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Keeping Pets in Low-Income Homes: A New Approach

It takes more than rescue alone: in order to solve the crisis of pet homelessness in Philadelphia, we must keep pets out of shelter in the first place.  This recent Philadelphia Inquirer article highlights the efforts underway by PAWS and our partners in the Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition to give struggling pet owners the resources they need to keep their pets as cherished family members. It follows the story of Brent, a client at our low-cost clinic, and his beloved cat, Smoke. From the Inquirer:

For years, animals from impoverished homes have been taken to shelters or released to the streets because their owners couldn’t afford care. Many of those sheltered animals have been destroyed.

But things are changing — here in the Philadelphia area, as well as around the country. Veterinarians and animal-welfare advocates are developing what has been described as a new paradigm in which pets are kept in low-income homes thanks to a new, vigorous outreach to provide pet food and low-cost veterinary services. The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), for example, helped Adams’ cat, Smoke, which needed a leg amputated because of an infection.

“We are striving for a humane city, a no-kill city, so pets aren’t dying in shelters because owners can’t afford them,” said Melissa Levy, executive director of PAWS.

Read the full article on philly.com here.

Photo by Tom Gralish for the Philadelphia Inquirer