Spring is coming and there is so much to do in the city. This mild winter didn’t give us much time for hibernating, but before we know it, temperatures will be going up and staying even higher. It’s time to get moving and enjoy everything Philadelphia has to offer. One of the best ways to experience all of the beautiful parks and sights in Center City (and beyond) is with a four legged friend. The shelters around here are full and there is a pup ready and waiting for every home, lifestyle and activity level. There are dogs like mine, who can go 14 miles and be ready to play again by lunch. There are dogs who would love a scenic stroll along the Schuylkill River Trail and some dogs that just want to hang out at an outdoor restaurant or in one of our beautiful downtown parks. And now, there are even more shelters to choose from right in your neighborhood.
Philadelphia’s only high volume intake shelter is ACCT (111 W. Hunting Park Avenue) and they have been receiving up to 100 pets a day. So, although it might not be around the corner, it definitely has the widest selection of dogs in urgent need of saving. Go see their adoptable pets here, pick a few, go meet them and take one (or more) home. There are special deals now (adopt a Pen Pal for only $25!) and more starting in March, so it won’t hurt your spring budget. Also, beyond adopting, you can also volunteer to foster. It’s urgently needed and practically free. ACCT often has donated food to offer foster homes, medical needs are covered and all you have to offer is love and shelter.
Right around the corner from ACCT is the Pennsylvania SPCA shelter on Erie Avenue which has tons of adoptable pets right now, all different species, sizes and ages are covered at one of the city’s most comprehensive shelter locations. You can see a sampling of their adoptables on their site too. Their Dr. Seuss March adoption specials are right around the corner with adoption breaks and prizes. Morris Animal Refuge, downtown on Lombard Street, also takes in local strays and lost pets. With their small facility, those animals are in great need of saving as well. They have their adorable adoptable pets here on their site.
On the no-kill front, it’s been an exciting time of late. Philadelphia now has 4 no-kill shelter locations downtown. PAWS has locations in Old City and Grays Ferry with dogs and cats for adoption. Their pets are all specially selected, temperament tested and ready to go. Adopting from PAWS allows them to save another dog or cat from ACCT, so every life saved helps at least one more. Street Tails Animal Rescue has a new shelter in Northern Liberties, along with Thrift for Tails second hand pet supply store that benefits their rescued animals and lets them save more. Operation Ava has their Save a Life and Rescue Center, also in Northern Liberties, and has dogs for adoption at several of their DoggieStyle locations as well. All of these organizations, also always need foster homes, so go to any of their websites and sign up to help. Fostering is an amazing way to save a life in your own home and is a very rewarding experience for the whole family.
In the Northeast and suburbs, Philadelphia’s homeless pets are on the move. The ACCT dogs and cats can be found at PetSmarts and special events all over the area. Go here for locations and times for the one nearest you. The PAWS pets have the city covered with adoption and community building events nearly everywhere. Their extensive schedule will help you find the fun in your neighborhood.
Have a dog and need to meet more dog owners? Check out some of the dog parks locally (here’s a generous list from our friends at The Philly Dog) or enter an event like the American Red Cross Step Up Step Out, a 5 K Walk/Run through Fairmount Park you can do with your dog. Both you and your pet can help raise money for a great cause with your own page or pages on their registration site. If you raise $500, you can win a 5 day stay at the Philadelphia Pet Hotel and Villa too. The race is April 21, so there is still plenty of time to register, get in shape and/or adopt a running buddy.
If you want to get out with a dog but can’t adopt one where you live, join the ranks of the Monster Milers. Founded by the owners of The Monster Minders pet sitting and walking business, volunteers can now go to either PAWS location or the STAR shelter (soon to be ACCT as well) and take out specially screened dogs for runs and walks. It gets you moving and your dog fix, but also gets the dog out of the kennel for much needed exercise, stress relief and a chance to meet more potential adopters. Their orientations fill quickly, so pick a location and register so you can get moving with the Milers. (This is totally a personal endorsement, it is a blast to run with these very grateful and adorable pups!).
Whatever you do, see all of the scenic and historical sites of our city, save an animal and keep moving. Check out these resources for more information:
- The Philly Dog has a great list of local dog parks and local businesses/restaurants that allow you to bring your pup along. Try local banks, too, most of the Rittenhouse adjacent (and all TD locations) have treats and water. (Our current fave dog friendly business is CitySports on Walnut, where your dog gets adored by their sizable staff. Plus- tons of balls!)
- Sign up for the Red Cross Walk/Run and start raising $$ now
- Join the Monster Milers and get in shape while helping save dogs