The Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition is a collective of animal welfare agencies working together to end the killing of savable pets in shelters. We will achieve our goal by helping struggling owners keep their pets as cherished family members and increasing rescue, adoption, and foster placements for pets with nowhere else to go.
The mission of the Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition is to use collaborative public and private partnerships to end the killing of healthy, treatable, and manageable cats and dogs in the City of Philadelphia and to promote humane alternatives for community cats, ultimately attaining 100% safe placement of healthy and treatable pets.
Philadelphia, which only a dozen years ago faced one of the worst homeless pet crises on record, is now poised to become one of the largest no-kill communities in the U.S. Unwavering efforts to reform shelter operations, cultivate adoption, foster, and rescue programs throughout the region, offer services to impoverished pet owners, and engage the community have resulted in a true sea change: approximately 89% of cats and dogs entering the city's animal control shelter in 2020 survived, compared with only 11% in 2005. The number of animals entering the shelter has declined sharply as well: just over 11,000 dogs and cats were taken into ACCT Philly in 2020, compared to over 30,000 as recently as 2011 – a 63% drop.
We have come a long way, but hundreds of healthy or treatable dogs and cats still land in Philadelphia shelters each year and don't make it back out. We must continue to strengthen the safety net until every pet owner can get the help they need to keep their families together, and every savable homeless animal finds a home.
Putting Our Stake in the Ground
In late-2017, the city's three leading animal welfare agencies – ACCT Philly, the Pennsylvania SPCA, and PAWS – formed the Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition. We then invited our fellow rescues, shelters and animal service providers to join us. Today, the Coalition consists of 23 member organizations committed to working together to achieve our shared goal of creating a truly humane community in Philadelphia.
Together with Mayor Jim Kenney, we publicly announced the establishment of the Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition at a City Hall press conference on January 10, 2018. There, we outlined the Coalition's major goals and initiatives, and the Mayor spoke about how our efforts to make Philadelphia a truly humane community strengthen the city as a whole.
The path forward
Coalition members have pledged to take specific steps to continue increasing the survival rate of animals in Philadelphia’s shelters, and to reduce the number of pets who land in shelters in the first place. Among them are prioritizing the intake and rescue of vulnerable pets in Philadelphia over animals outside the region to alleviate the burden of open-admission shelters in the city; coordinating efforts to use and mobilize resources where most needed; making lifelong commitments to animals transported from regions outside of Philadelphia, regardless of time passed since adoption; and more.
We are honored to have received a leadership grant from Petsmart Charities, which is assisting the Coalition in launching its preliminary initiatives. Among them is increasing the reach of CNKP’s Community Pet Help Desk by establishing a staff position and space to operate it at ACCT Philly, to assist struggling pet owners and prevent shelter surrenders.
We will provide regular updates to the community on our progress, needs, and ways to help. Together, we will make Philadelphia a no-kill city where no savable pets die in shelters.
Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition in the News
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