Delco picks four for troubled animal shelter's board

Posted: October 02, 2013

MEDIA Delaware County said Monday that it had submitted the names of a lawyer, an accountant, a police chief, and a veterinarian to join the board of the beleaguered Chester County SPCA.

The shelter accepts strays from Chester County as well as from most towns in Delaware County under a $30,000-a-month contract.

The SPCA has been the target of criticism by current and former staff and volunteers over alleged mistreatment and ineffective management and concerns over rising euthanasia rates at its 84-year-old facility.

In a deal brokered last month between the SPCA and State Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D. Chester), the handful of remaining board members agreed to add 11 members selected by Dinniman and Delaware County.

Delaware County Council Vice Chairman Mario Civera Jr. sent the names of Maral Avetian, Peter R. Barsz, Patricia Sons Biswanger, and Joseph Daly to Dinniman, he said. "I think it is a good pick with a lot of diversity," Civera said.

Avetian, of Bryn Mawr, is a large-animal veterinarian with First Equine and has a racetrack-based practice. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Her father is George Avetian, the county's senior medical adviser.

Barsz is a Media-based certified public accountant. A Villanova University graduate, he is licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Barsz is treasurer of the foundation of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and the chairman of the Pennsylvania State Tax Equalization Board.

Biswanger, a Bryn Mawr lawyer, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She works with the firm Palmarella Curry, and is assistant Delaware County solicitor and an associate professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Biswanger is active in dog rescue and anti-puppy-mill efforts.

Daly is police chief in Springfield Township. He is also a member of the county's Animal Protection Board.

Other additions to the board are expected to be named this week, according to Dinniman's office.



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