“We can’t change their past but we can rewrite their future.”
The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society or PAWS is the city’s largest non-profit rescue organization. PAWS rescues thousands of animals every year and provides affordable care to pet owners, pet organizations, and feral cat trappers across the city, transforming the community and the animals in it.
The work done by PAWS is made possible through the support of volunteers and donations. Learn about the importance of rescue organizations like PAWS and how you can take part in saving the lives of animals.
Rescuing Pets In Need
2,309 homeless dogs and cats were rescued by PAWS in 2022, saving them from a harsh life on the streets and giving them the care they always deserved. Of the many Lifesaving Programs offered at PAWS, most notable is their pet rescue and care. They prioritize the city’s homeless and at-risk pets, providing low-cost and lifesaving care to animals in need.
Providing care to stray animals prepares them for adoption or foster care, ensuring they can spend the rest of their lives comfortable and loved.
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
PAWS cat rescue and care consists of special medical attention primarily to mothers and their kittens, cats with treatable medical or behavioral issues, and orphaned kittens who are too young to be adopted. Their spay/neuter services which includes TNR (trap, neuter, and release) controls the stray cat population effectively and humanely. Controlling the stray cat population is important because with the high birth rates of cats comes shelters that are overflowing with stray cats in need. A controlled cat population means less orphaned, homeless, and sick cats.
“Once PAWS rescues a dog, we commit to providing all the care they need, for as long as it takes to find them a loving forever home”
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
PAWS takes in stray and surrendered dogs from the city’s animal control center and directly from owners who can no longer care for them. All dogs are welcome, regardless of age, breed, and size but daily visits to the animal shelter determine which dogs need immediate attention. Senior dogs, those with medical needs, and dogs that would benefit from training and socialization are prioritized.
The Importance of Foster Care
Foster care is a crucial step in the adoption process. When shelters are full or a shy pet needs to learn love from a human, fosters come in to save the day. PAWS looks for fosters to take in all types of pets. Orphaned kittens, nursing mothers, and senior or sick pets especially benefit from foster care. Living in foster care helps pets get socialized and used to living in a home, pushing them closer to getting adopted into their forever family. Sign up to be a PAWS foster here.
Making Philly No-Kill
The ultimate goal is to prepare the animals for a life in a loving home and prevent a life in kill-shelters to be euthanized. PAWS works everyday to increase rescue, adoption, and foster opportunities, cutting off the possibility of animals ending up at a kill-shelter.
The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society are co-founders of The Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition. The coalition consists of several animal welfare agencies looking to “end the killing of saveable animals in shelters''. PAWS makes sure all animals who are capable of living in homes won’t end up in kill-shelters through their efforts to take in, rehabilitate, and rehome or find foster opportunities for animals who need it the most.
Impact on Philly
To date, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society has served 337,971 pets, and rescued 37,607 animals. They also helped lower the save rate of stray animals citywide from 11% to 87%, saving and changing lives since their start in 2005.
The helping hand of PAWS spans across Philadelphia in several locations, reaching as many animals as they can. The Old City Adoption Center houses cats looking for a forever home, in Northeast Philadelphia, PAWS operates another adoption center and a low-cost clinic, and their last location is the Grays Ferry Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic.
Providing low-cost care doesn’t just benefit the city’s stray animals. Sick pets whose humans otherwise can’t afford pet care, can rely on PAWS to ensure their pet can stay in their loving home. The number of surrendered pets lowers each time PAWS takes in a patient. Every animal deserves a chance and PAWS plays a major part in giving it to them.
Take a closer look at the impact of PAWS here in their 2022 impact report.
Much of PAWS success is thanks to community support. Through fosters, adopters, donations, and fundraisers, Philadelphia comes together with PAWS to save the animals that cannot save themselves.
In light of the love and care Char and Whiskers has for pets, we started a pet drive in January 2023. Hundreds of shelter animals rely on donations to keep their bellies full and bodies warm every day. So, after seeing animal shelters desperate for food for their pets, we at Char and Whiskers decided to donate pet supplies and food with the help of the animal loving community around us. Since the start of the drive, we proudly donated hundreds of pounds of food and even more toys and supplies to shelters in the city. This July, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society was our chosen organization.
Our support for this city’s animal rescue heroes continues through our monthly donation bin which can be found at the Bok Building through the Dudley Street entrance.
Without the work of organizations like PAWS, thousands of surrendered or stray animals couldn’t have lived the lives they deserve. Pets change our lives so we should do what we can to change theirs. Become part of the PAWS community today!