The 12 Most Urgent of 2012: Name Your Own Adoption Fee

Meet the 12 PAWS animals who are most in need of loving homes. If one of them is a match for you, you can Name Your Own Adoption Fee to take home your new best friend! Through no fault of their own, these wonderful pets have made it onto our urgent* list: some need the one-on-one attention they can only find in a home, some are getting stressed by the shelter setting, and others have simply been waiting a very long time. **All year, as each animal gets adopted, we’ve added someone new to the list in their place.**


To adopt, visit for an application, visit PAWS’ Adoption Center at 2nd and Arch Streets, or contact or 215-238-9901 ext. 30. Please help us find homes for these wonderful pets, so that we can save a dozen more in their place (and a dozen more after that, and a dozen more after that. . . ).

– 59 urgents saved in 2012 –

(Updated 12/31/12)

I’m Mittens, a sweet, bashful guy in need of a home. I lost my home when my owner’s landlord wouldn’t let me stay, so I ended up in the shelter surrounded by strange people and lots of other cats. When I first arrived, I hid in the back of my cage, but I’ve worked very hard to be brave and come to the front of my cage to seek out attention (and treats!). I like to give kisses and get gentle pets and head rubs. Once I’m in a comfortable home, my personality will blossom and I’ll show you what a wonderful cat I am.I’m urgent because: I’m sensitive to all the commotion here and it’s harder for me to show off my great personality to adopters.
I’m Jay, a big black and white boy who was surrendered by my owners because they were allergic to me. I can’t wait to find a new home where I can relax. If you’re looking for a loving companion who will provide endless affection, I’m your guy. Come meet me at 2nd and Arch!I’m urgent because: I’m stressed out by all the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the adoption center.
I’m Alice, a long-haired stunner who’s looking for my person. I’ma mellow, laid-back 6-10 year old girl who was found as a stray. (Can you believe it, a gorgeous lady like me out on the streets?) I enjoy exploring my surroundings, nibbling on treats, and being pet gently, but mostly I like to spend my days lounging around and looking beautiful. Wouldn’t you love to have a gal like me around the house?I’m urgent because: I love to soak up attention, and as nice as everyone is to me at the adoption center, I deserve to be loved by my very own person!
Play with me! Love me! I’m Tilly Tangerine! I’m a pit mix around a year old who’s as smart as they come. I’ve got lots of drive and energy, and I will excel in a home that gives me the chance to be the star student that I am! I’d be a great match for athletic activities. Let’s have some fun together!I’m urgent because: I need lots of stimulation to keep from being bored. Even with plenty of training and enrichment from PAWS staff and volunteers, the shelter just isn’t my scene!
I’m Annie, a lovely tabby who’s looking for love. My favorite activity is curling up on people’s laps for naptime. I’m around a year old and was found as a stray in Northeast Philadelphia. I’m now waiting at PAWS’ off-site adoption location in PETCO at Grant Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard. Please come meet me!I’m urgent because: I’ve been waiting since the spring for a home.
I’m Ruby Sapphire, a nice dog who lost my home because my owners were moving. I’m around 2-4 years old and weigh 8 pounds. I’m a very nice little dog and I just need someone to love and guide me in order to be the best pet I can be. Once I make a connection with someone, I shower them with love and affection. Please email my foster mom at to meet me.I’m urgent because: Sometimes the world is a scary place for me, so I need an adopter who can respect my limits and help me feel safe.


*What do we mean by urgent?

At PAWS, we consider an animal “urgent” if he or she needs a little extra help finding a home and/or has been waiting an unusually long time to be adopted. Because PAWS is a no-kill shelter, we can only take in as many animals as we have room for, so every adoption enables us to save another life that would otherwise be lost at Philadelphia’s animal control facility. Every day that an “urgent” animal languishes, we lose an opportunity to use their space to save another animal in need. At Philadelphia’s animal control shelter (ACCT), animals are marked “urgent” when they are in imminent danger of being killed for lack of space. Because ACCT is required to take in every animal that comes to its door — more than 30,000 per year — it is forced to euthanize when there is no room. Therefore, virtually every animal at ACCT is considered “urgent,” despite the tremendous efforts of staff and volunteers working to secure their rescue. PAWS fills all its available spaces with these vulnerable animals.


Where are they now? 

Here are some former members of the 12 Most Urgent who have found their way out of the shelter. . .

