PAWS services during COVID-19: Clinic visits for sick pets, vaccinations, and spay/neuter available by appointment (curbside service). Walk-in clinics remain suspended. We continue to rescue animals! Adoptions and foster by appointment only. Donations to the Emergency Fund for PAWS help ensure we can keep doing our lifesaving work despite the current crisis.
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News & More


2020: Thousands of bright spots during a dark year

  In a year when so much was threatened and nearly everything was a struggle, the pets in our lives — those who have families and those still waiting for love — effortlessly inspired us. They brought us even closer together to fight for them, and taught us yet again how…
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Recent News


Jojo’s story: “He has been such a joy in our life since day one”

Jojo had already been adopted and returned twice because of "behavior issues" when he found himself at the shelter again last fall. With a withdrawn personality and a history of stress-related house soiling, finding a new foster was going to…
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Attention Northeast: Online scheduling now available for cat spay/neuter

New at our Northeast Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic: cat owners can schedule spay/neuters online! You can now schedule your own appointment online for cat spay and neuter surgeries, along with other services including vaccines, dewormer, FeLV/FIV testing, flea treatment, and…
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Cheese: new mouth, new life!

As one of PAWS' earliest Tooth Fairy Fund beneficiaries, Cheese has had a longer journey than most. Abandoned outside of our Grays Ferry clinic just before the pandemic hit, this sensitive guy came to us with a severely infected mouth…
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Shirley: a new start for an old soul

Every pet deserves comfort and love in their golden years. Shirley was low on both when we rescued her, but that soon changed thanks to PAWS' supporters and one incredibly caring family! Found outside in freezing temperatures, this gentle senior…
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After fighting for survival, a brighter future for Barley

After a harrowing medical journey, Barley is finally on the road to recovery. This sweet girl came to PAWS as a seemingly straightforward medical case similar to many of the pets we save. She was brought to the city shelter…
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Yoda: after a long road, finally safe & loved

Yoda has amazed us from day one! When this friendly kitten arrived at the Camden city shelter, it was a miracle she'd survived on her own. Found outside by a Good Samaritan at just 6 weeks old, she was sick…
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Buster: keeping it in the family

Some pets are just too special to part with! We took in this kind senior when his heartbroken owner had to give him up due to a change in life circumstances. But the very next day, we were contacted by…
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Online Scheduling Now Available for Vaccines

Announcing an easier way to get preventive care for your pets! Due to COVID-19, PAWS' clinics provide curbside service by appointment only. You can now schedule your own appointment online for vaccines, dewormer, FeLV/FIV testing, flea treatment, microchips. (If you…
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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…
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Coming Together for Sgt. Pepper

This special kitten was rescued with his siblings, and instantly melted our hearts with his playful and affectionate personality. But Pepper stood out for another reason: he was born with a cleft palate, an opening between the roof of his…
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Ike & Twizzler’s Foster Success Story

Ike and Twizzler were found outside with their mother and siblings right after the pandemic started. When PAWS took them in and put the word out that they needed a foster home, foster mom Lisa answered the call!   "I…
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Elvis’ Foster Success Story

After being adopted out 13 years ago, Elvis was found in rough shape fending for himself in Mt. Airy. He was sick, underweight, and stressed and defensive at the shelter, but transformed once he went home with foster mom Ashley!…
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Stormi’s foster success story

Stormi was rescued by PAWS after a Good Samaritan found her on their porch and brought her to the city shelter. She was very scared and nervous around people, and needed socialization in a foster home to help get her…
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Jewel’s foster success story

This sweet and gentle granny dog was in need of some serious TLC when she was found on her own in West Philly. In addition to being mostly blind and covered in matted fur, an exam revealed that Jewel needed…
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Tilly’s Foster Success Story

A Good Samaritan brought Tilly to the city shelter after finding her injured and alone in Fairmount Park. Scared, emaciated, and suffering from a broken leg, Tilly weighed only 15 pounds when she should have weighed 30. PAWS rescued her…
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Saving Animals is a Team Sport!

While some things have changed about the PAWS Mutt Strut in 2020, one thing that remains the same is the vital role that Mutt Strut teams play in raising critical funds for Philly’s most vulnerable pets. We asked last year’s…
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Why We Strut: Peanut’s Mutt Strut Love Story

Former stray Peanut was rescued by PAWS in 2013 with the Mutt Strut right around the corner. He was one of two dozen adoptable PAWS dogs who attended the event in the hope of meeting a match that year. When…
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Marky: small but mighty!

