As many of you know, for many years the Federated has provided new-officer training for Humane Society Police Officers (“HSPOs”) as well as Continuing Education (“CE”) courses for already-badged HSPOs.  We have received dozens of emails and phone calls asking about our plans for 2019, so we are writing now to explain the delay.

Late in 2018 we were informed that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture had decided to put the entire HSPO training and CE program out to bid.  We were told that we would receive a Solicitation for Proposals (“SFP”) in the late fall.  When the SFP was not forthcoming then, we were told it would be out by the end of 2018, and when it didn’t come out then, we were told it would be out by “very early” in January 2019.

It is now February 2019, and we still haven’t received anything.  We have checked repeatedly with the Department, and have been told that the SFP was held up because it had to be approved by numerous persons.

We had planned to hold the first week of HSPO training from April 15th through April 19th, and the Annual Conference at which CE courses would be offered on May 9th and 10th.  We already have hotels and conference space locked in, and we have a very prestigious national organization scheduled to participate in the Annual Conference.

We have no idea now if we will be able to do all the work that would be required to proceed with this schedule.  We don’t know when we will receive the SFP, we don’t know how much time the Department of Agriculture will allow bidders to respond (we don’t even know if there will be other bidders, or who they might be), and we don’t know how long the Department will take to make a decision.

I’m sure you can imagine how frustrating this is for us.  We had planned some excellent training and CE, as well as a really great conference for you, and now everything is up in the air.  We know that there are a lot of people who want to do one or the other, and we find it painful not to be able to give them a firm answer.

All we can ask at this point is that you bear with us, and keep an eye on your emails, plus our website and Facebook page, because as soon as we know anything we will let you know.

In the meantime, feel free to email me at or call me at 610-608-0687.  (You can also email me at; I tend to answer that one more quickly because it’s on my phone.)

Yours in animal welfare,

Pat Biswanger /e/
Executive Director