**6/29: Once a mangey, unwanted pup, Rudy is now a pampered Rittenhouse Square socialite. She’s fully recovered after spending 7 months in PAWS’ care, and now lives happily with her adopter Dan.** I’m Rudy,a great family pet who just needs a family. I’m a female pit mix puppy around 11 months old who was surrendered because of a treatable skin condition, which is now all but healed. I’m the cutest 40-pounder around and I love to give kisses and explore. I’m good with kids and I can even be nice to cats! I have lots of fun during play groups with other PAWS dogs and am doing a good job practicing polite social skills with them. I’m also working on obedience training and learning proper house manners. I get along best with boy dogs and would love a canine big brother to show me the ropes. Wouldn’t you love a beautiful redhead like me?I’m urgent because: I’m a bouncy adolescent who loves to learn. I’ll do best with training and socialization once I have a home to practice in. I’m ready for the real deal!
**6/23: Adopted! Apple now lives happily in West Philly.**I’m Apple, a gorgeous, feisty diva cat who’s waiting for just the right person to take me home. My long, beautiful, jet-black coat always gets attention! (If I were a person, I’d probably be in shampoo commercials.) I’ve been waiting since February for a home, so I deserve my lucky break already!I’m urgent because: Did you know that black cats and dogs have a harder time getting adopted than pets of other colors? I’m not sure why that is, but I’d sure like to be adopted soon!
**6/15: Angel has flown off to her new home! She now lives happily in Bridgeport, PA.**I’m Angel and I truly live up to my name. I’m a sweet and friendly female pit bull mix around 2 years old and 55 pounds. I was surrendered to the shelter because my owners were moving and could not take me with them. I come when you call, and I’m good with children. I have lots of energy and will gladly play, walk, and even jog with you! I also play well with dogs. I’m a bit of a shrinking violet when you first meet me, but after a minute my shyness melts away and I’ll be wiggling my way into your lap!I’m urgent because: Living in a shelter stresses me out. Lots of staff and volunteers are spending time with me and showing me love, but I’m still feeling a little nervous. I belong in a loving home where I can chill out!
**6/10: We found Garth a placement with another rescue organization that specializes in FELV+ cats. We had a lot of fun with this lovable guy and hope he has a great time in his next chapter.**I’m Garth and I have no fear! I’m an affectionate, playful guy who loves to play and explore. I’m around 4 years old and was surrendered to the shelter by my owner. I’m unique because I LOVE dogs. Large or small, I get along great and even like to wrestle with them! The PAWS staff is using me to cat-test new dogs that come in because I’m so tolerant of them. If you have a loving home with humans and dogs, I would be a perfect addition to your family.I’m urgent because: I need a home without other cats because I’m FELV positive. (I’m currently in great health and not showing any symptoms, so you’d never know it if I didn’t tell you!)
**6/4: Sophie has left the building! She went foster care and will now have a home environment where she can practice her skills and wait in comfort for her permanent home. In the meantime, we’ll use her space to rescue another dog who needs us. (Update: on 6/20, Sophie’s foster called us to say she was adopting her for keeps!)** I’m Sophie, a teacher’s pet who loves to learn tricks. Check out this video of me showing off! I’m a pit bull mix around 3 years old who was found as a stray. I like other dogs but would prefer not to live with cats. I like to have fun, fun, fun! I’m urgent because: A smart, motivated girl like me needs plenty of stimulation to keep from getting bored. My friends at PAWS are giving me lots of enrichment and playtime to keep me occupied, but I need my very own person to truly shine.
**6/2: Mika found her happy family! Once a North Philly stray with no one to look out for her, she’s now a South Philly family dog with two great adopters and her own canine brother to romp around with.**I’m Mika, a joyful pup who’s full of life! I’m a mystery mix around a year old. I’m an active girl who would love someone to exercise and play with. I enjoy long walks, jogging, and hiking. I’d prefer a home without cats, but can get along well with other dogs. I love all people and am overcome by wiggles whenever a new friend greets me!I’m urgent because: I’m doing well at PAWS, but to live up to my potential I need an adopter to give me basic obedience training and an outlet for all my playful energy.
**5/31: Sad news about Tigger: he finally left the shelter and went into a great foster home, but a few days later his kidney condition took a turn for the worse and was beyond the point of recovery. Tigger was humanely euthanized, surrounded by those who care about him. We’re grateful to his foster parent for showing him the comfort of a loving home.** Hello there! I’m Tigger, a handsome gentleman who’d love to live with you. I’m calm, laid back, and very affectionate – a perfect companion. I look great for my age – you’d never know I’m 13 years old! From my rusty tabby coat to my startling green eyes, I’m simply dashing. When my previous owners surrendered me, they said I was having litterbox issues, but when the vets at PAWS looked at me, they found that I was in the early stages of kidney failure. I’m now getting special food that’s helping me feel better and am using the litterbox like a champ. Please consider giving me the love and stability I deserve!I’m urgent because: the shelter’s no place for a lovable senior like me!
**5/28: Finally, Greg hit the jackpot! His new parents Caitlin and Alex were looking for an energetic dog to be their running buddy, and Greg fit the bill. As soon as they met Greg, they were charmed by his good manners. He now lives happily in Bridesburg.**I’m Greg, a silly, friendly boy. I’m a former stray around three years old and about 50 pounds. I love everyone – especially kids! I get along great with other dogs but would do best without cats (I think they are a little too much fun). They say I’m very trainable and will do anything to please you. I’ll have lots of fun learning new skills and tricks! I love the outdoors and have energy to spare, so I’ll make a great running or hiking partner.I’m urgent because: Did you know dogs with “brindle” coloring sometimes have a harder time getting adopted? I don’t know why that is, but I’d sure like to go home with you!
**5/16: Adopted! Ebony’s health was presenting persistent challenges, and it was beginning to look like she would remain in her foster home as a hospice case. Ebony, however, had different plans! A wonderful adopter came forward who has experience with medical issues, and understands that it’s not the length, but the quality of Ebony’s life that matters. This lucky girl will spend the rest of her life surrounded by the love of family.**I’m Ebony, and I pack a ton of personality into a pint-sized package! I’m a lovely senior chihuahua girl who may have a few years under my belt, but I still have plenty of spunk in my paws! I enjoy the company of other dogs and will happily join in their play sessions. I like to get close to people’s faces and give them very tiny kisses. When I was rescued by PAWS I suffered from seizures, but now they’re better controlled with medications. My adopter will need to monitor my health and keep up with my meds to prevent seizures as much as possible. Click here to learn more about me.I’m urgent because: I need someone who will stick with me through thick and thin, whether my health gets better or worse.
**5/15: Adopted!**I’m Tucker, a 1-year-old golden mix who needs someone to look up to. I’m playful and loving, but I also need somebody who can teach me much-needed manners. I’d do best in a home with adults only, or with kids over 10. My ideal adopter will be home most of the day and be able to give me obedience training and work through my separation anxiety. I’d also do well in a home with another dog who’s bigger and older than I am, who will show me how to play with dogs politely. If you set me up to succeed, I’ll reward you with a lifetime of loyal companionship!I’m urgent because: I need one-on-one help to work through my separation anxiety.

