PITTSBURGH (KDKA)  – Two local animal welfare groups have announced that they will merge.

According to a press release, a merger between the Animal Rescue League and Western Pennsylvania Humane Society will take effect on Jan. 1, 2017. A new name for the organization has not been determined at this time.

“Over the years, the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center and the Western PA Humane Society have become more alike with regard to philosophies on animal welfare and the programs and services we offer,” says Joseph Vater, President of the Board of Directors, Animal Rescue League. “A merged organization will provide greater efficiency in animal care processes, staff training and bringing best practices to one organization. We will be able to save more animals and serve more animals.”

The new animal welfare organization will be the largest in western Pennsylvania, and the second largest in the state.

“Our two organizations have a long history of collaboration,” Grubman says. “Now, by building on the strengths of each group, we will create a singular, more powerful voice that will enhance our outreach to the western Pennsylvania region. It will be beneficial to adoptions, animal care, animal control and fundraising.”

Both organizations’ current locations will remain open and there are no anticipated program eliminations or reductions in staff.

“We do have open positions at the Animal Rescue League, there’s some at the Humane Society as well, so we’re going to have some savings on the administrative level. So those resources can be allocated to expansion of programs and serve even more people,” said Dan Rossi, the executive director of the Animal Rescue League.

Adoptions will remain the same at both organizations and so will services, like no cost clinics and spay/neuter clinics.

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