Overwhelmed city shelter sends out SOS for fosters, adopters


Philadelphia's city shelter is struggling to save the lives of hundreds of animals surrendered in the past week.

Since June 27 Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) has taken in 900 animals.

Stop and consider that, 900 unwanted animals. The numbers are mind-boggling.

Even though many were placed either adopted or with other rescues or fosters, 318 were euthanized to make room for new animals coming in.

That was just one week in the life of the city shelter.

Just this weekend 399 animals were surrended and there are only 12 cages free for new animals. In other words, the situation is dire, reports CBS3-TV.

“The summer is our busy season, so we’ve seen an increase of dogs and cats coming in the shelter,” explains Natalie Smith, the director of life-saving and prevention for ACCT.

In all, since last Friday 900 animals have been turned over to the shelter, many because of finances or living arrangements - or vacation.


“We do see some animals come in because people don’t have affordable places to board their animal, or don’t have family members to watch their animals if they go away,” Smith says.

It's a tragic situation when adoptable animals are euthanized for space but that is the cruel reality for open admission shelters, like ACCT.

Many shelters, including the Delaware County SPCA, in their decisions to become "no kill" have increased the pressure on shelters that open their doors to all animals.

It's happening across the state.

ACCT recommends microchipping pets in the event they get lost and end up at the shelter. ACCT says they have to hold a microchipped dog or cat for 10 days. Those without a microchip can be destroyed in 48 hours.

If you can't adopt consider fostering a cat or dog until a permanent home is found.

“That helps tremendously, because it gets the animal out of the shelter and gets it ready for adoption and opens up a space for the new animals arriving,” Smith told CBS.

She also said that owners facing financial hardship should seek a family member or trusted friend to take care of their pet and keep them out of the shelter. But first they should consider taking advantage of ACCT's "surrender preventon" services, incuding a pet food pantry and low cost vet services.

For more information or to foster or adopt a new pet, please call (267) 385-3800 or visit: www.acctphilly.org.

Due to the dire need for adoptions, fees will be waived through 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. ACTT is located at 111 W. Hunting Park Avenue.