PAWS rescued Marky and his family from the city shelter after they were found fending for themselves outside. As soon as we set eyes on this fragile 3 week old, we knew it was a miracle that he’d survived. Something was…
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Sheila makes her family complete

This sweet and trusting girl was found fending for herself in Frankford with a broken jaw that had never healed properly. After months of care and treatment, Sheila was happy and comfortable — and found love with the foster parents…
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Chefs’ Week for PAWS is a Wrap!

Our extraordinary online series, held August 23-27, featured demos, tips, and tricks from all-star chefs, stories from special guests about how PAWS continues to save and serve at-risk pets, and how you can help. It was all to raise funds…
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In the Midst of a Crisis, Sasha Gets the Care He Needs at PAWS

 When the air conditioning broke at PAWS' Grays Ferry Clinic, operations at our busiest location could have been halted completely — but thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our supporters, temporary cooling units were in place all week long…
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Emergency Surgery for Banana Nut Muffin

When Banana Nut Muffin needed emergency surgery during our broken AC crisis, it was all hands on deck to make sure he got the care he needed!⠀ This little guy was brought to our Grays Ferry clinic for persistent vomiting…
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Banfield Foundation Supports PAWS with COVID-19 Emergency Grant

The Banfield Foundation, a valued, longtime supporter of PAWS, has made a generous grant of $10,000 to help us continue serving the community's most vulnerable pets during the COVID-19 crisis. Funds will help PAWS keep its doors open to provide…
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Otis: After a rough beginning, a new start at PAWS

 When we rescued Otis, we weren't sure if he'd make it. He'd been brought to the city shelter in critical condition by a Good Samaritan who'd seen him get hit by a car, and needed immediate medical attention to…
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PAWS’ Ringworm Ward Empty for the first time since opening

When Kaldr started her new life with Wendy and Ryan, she marked an exciting milestone: for the first time since it opened in 2018, PAWS' ringworm ward was completely empty! Although ringworm is a simple fungal infection of the skin,…
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Extraordinary Community Foster Response to COVID-19 Crisis

Social distancing and the shift toward working from home has prompted an outpouring of foster support. In the last 8 days, over 90 PAWS animals have found temporary homes, making room in our shelters for the many more who will…
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Sir Ranwrap: From injured stray to cherished family member

After a rocky beginning as an injured stray, Sir Ranwrap is safe, healthy and loved! This incredibly sweet young dog was brought to the city shelter by a Good Samaritan who found him in North Philly. He was covered in…
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Free Spay/Neuter for Pit Bulls: Book Now

  Special thanks to Stand Up for Pits Foundation for making this day possible.      
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Shrinkydink Gets A Second Chance After Lifesaving Surgery

 Pets like Shrinkydink are why we do what we do. When this friendly little dog arrived at the city shelter, it was clear she'd had a rough journey. A Good Samaritan brought her to safety after finding her tied…
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40,000+ animals saved and served in 2019: more in store for 2020!

We're celebrating another record-breaking year of lifesaving thanks to you. In 2019, PAWS served over 40,000 animals through rescue, spay/neuter, and low-cost veterinary care. We're closer than ever to making Philadelphia a place where every savable pet has a home.…
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Take Home a Holiday Houseguest

They're more fun than your in-laws, and twice as cute: this year, spend your holidays with a PAWS pet! By hosting a homeless dog or cat for just a few days, you'll give them a much-needed break from the shelter…
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Axel’s Story: “He truly has 9 lives”

By the time adopter Jeena fell in love with Axel, he had already survived life on the streets as a young kitten, undergone a special surgery at PAWS, and overcome a life-threatening infection during his recovery. His medical journey was…
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Half Off Senior Pet Adoptions During November!

Older pets are often overlooked due to their grey whiskers, but they’ve got years of happiness ahead of them and so much love to give! That’s why in honor of National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, we’re highlighting what makes…
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13th Annual PAWS Mutt Strut a Tremendous Success!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for an amazing Mutt Strut on Saturday, October 26! We are thrilled to announce that together, we raised $103,500 for homeless animals! Proceeds will fund PAWS' lifesaving efforts and enable us to rescue and…
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Why we strut: Lucy’s story

As the Mutt Strut approaches, we love hearing from supporters about what inspires them to get involved. Volunteer Jocelyn has been sharing adoption updates about her former foster dogs, and Lucy's story was something special! This tiny friend was found…
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Teaming Up To Save Lives

Whether it's a family tradition or a fun way to bond with coworkers, lifesaving is even more rewarding when you're part of a team! Every year, Mutt Strutters raise thousands of critically needed dollars for Philly's most vulnerable pets. We…
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Banfield Foundation Grant Enables PAWS to Purchase Vital Equipment

