Free Library Mascot Reimagined with PAWS Dog

Philadelphia has always been a city of animal lovers; in the 1930s, the Free Library of Philadelphia had a canine mascot named Knee-Hi.

kneehiFrom the Library’s digital archives: Knee-Hi, the Free Library mascot, “reading” outside the Main Library Building, April 22, 1938.


77 years later, on April 22, 2015, we re-created Knee Hi’s photo with Dottie, a rescued PAWS dog. The photo took place at Knee Hi’s original spot at the Parkway Central Library on Vine Street.


Photography donated by Devon John Photography.

Continue reading

Banfield Charitable Trust Helps Pets in Need

BCT-Logo-Vertical-for-webPAWS is grateful to announce that the Banfield Charitable Trust has once again demonstrated their support for Philadelphia’s at-risk pets. They recently awarded a $10,000 grant to provide basic veterinary care at PAWS’ Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinics for low-income pet owners.

The Banfield Charitable Trust has been a steadfast partner in PAWS’ efforts since we began providing clinical care in 2010. Since then, we have served tens of thousands of animals, many of whom would never have received care otherwise.

Clients come to PAWS for basic services including vaccinations, microchips, treatments for common conditions, and more. Here are just a few of the animals and people we’ve helped:



Teaunta with her dog Little Mommas



Carolyn and friend with their dogs Austin and Tucker


Kia with her cat Simba


PAWS157 Anna with her dog Polo


PAWS151-1 Lucky Luciano the puppy with his owner

Support from the Banfield Charitable Trust enables us to help the neediest pets: those whose owners are at risk of giving them up due to veterinary expenses. Together, we are helping more people keep and care for their beloved pets while reducing the number of animals entering Philadelphia’s shelters.

Photos by Devon John Photography.

PAWS Clinic Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

PAWS155On March 22, PAWS’ Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic on Grays Ferry Avenue marked five busy and successful years of providing low-cost veterinary care to Philadelphia’s neediest pets. Since opening in 2010, we have served more than 61,000 dogs and cats (like Suge, right, whose owner James brought him in for vaccinations).

PAWS opened our first Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic recognizing that we could not adopt our way out of the homeless animal problem. By providing low-cost services, our clinics prevent surrenders and unwanted litters at the source and helps struggling families care for and keep their beloved pets.

PAWS182Our efforts are working: since we began providing low-cost care, the number of stray and surrendered animals entering the city shelter has begun to decrease.

PAWS now operates two clinics in Grays Ferry and Northeast Philadelphia which help tens of thousands of pets every year. We provide spay/neuter surgery, affordable basic veterinary care, feral cat spay/neuter, and also serve other rescue organizations who need affordable care to do more of their lifesaving work (Petey, left, was brought in for neuter surgery by his foster parent Joanna).

We’ll continue until every healthy and treatable pet in the city is safe in a loving home. Join the effort by making a donation today. 

Photos by Devon John Photography.

Petco Foundation Provides Lifesaving Grant


petcofdn3/24/15: The Petco Foundation has awarded PAWS with a $25,000 grant, demonstrating its continued commitment to Philadelphia’s animals.

lilasmThese funds will help PAWS to expand and enhance our lifesaving efforts and rescue more of the city’s most vulnerable pets.

The Petco Foundation’s support will be used to provide housing, care, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchips, and veterinary care for rescued animals and will enable PAWS to match them with loving adoptive families.

The grant will help us save more pets like Lila (left), who was found as a stray in South Philadelphia, was rescued by PAWS, and is currently waiting for a home.

All of PAWS’ efforts are aimed at reducing the homeless pet population and ultimately making Philadelphia a no-kill city where every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home.

Photo by Jeannine D.



A Day at PAWS


On a recent Wednesday at our Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic on Grays Ferry Avenue, PAWS had a busy day of helping pets and the people who love them.

Our clinic facility provides low-cost basic veterinary care to the public, performs high-volume spay/neuter, and is also a shelter where we care for rescued dogs, cats, and kittens while they await foster or adoption.

Here are some of the people and animals we encountered along the way…

All photos by Devon John Photography.

Continue reading

Just $22 per Month Saves a Life

IkeYour monthly donation of just $22 will provide all we need to give a homeless dog or cat the family it deserves.

