA

Martinez outlines several initiatives — focused on animal surrenders, animal adoption and stray cats — that he believes are essential for supporting both animals and people.

“I want people to view animal surrenders to the shelter as the last resort. I want to create resources to help pet owners keep their animals in their homes or help them find new homes. Being in a shelter should be the last place we want animals to be,” he says. 

Adoption also presents meaningful experiences for animals and humans. “We want to offer a continuum of resources to help ensure that adoptions are successful,” he adds. 

As Martinez walks through the cat quarters of the York County SPCA, he notes that the organization takes in thousands of cats each year that are outdoor, free roaming, lost or abandoned animals. He believes the way to address the stray cat population is through a Community Cat Initiative of active trapping, spaying or neutering and returning healthy cats to their environment. The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society and other national animal welfare organizations support this initiative to controlling the outdoor cat population.

“Animals are here to comfort us during the tough times, but they need our help to stand up for them. Unfortunately, cruelty and neglect happen to animals each day,” he says. “That’s why the York County SPCA is so vitally important to this community. York County needs an organization of people who can stand up for animals that need a voice. We owe that to them.”   

To adopt or learn more, please visit


What makes York a maker community?

“York has an entrepreneurial spirit and a unique identity. The maker attitude of its people is to ‘do one better for you.’ York benefits from people who care and want to give back to help others.”

Steven Martinez, Executive Director, York County SPCA

Smith Wealth Advisory Group
  • 2315 N. Susquehanna Trail, Suite A York, PA 17404
  • 717.779.2769