We are extremely pleased to announce that the Banfield Foundation’s generous support of PAWS has once again worked wonders for Philadelphia's most at-risk pets. Their generous Clinic Equipment Grant enabled us to purchase an anesthesia machine, gas scavenger, and autoclave,…
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Sarah and Kyle help each other heal in foster care

Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese were found as strays in completely different areas, but they've been inseparable ever since their journeys lead them to each other. Now they're looking for a forever home where they'll never have to be apart!
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Join the Kitten Relay: a Team Effort to Save the Smallest Kittens

Of all the animals entering Philadelphia's shelters, the most vulnerable are orphaned kittens who cannot yet eat on their own. Too weak to thrive in the shelter, their only chance at survival is to be immediately rescued and bottle-fed at…
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Houdi’s story makes top ten for People Magazine’s “world’s cutest rescue dog” contest

When this friendly pup was found in ACCT's parking lot, he was matted, malnourished, and suffering from a painful hip injury. He got the surgery and care he needed with PAWS, and continued his recovery in a loving foster home…
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Shelter crisis leads to extraordinary community response

When the air conditioning broke at our Grays Ferry shelter/clinic on May 29, it ground operations to a halt at our largest facility and the hub of our rescue efforts. Thankfully, a massive coordinated effort involving staff, dozens of foster…
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After a rough start, Porkchop heals and helps others do the same

Porkchop's sunny disposition got him through a rough beginning and lead him to his forever family. Now, his warmth and kindness is helping others to heal.
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“She has wiggled her way into our hearts.”

Former PAWS dog Melody had a long journey before finding her forever home, and touched a lot of hearts along the way. We recently received a wonderful update from Melody's family that shows true love is worth the wait!
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Petco Foundation grant leads to exciting lifesaving results

In 2015, Petco Foundation made an important investment in PAWS in the form of a three-year, $225,000 Lifesaving Impact Award, in recognition of the progress we have made and in support of our detailed plans for the work ahead. Now…
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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…
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PAWS Named Best Place to Adopt

Family Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has listed PAWS as the best place to adopt a pet in the Philadelphia area. From their site: "PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) is a pet adoption organization dedicated to the mission of making Philadelphia…
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With Love and Dedication, Angel is a Whole New Cat

The shelter can be an intimidating place for many animals when they first arrive. The unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells can sometimes cause even the sweetest cat or dog to act defensive and nervous with people. Usually, these animals simply…
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PetSmart Charities Supports Spay/Neuter Efforts

PAWS is grateful to announce that PetSmart Charities has awarded a grant of $50,000 to support PAWS’ spay/neuter program. These funds will enable us to offer reduced-cost surgeries for pets belonging to low-income owners who cannot otherwise afford to have…
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In From The Cold: New Foster Initiative Brings Warmth in Winter to Friendly Stray Cats

"If you're cold, they're cold." It's a phrase we've all heard about protecting pets in the winter time. As temperatures drop and sidewalks get icy, many animal lovers see friendly neighborhood cats suffering in the cold and turn to us…
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40,000+ animals saved and served in 2018

We're celebrating another record-breaking year of lifesaving thanks to you. In 2018, PAWS served over 40,000 animals through rescue, spay/neuter, and low-cost veterinary care. We're closer than ever to making Philadelphia a place where every savable pet has a home.…
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PAWS’ Customer Service Manager Honored as Petplan Veterinary Excellence Award Semi-Finalist

PAWS is proud to announce that Customer Service Manager Luci Vazquez was honored as a semi-finalist for Petplan's Veterinary Excellence Awards in the category of Receptionist of the Year! Luci's nomination was selected out of thousands submitted across North America. Her…
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12th Annual PAWS Mutt Strut: What a Day!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for an amazing Mutt Strut on Saturday, October 6! We are thrilled to announce that together, we raised $102,000 for homeless animals! Proceeds will fund PAWS' lifesaving efforts and enable us to rescue and serve…
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Hundreds Saved and Counting: New Medical Ward Expands PAWS’ Lifesaving Capacity

We are thrilled to announce that we are saving more cats' lives than ever before! Thanks to support from PetSmart Charities, PAWS now operates a new medical isolation ward to house and care for cats and kittens who are recovering…
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PAWS Has a New Look!

Welcome to the new and improved! Our redesigned website makes as easy as possible for you to find a new companion, get low-cost vet services for your pet, and learn how you can join us in saving Philadelphia’s homeless…
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73 Matches Made: Clear the Shelters a Huge Success!