Make a $22 monthly donation to PAWS.

It costs us an average of $264 to rescue, care for, and adopt out a homeless pet. If you give just $22 a month, by the end of one year you’ll have fully covered the costs of saving one animal (like Ike, who was rescued by PAWS and found a loving family).

Every PAWS dog and cat is spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped before going home. Your support will cover those expenses, along with the food, shelter and medication our animals need during their stay. Donations to PAWS are fully tax-deductible and enable us to save and serve Philadelphia’s neediest pets. Please give!

Lil Bub, ASPCA help PAWS save cats in need

lilbubsbigfund-comboPAWS is pleased to announce that we have received a grant of $2,500 from Lil Bub’s BIG Fund for the ASPCA in support of our efforts to rescue the city’s most vulnerable cats.

These urgently needed funds enabled us to save homeless cats whose lives were hanging in the balance due to eye infections.

PAWS is dedicated to saving the most at-risk animals at Philadelphia’s animal control shelter, with a special focus on cats and kittens suffering from treatable illnesses. We provide safe housing and daily veterinary attention at our shelter/clinic facilities, where cats receive all the care they need to get healthy and ready for adoption.

This contribution has helped PAWS treat the most severe cases – those that require enucleation of one or both eyes. It has enabled us to nurse cats back to health, find them new homes, and fill their spaces with more who wouldn’t survive otherwise.

10294381_863574757396_4276843010325860381_nPatches (left) is one of the cats saved thanks to the grant: we took her in from the city’s animal control shelter after she was picked up as a stray, emaciated and suffering from severe eye infections. After weeks of medical treatment, we were able to save one of her eyes and surgically removed the other for her health and comfort. Now happy and healthy, Patches is enjoying a loving home, and we have since filled her space with more cats in need.

With care and treatment, cats like Patches go on to lead full and healthy lives as family pets. We are committed to saving more of them until every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home; we encourage animal lovers to join the effort by making a donation.

Top 25 PAWS Rescues of 2014

With our most successful year of lifesaving yet coming to a close, we have more than 2,600 rescues to celebrate! Here are a few of our favorites. . .

  • Steviemingo-70, who lost his eyes but not his spirit.
  • Mingo (right), who survived impossible odds and lived to tell the tale.
  • Cecille, who was adopted and returned more than any other cat but finally found a home.
  • Pebbles, the first new dog to arrive at our new Northeast adoption center, who was so proud to find a family.
  • Leon, whose adopter knew “it was love at first sloppy kiss.”
  • Walt Whitman, who spent his whole kittenhood in the shelter and finally found a home.
  • Flower, found as a stray kitten, adopted just a week later by a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
  • 10171295-833555396676741-6725739815411573863-n-1Samson, a spunky senior who was adopted by Miss Pennsylvania.
  • Beyonce, an affectionate deaf dog who spent months at PAWS and is now her adopter’s best friend.
  • Sabrina (right), who raised a family of kittens then found a loving home.
  • Bullseye, who came to us sick, sneezing, with missing fur and an injured paw, and went on to be one of the first adoptions at our Northeast adoption center!
  • 10446107_10203941285672891_5713247429026246901_oSammy, Joey, and Alex (right), who were abandoned in a cardboard box as newborn kittens and are now fully grown and healthy in their adoptive homes.
  • Simba, a sweet and sensitive pit bull who craved the love and attention of a big family.
  • Sadie, who was found sick, underweight, and missing most of her fur, and is now healthy and loved.
  • 1560716_10100905030828038_2649160911790331513_n0Mae, the frightened cat who seemed least likely to be adopted but found the best home possible.
  • Boo, who was 9 years old, toothless, and perfect in his adopter’s eyes.
  • Oreo, who came to PAWS limping from injury, and walked proudly out the adoption center door with her adopters.
  • Prince (right), who was too scared to be held when he was rescued as a tiny orphan and now is happiest in his adopter’s arms.
  • Sox and Turnip, who took comfort in each other during a long shelter stay then found a home together.
  • 10750135_10205247482406993_8521197831383435308_o0Maverick (right), who was surrendered to the shelter to be euthanized, blind and in pain, but instead received lifesaving medical care at PAWS.
  • Tater and Moxie, who were separated during rescue, reunited at PAWS, and adopted together for life.
  • Sweet Pea, who survived rat poison, parvo, and more, and is now the life of the party at doggie daycare.
  • Whiskey, who waited all year long in foster care.
  • Bronson1896759_734966049869010_1280353937_n (right), the unforgettable staff favorite who was found as a stray in South Philly, stayed for months at PAWS, then went back to his old neighborhood the right way: as a beloved family pet.
  • Dexter, who was terrified in the shelter and overjoyed to be adopted.


