PAWS Services and COVID-19
We are providing this update on PAWS’ efforts to protect the health and safety of our staff, clients, volunteers, adopters, and fosters during this challenging time. While we remain open and saving lives, we have made significant modifications to our operations.
We believe that maintaining our lifesaving adoption and foster programs and continuing to serve pets and pet owners who depend on our clinic services is our responsibility to our community, and vital to our mission. Therefore, we continue to rescue animals from the city shelter and elsewhere with the same urgency as always.
All PAWS Clinic services are being offered by appointment, via curbside service. You will be given instructions on our curbside procedures when you schedule your appointment.
For an appointment with a veterinarian, if your pet is sick, injured, or due for an annual wellness check-up, please make an appointment by calling or emailing one of our clinic locations.
You can now schedule your own appointment online for vaccines, dewormer, FeLV/FIV testing, flea treatment, and microchips. Please note: our online scheduler is for these listed services only; your pet will not see a veterinarian. Walk-in services are not being offered at this time.
Spay/Neuter surgery is available by appointment, with some restrictions. To schedule, please book online (cats only), or call or email one of our clinic locations to schedule.
Foster Walk-In Clinic: Foster walk-in clinic for current PAWS foster animals will operate with normal hours. Please ONLY come if your foster pet is sick or needs boosters, unless otherwise instructed by the foster team (for example, necessary scheduled rechecks). Please do NOT bring your foster pet to walk-in clinic for general wellness checks or issues that are not time-sensitive.
Our Old City Adoption Center is reopening on August 9 to house cats and prioritize approved adopters with appointments. Walk-ins are welcome but will only be seen if space is available in the building. Dog adoptions are by appointment at our Grays Ferry location or directly from foster homes. Our Northeast Adoption Center remains closed to browsing. To learn more about adopting, please visit phillypaws.org/adopt.
Fosters are key to our ability to continue saving lives, so please contact our foster team if you can temporarily take home a dog, cat, or litter of kittens in need and they will schedule an appointment with you at our Grays Ferry shelter. Currently, our greatest need is for adult cats with a variety of medical needs. Please visit phillypaws.org/foster for more information.
Volunteers: We and the animals need you at our Grays Ferry shelter and Old City Adoption Center! We have reduced the number of shifts to essential levels. If you are a current volunteer, please sign up and help us provide the animals with all the attention and care they need. If you are interested in joining us as a new volunteer, please sign-up here. As soon as we reopen our Northeast Adoption Center, we will let you know! There are many other ways to help; please email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
If you need to surrender the pet you adopted from PAWS, it must come to our shelter at 2900 Grays Ferry Avenue. Please email email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
These practices are in keeping with public health guidelines. This is a constantly evolving situation, and we will announce additional changes as they become warranted.
What PAWS staff and volunteers are doing:
- Maintaining our robust procedures already in place – in accordance with shelter best practices – to ensure sanitary facilities and prevent the spread of disease, including: using gloves, gowns, and masks as appropriate when handling animals; transporting animals using bio-secure methods; isolating sick or diseased animals; thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting animal housing, bowls, and other supplies; and, properly disposing of waste.
- Staying home if they are sick, symptomatic, immuno-compromised, or concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Implementing additional cleaning and disinfecting procedures, using gloves when handling client paperwork, and regularly sanitizing surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, and chairs.
- Wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in our facilities, as mandated by city and state health officials.
What we are asking of you:
- Please wear a mask when interacting with our staff and volunteers, both inside and outside our facilities.
- If you are immuno-compromised, feel sick, or have any concerning symptoms, we ask that you wait until you have been symptom-free for 14 days before coming to our facilities.
- If the above applies to you and you have a pet who needs veterinary care in our clinics, please identify a friend who is well to bring them for their appointment.
- If you arrive at our facilities and are showing symptoms of illness, our staff will respectfully ask you to leave. (If you have brought a sick pet who needs to be seen, our staff will do their best to accommodate them safely.)
We intend for these measures to enable us to continue saving lives and serving our community, while protecting our staff, volunteers, and visitors. Of course, this situation is evolving daily, so we will continue to communicate any changes in our practices, procedures, or services as decisions are made. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your understanding and support, and for the love and care you give to Philadelphia’s pets.