On August 18th, PAWS participated in Clear the Shelters, a nationwide fee-waived adoption event that that matched thousands of homeless pets with new families across the country. Animal lovers lined up outside of our adoption centers to find their new…
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One Month, 200+ Lives Saved

The 8th Annual PAWS Foster Challenge was a record-breaking success! With homeless animals flooding into the city shelter, PAWS foster parents have stepped up like never before. Our amazing foster community has collectively saved hundreds of dogs, cats, and kittens…
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New Cat Housing Installed at Old City Adoption Center

After ten years and nearly 8,000 feline residents, PAWS' Old City adoption center has gotten an upgrade! Thanks to our caring supporters, we met our fundraising goal of $15,000 to replace outdated cat cages with new, expanded units to provide…
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Walker’s Special Day

Walker and Buster came to PAWS after their owner of many years passed away. While we knew that both seniors had health issues common for older dogs, we were sad to find that Walker also had an advanced tumor on…
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PAWS 2017 Year in Review

PAWS animals are celebrating another record-breaking year of lifesaving thanks to you! In 2017, PAWS served more animals than ever before through rescue, adoption, spay/neuter, and low-cost veterinary care. We're closer than ever to making Philadelphia a place where every…
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11th Annual PAWS Mutt Strut a Tremendous Success

Thank you to everyone who joined us for an amazing Mutt Strut on Saturday, October 14! We are thrilled to announce that together, we raised $115,000 for homeless animals! Proceeds will fund PAWS' lifesaving efforts and enable us to rescue and serve…
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Celebrating a Record-Breaking Month of Adoptions

Our hard work is paying off: 359 PAWS pets found loving homes in the month of August, shattering our previous adoption record of 290 from October 2016 and surpassing last August's numbers by 127 adoptions. That's not the only record…
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Clear the Shelters: a Lifesaving Success

On Saturday, August 19th, PAWS and other shelters throughout the region waived adoption fees as part of Clear the Shelters. Animal lovers were lined up outside of our adoption centers when we opened in the morning, and the foot traffic…
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PAWS 10th Birthday Celebration: Thank You!

Thanks to all who joined us for a birthday party to remember! On Thursday, April 6, PAWS supporters, sponsors, volunteers, board, staff, and friends gathered at La Peg to celebrate the 10th birthday of the beginning of our lifesaving efforts. We had a…
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A Day at PAWS: Follow Along

PAWS' Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic on Grays Ferry Avenue helps thousands of pets and their families every year. Here are just a few of the animals (and the people who love them) seen on a recent Wednesday... Amy the dog…
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A PAWS Dog’s Journey from the Street to a Home

Ever wonder what goes into rescuing a PAWS dog? This article by Philadelphia Gay News gives an inside view of our process for evaluation, matchmaking, and more. We visit the city's animal control shelter nearly every day to select and rescue…
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Keeping Families Together: Banfield Foundation Supports Philadelphia’s Neediest Pets

PAWS is grateful to announce that the Banfield Foundation has provided meaningful support for PAWS' efforts to provide basic veterinary care to the pets who need it most. Their $10,000 grant in 2016 enabled us to serve more than 250 low-income pet owners whose pets were…
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Success Stories to Celebrate!

Of the thousands of cats and dogs who come through our doors, all have unique stories, but some are especially memorable! Here are a few rescues from the past year with happy adoption tales worth celebrating.   Tucker, a rescued…
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PAWS Year in Review: 36,000+ Saved and Served

Thank you for being a part of a record-breaking year! In 2016, PAWS served more animals than ever before through rescue, adoption, spay/neuter, and low-cost veterinary care. This year has brought us even closer to achieving our mission of making…
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PAWS Pets Living Far and Wide

All PAWS' animals are rescued locally in Philadelphia, but some have found homes well outside city limits. Here are some former PAWS dogs and cats who are living great lives around the country - and even around the world! Leela…
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“Pit Bull Flower Power” Comes to Philly

The dogs of PAWS were crowned with flowers! PAWS recently hosted Sophie Gamand Photography, who creates portraits in an effort to promote pit bulls and shelter dogs in a positive light. Here are some of the beautiful images that resulted: Melody, a 5-6…
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Lil Bub, ASPCA help PAWS save cats in need

PAWS is pleased to announce that for the second year running, we have received a grant from Lil Bub's BIG Fund for the ASPCA to bolster our efforts to rescue the city's most vulnerable cats. These urgently needed funds enable us to save…
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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. From the Library's digital archives: Knee-Hi, the Free Library mascot, "reading" outside the Main Library Building, April 22, 1938. 77 years later…
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PAWS, Mural Arts Program Dedicate Mural at Northeast Adoption Center and Clinic

The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), together with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program,  dedicated two murals which depict rescued animals living in the safety of home, to promote PAWS’ efforts to save Philadelphia’s homeless pets. Created by artists…
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