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The Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition is working to ensure all healthy and treatable cats and dogs in the city are guaranteed a home. 
The Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition is working to ensure all healthy and treatable cats and dogs in the city are guaranteed a home. 

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A newly established coalition is working to defend the lives of Philadelphia’s pets.

On Wednesday, leaders of Philadelphia’s three most prominent animal welfare organizations gathered at City Hall to announce the formation of the Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition, a collaborative effort between animal service providers and advocates to “create a truly humane community” in Philadelphia.

The initiative is being spearheaded by the Animal Care & Control Team (ACCT) Philly, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the Pennsylvania SPCA.  

“We are working to make Philadelphia a city where every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home,” said Vincent Medley, Executive Director of ACCT Philly.

He explained that the coalition aims to end the killing of savable animals “by helping struggling owners keep their pets as cherished family members rather than surrendering them.”

Melissa Levy, Executive Director of PAWS, recalled how the environment in the city was a decade ago when Philadelphia faced “one of the worst homeless pet crises on record,” and compared those days to how far the city has come. In 2005, only 11 percent of cats and dogs that were brought to ACCT Philly survived. In 2017, the number increased to about 82 percent.

The number of cats and dogs being taken to ACCT Philly has also declined in recent years, from 30,000 in 2011 to 18,000 in 2017, accounting for a 40 percent decrease.  

“We are all here to build on this tremendous progress and keep up the momentum,” Levy said. “That’s why we created this coalition.”

With this effort, Levy said Philadelphia is continuing to become the shining example of "what can be achieved when concerned citizens, mission-driven organizations, the private sector and city leaders band together.”

PSPCA CEO Julie Klim spoke of one way the project will further its mission. She said the No-Kill Coalition has already been awarded a leadership grant through PetSmart Charities, which will pay for an employee to be housed at ACCT Philly that will counsel struggling pet owners, preventing unnecessary pet surrenders by connecting owners with information and resources.

The leaders of the No-Kill Coalition said the project has been in the works for years. About a dozen groups have already joined the effort, including Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia (CNKP) and Project Meow.

Medley emphasized that achieving the coalition’s ultimate goal of preventing the unnecessary deaths of all of the city’s cats and dogs will require many more people to become involved.

“The only way to create a truly no-kill city, and an environment of compassion and care, is to work together and help each other, which will ultimately lead to saving more animals in our city,” Medley said. “We are challenging everyone to do something because every action can bring us one step closer to saving every savable animal in Philadelphia.”

At the event, Mayor Jim Kenney voiced his support for the No-Kill Coalition, commending the strength, knowledge, and experience that its members bring to the effort. The mayor added that pets do a lot of good for Philadelphia.

“They bring a lot of joy into people’s lives,” Kenney said. “And stability.”

For more information about the Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition, click here

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