PA Waives Spay/Neuter Requirement for Adoptions, Conserves PPE for Human Healthcare Professionals

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced today that in an effort to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for human healthcare workers, the Pennsylvania Dog Law that requires shelters and rescues to spay/neuter dogs and cats prior to adoption would be waived for pets adopted during active COVID-19 mitigation efforts in Pennsylvania.

“This waiver is not something we take lightly; but it’s a matter of weighing the costs,” said Agriculture Secretary Redding. “Waiving the requirement to spay or neuter prior to adoption allows us to conserve critical PPE supplies and also limit the risk of exposure for veterinarians.”

The waiver comes with a contingency: shelters must keep a list of adopters to follow up with post-pandemic and provide a copy of all contracts to the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. Once the pandemic is in the past, shelters would be required to follow up on all pets adopted during COVID-19 mitigation. Adoptive pet owners will have up to 120 days from the time of adoption – timeframe to be re-evaluated as necessary – to have the procedure completed and come into compliance.

With approval from the department, shelters and rescues can continue adopting pets out to Pennsylvanians even during Stay at Home orders. This is essential in order to ensure that shelters are not overly full of animals with short staff numbers. Shelters and rescues continuing to operate and adopt pets are advised to follow guidance for virtual, limited contact adoptions from the Humane Society of the United States. Rescues and shelters should also follow guidance issued from the department to protect their workforce and continue operations.

“The Humane Society of the United States has been monitoring state laws that impact the ability for shelters and rescues to adjust to COVID-19 and provide services to pet and their families,” said Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director for The Humane Society of the United States. “We thank the Department of Agriculture for extending the timeframe to comply with spay/neuter laws to maximize social distancing and decrease the risks to animal shelter and veterinary staff, while reducing the use of PPE in non-essential procedures.”

Before adopting, Pennsylvanians should consider if they’re able to provide for all the pets’ needs during COVID-19 mitigation and follow the department’s Guidance to Pet Owners.

For information as it relates to agriculture during COVID-19 mitigation in Pennsylvania visit For the most accurate, timely information related to Health in Pennsylvania, visit

EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Wolf responds to News Talk 104.1 on Senate Letter regarding business closure order

Governor Wolf on Wednesday evening responded to News Talk 104.1 on the letter he received from a number of Pennsylvania State Senators (including Senator Yaw) earlier today regarding the business closure “Order.”

During a 3 p.m. press conference with Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, Governor Wolf announced a statewide “Stay-at-Home Order” beginning at 8 p.m. tonight.

During that press conference News Talk 104.1 posed a number of questions to Governor Wolf including the following:

Question: Gov. Wolf, any response to the letter you received today from PA Senators requesting you “start working with business leaders and health experts to develop appropriate guidelines for addressing current business closures.”

Lyndsay Kensinger, Press Secretary for Governor Wolf offered the following response Wednesday evening:

“The governor is not considering reopening nonessential businesses at this time. The Surgeon General is recommending Stay at Home across the nation, and the states surrounding Pennsylvania have put into place similar orders. The statewide stay at home order is not just to protect ourselves from exposure to covid-19, but it protects our health care professionals as well. We want to get through this as quickly and safely as possible so we can restart our economy and get back to work.”

The issue of the closing of non-life sustaining businesses is currently being litigated as reported by News Talk 104.1 last evening, EXCLUSIVE: Legal Battle Over Gov. Wolf Business Closure Order Heats Up.”

Governor Wolf now has little more than 36 hours until he must file a brief with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in defense of his “Executive Order” of March 19, 2020.

On background, the business closure “Executive Order” of March 19, 2020 was met with immediate and broad push  back at nearly every level of government and private enterprise.

Congressman Fred Keller representing PA-12 weighed in the same day the “Executive Order” was issued and offered the following in opposition:


March 19, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Rep. Keller calls for greater clarity of Gov. Wolf order

The following day, March 20, 2020 Keller called upon Governor Wolf to rescind the “Executive Order”.

