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Please note: PAWS rescues as many animals from the city’s animal control shelter as we have room for on a daily basis and remains full at all times. (Animals at the city’s high-volume shelter are all in danger of being killed.) Therefore, we typically do not take in animals from the public. However, if you have adopted an animal from PAWS that you cannot or will not keep, you must return it to us.

If you cannot or will not keep your pet: We strongly urge you to re-home the animal yourself rather than surrender it to a shelter. Ask your friends and family, post fliers in your neighborhood, post listings on free web sites such as Craigslist, Facebook, etc., or contact breed-specific rescues (if applicable) to see if they can assist you. Charging a small re-homing fee and checking vet references are good ways to help screen applicants and find a good home for your pet.

If you have absolutely no other options, you must bring your pet to your county’s animal control shelter. Please do this only as a last resort, as animals turned in to these facilities may be euthanized (put to sleep, killed). For Philadelphia residents, animal control is performed by:

Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT)
111 West Hunting Park Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19140
Ph: 267-385-3800

If you suspect animal cruelty, neglect, or abuse: Please report it to the PSPCA by calling 1-866-601-SPCA or emailing

If you have a complaint about a barking dog or other animal control issue: Please contact ACCT at 267-385-3800 or

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