Have you adopted this year? Celebrate with us by sharing your success story on our Facebook page.


Our lifesaving efforts are 100% donor-funded; please donate now to help create more happy endings in 2015.

2014 In Review: Our Biggest Year Yet


What a year! Together, we have accomplished incredible things for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable animals.

In 2014, PAWS:

10505225_817244594974488_6908812798075695377_o (2)- Rescued 2,695 homeless animals, making 2014 our best year of lifesaving yet. Burton, right, was one of them – he was rescued from life on the streets and now has a loving family.


Opened PAWS’ Northeast Adoption Center and Low-Cost Clinic, bringing adoptable animals and affordable veterinary care to a whole new community and marking a huge step forward in achieving our mission.


bellasite- Served nearly 24,000 animals at our low-cost clinics, helping families care for and keep their beloved pets. Bella, left, was just one: the affordable care she received enabled her owner to keep her in her home.


10339380_789358287763119_6433311389522449905_o (1)- Rescued Vigo, right, and hundreds more of the tiniest, most vulnerable kittens and gave them all the care they needed to grow and thrive.


– Rescued a record-breaking number of animals this spring, which contributed to a drastic drop in euthanasia at the city shelter during its highest-intake season.


10391379_10205426824210426_7984403512286516794_n- Saved hundreds of adult cats suffering from treatable illnesses, nursed them back to health, then found them homes. (Like Abernathy, left, who spent months at our clinic recovering from digestive issues and now lives happily in the Art Museum neighborhood.)


10708612_851416981676_7262939861247186308_o- Rescued hundreds of dogs who wouldn’t have otherwise made it out alive, including Megan (right), who’s still waiting for a home! Some were found as strays, others surrendered by owners, and they all found safety at PAWS. We provided walks, playtime, and training to help prepare them for success in new homes, then matched them with families.



– Performed nearly 9,000 spay/neuter surgeries for animals like Trouble (left), who was the product of an unwanted litter and now won’t continue the cycle.

pleasegivene Every one of these achievements was possible thanks to generous supporters.

PAWS is 100% donor-funded, so our ability to achieve our mission depends on you.

More highlights of 2014:

– Held the 8th Annual PAWS Mutt Strut, where crowds of dogs and the people who love them came together for a day of fun in support of our lifesaving efforts.

– Held the 10th Annual Chefs’ Dinner for PAWS, an incredible evening that brought together more than 40 of the region’s best chefs and raised essential funds in support of our new Northeast facility.

– Held our 4th Annual PAWS Foster Challenge in June, setting a new record of lives saved thanks to foster parents.

– Unveiled “Forever Home,” a beautiful mural created with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program depicting actual animals in loving homes.

– Held our August Adoption Challenge, which set into motion two months of record-breaking adoption success.

– Installed new cat play rooms at both our adoption centers, thanks entirely to generous supporters, featuring climbing walls and giant play wheels, where rescued cats can play while they wait for homes.

– Maintained a volunteer community of nearly 1,000 caring individuals who play an essential role in every area of PAWS, caring for animals, keeping our facilities clean, representing PAWS at events, and so much more.

– Introduced the PAWS license plate – get yours!

– Spayed/neutered outdoor community cats in collaboration with Best Friends Animal Society and Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia, helping to prevent the next generation of homeless kittens.

– Were featured at Flyers and Phillies games, raising funds and awareness for homeless animals.

– Hosted or attended more than 160 adoption and fundraising events in and around the city.

pleasegiveAll these accomplishments were possible thanks to our extraordinary community of adopters, donors, fosters, and volunteers.

Join us in the new year as we get even closer to achieving our mission. Together, we will make Philadelphia a no-kill city.