That same day, March 20, 2020,  Keller provided information on Gov. Wolf business closures.

During a press conference Wolf was asked the following by News Talk 104.1:

Question: Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12) earlier today sent a letter to Governor Wolf including the following; “Therefore, I am requesting that you immediately rescind your order until such time that you can formulate a cogent plan to Pennsylvanians…”

The response from Governor Wolf is available in the provided audio link, and in short he refused that day to amend the “Executive Order”:

The full story of the response is available here March 20, 2020.

For further clarification of the “Executive Order”, News Talk 104.1 posed a written question to Governor Wolf during his 2 p.m. press conference that afternoon.

The question was as follows:

Question: Does the Governor believe his order is a violation of law?

If not, what law is being cited as the justification for this order?

Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Wolf, Sara J. Goulet, provided this response to News talk 104.1 that day.

“No, he does not (believe his order is a violation of law). Pursuant to the Emergency Management Services Code, the governor is granted extraordinary powers upon his declaration of a disaster emergency, such as COVID-19. Among these powers, the governor may control the ingress and egress into the disaster area, the movement of persons, and the occupancy of premises within the disaster area, which has been established to be the entire commonwealth for the COVID-19 disaster emergency. The secretary of health separately is authorized under the law to employ measures necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease.”

The order in its entirety is available here.

20200319-TWW-COVID 19-business-closure-order

Later that day, Governor Wolf issued an extension of the business closure “Order” enforcement to Monday at 8 a.m.


As of this publication the entire state of Pennsylvania has been ordered to stay at home with few travel exceptions and all non-life sustaining businesses currently on the list are not able to operate their physical locations.

URGENT: White House COVID-19 Wednesday Press Briefing

Coming up at 5:00 p.m. News Talk 104.1 & 1600 WEJS will carry the White House Coronavirus Task Force Press Conference. The White House Coronavirus Task Force is available online here.

State Senator Yaw reacts to Statewide “Stay-At-Home” Order

Sen. Yaw:  Governor’s “Stay-At-Home” Order Extended Statewide

HARRISBURG – Governor Wolf has issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order for all counties in Pennsylvania in order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).

“The COVID-19 pandemic has struck our state and nation aggressively,” Sen. Yaw said.  “One thing that everyone can do to control the spread of this virus now is to stay home and limit interactions.  You may just be saving someone’s life.”

State Senator Yaw joined News Talk 104.1 General Manager Todd Bartley on Monday, the interview is available here:

State residents are directed to stay home unless they are involved in certain essential activities, such as collecting food and groceries, picking up prescriptions or medical supplies, going to or from work in life-sustaining businesses, caring for a family member or pet in another household, or other essential travel.

Thirty-three counties were already under these restrictions; the order now covers all counties and will remain in effect until April 30.

People who need to leave home for life-sustaining activities are encouraged to practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet of separation from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water frequently, covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or elbow and regularly cleaning high-contact surface areas.

More guidance on activities that are allowed during the stay-at-home order are available here:

For more state-related news and information, visit Senator Yaw’s website at or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.

UPDATE: Sec. Levine responds to News Talk 104.1 on Wednesday

During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine answered questions, several of which were posed by News Talk 104.1.

The responses of Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine are available by clicking the audio links.

Question: Sec. Levine, what would someone do if they work for a medical provider and they won’t supply a mask?


Question: Sec. Levine, are their extra precautionary measures being put in place when moving those that succumb to COVID-19? As a follow-up, are funeral directors required to wear extra PPE when dealing with a COVID-19 case?


News Talk 104.1 & 1600 WEJS continues to be at the forefront of keeping Lycoming County citizens informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

URGENT: Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health: PA Stay-at-Home Order Begins 8 PM Tonight

Gov. Wolf, Sec. of Health: Pennsylvania on Statewide Stay-at-Home Order Beginning at 8 PM Tonight, “Most Prudent Option to Stop the Spread”

Governor Wolf’s Order
Secretary of Health’s Order
Stay at Home Guidance
Industry Operation Guidance

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced all 67 Pennsylvania counties will be under stay-at-home orders effective tonight, Wednesday, April 1, at 8 p.m.

“This is the most prudent option to stop the spread of COVID-19 across our commonwealth, where cases continue to grow daily,” Gov. Wolf said. “We appreciate the shared sacrifice of all 12.8 million Pennsylvanians; we are in this together and this statewide stay-at-home order is being made after many discussions with multiple state agencies; Dr. Levine; and state, county and local officials as we continue to monitor the most effective ways to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Previously, there were 33 counties on statewide stay-at-home orders. The first orders were issued on March 23 for seven counties.

The statewide stay-at-home order takes effect at 8 p.m. today, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and will continue until April 30. All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice and non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect. All essential state services will continue.

“This statewide stay-at-home order is not just to protect ourselves from exposure to COVID-19, but it protects those on the front lines,” Dr. Levine said. “Our doctors, nurses, police, fire, EMTs need us to do this. And the CNAs who are taking care of our family in nursing or long-term care facilities need us to do this. Staying at home doesn’t mean making a daily stop at the grocery store because you need to get out of the house. Staying at home means you must stay at home.”

Individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel:

Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home
Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing
To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business
To care for a family member or pet in another household
Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities
Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services
Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction
Travel required by law enforcement or court order
Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth
Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.
The following operations are exempt:

Life-sustaining business activities
Health care or medical services providers
Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including food banks
Access to child care services for employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open as follows: child care facilities operating under the Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning waiver process; group and family child care operating in a residence; and part-day school age programs operating under an exemption from the March 19, 2020 business closure Orders
News media
Law enforcement, emergency medical services personnel, firefighters
The federal government
Religious institutions
Individuals experiencing homelessness are not subject to this order but are strongly urged to find shelter and government agencies are urged to take steps needed to provide shelter for those individuals.

International students, foster youth, and any other students who would otherwise experience displacement or homelessness as a result of campus closures are exempt and may remain in campus housing.

The Department of Education will be providing updated guidance and resources on the continuity of education for students to schools in the coming days.

At this time, law enforcement will be focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement. To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest Pennsylvania State Police station. Please do not call 911 or the Department of Community and Economic Development to file reports. Law enforcement officers should refer to Business Closure Order Enforcement Guidance available online.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit:

HAPPENING NOW: Governor Wolf Announces“Stay at Home” Order

Governor Wolf Announces a “Stay at Home” Order for all Pennsylvanians.

PA State Senators send Gov. Wolf letter on business closures

Pennsylvania State Senator Gene Yaw shared on social media moments ago a letter multiple Senators sent to Governor Tom Wolf today urging him to “start working with business leaders and health experts to develop appropriate guidelines for addressing current business closures.”

The letter from Pennsylvania State Senators can be found below.


BREAKING NEWS: Governor Wolf puts PA under “Stay at Home” Order

At a 3 p.m. press conference this afternoon Governor Tom Wolf will announce a Stay at Home Order for all of Pennsylvania.

Clinton and Sullivan Counties have remained COVID-19 case free to date according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The “Order” will be in effect until at least April 30, 2020 following the federal guidelines outlined yesterday.

News Talk 104.1 will carry the press conference live at 3 p.m.

BREAKING NEWS: Lycoming County adds a seventh COVID-19 case

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health COVID-19 case update on Wednesday, Lycoming County now has a seventh confirmed positive case of COVID-19.

Local counties as noted below that have at least one positive COVID-19 case confirmed.

Tioga County – 2

Potter County – 2

Northumberland County – 6 (added 5 cases on Wednesday)

Lycoming County – 7 (added a case on Wednesday)

Columbia County – 8 (added a case on Wednesday)

Bradford County – 8 (added a case on Wednesday)

Montour County – 13 (added 4 cases on Wednesday)

Neighboring counties of Clinton and Sullivan remain as the only COVID-19 case free counties in Pennsylvania.

Stay tuned to News talk 104.1 & 1600 WEJS and for developments on this story.