**5/13: Sweet news: Strawberry Jam found a home and now lives happily in Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood!**I’Strawberry Jam, a fun, feisty young female tuxedo cat looking for love. I’m around a year old and was found as a stray. Spirited and curious, I’m always ready to explore my surroundings. I’m not a big fan of the other animals here at the adoption center, so I would love a home where I can be the only pet. Stop by 2nd and Arch and come meet me!I’m urgent because: I’ve been waiting since November for a home.

**5/7: Marcia found a a loving home in South Philly! She lives with a young couple that was looking for a playful, energetic dog. They were a perfect match!**I’m Marcia, a loyal companion who needs a person to call my own. I’m a beautiful pit bull mix around two years old who was found as a stray. I’m a special girl because I recently had surgery on my leg. To recover, I stayed at PAWS’ clinic for several months, with no running or jumping allowed – no small feat for a lively girl like me! Since I’m so energetic, I’d do best in a home with kids over 10. I’m not a fan of cats, so I’d prefer not to live with them. After all this time, I’m finally ready for some fun!I’m urgent because: I need someone who can give me plenty of exercise and obedience training. A home setting will really help me live up to my potential!
**5/6: Sammie’s adopted! He found a loving home with a woman who had recently lost her beloved cat, and was ready to adopt a new feline family member. Sammie is the 20th animal adopted out from the 12 Most Urgent list!**I’m Sammie, a 2-4 year old male tabby with handsome gold eyes. I like to play and chase toys, but I’m also content just to lounge around the house. I’m not a fan of dogs or other cats, so I’d prefer to be an only pet. I would love to be your new best friend! I’m urgent because: Most animal lovers out there already have a dog or cat, so I need extra help finding a pet-free home! 
**4/16: Frida found a home! Formerly a stray in the Olney section of the city, now she’s a family pet in West Philly.** I’m Frida, an independent-minded lady looking for a place to go. I was found as a stray with my four kittens, who have all since been adopted. After being such a good mom, I’m ready for a calm, easygoing home, without any pets or kids, where I can relax. I like to get my exercise by chasing a laser pointer! I’m loving and friendly, but I’m also low-maintenance and not too needy. If you work long hours, I’m perfectly content spending time by myself.I’m urgent because: Many people come looking for a very playful, attention-seeking cat, but I need someone who appreciates my laid-back, independent personality. 
**4/1: After waiting her entire life for a home, CeCe was finally adopted on April Fool’s Day! She found the perfect home in Cherry Hill, where lives in luxury with her adopter’s attention all to herself. We’ll miss her!**I’m CeCe, the “queen” of the adoption center and its longest-term resident. I’m very opinionated and will always let you know when I’m in the mood for attention! I’m a gorgeous 4-year-old calico who has never known a stable home: I was born a stray kitten in 2007, adopted, given away as a gift, surrendered to the shelter when I was no longer wanted, adopted again, eventually returned to the shelter infested with fleas, adopted yet again to a home with other pets that I was very afraid of, then sent back to the shelter because I was having stress-related litterbox issues. I just can’t seem to catch a break! For more than a year, I’ve watched as other cats have gone off to loving homes, wondering when my turn will come along. The shelter is no place for royalty like me, so I’d like to be the queen of your home instead!I’m urgent because: I’m a particular lady who needs a particular home: somewhere quiet and calm, with a regular routine, no other pets, and a person who spends a lot of time at home to keep me company. I am four years old and have been waiting my whole life for Mr. or Mrs. Right.
**3/31: Haze was adopted by a couple who adores him, and now lives happily in Maine! He goes hiking with his new family in Acadia National Park. What a lucky guy!I’m Haze, and I would like to try to fit in your lap. I’m 1-2 years old, about 50 pounds, and was found as a stray. I’m incredibly affectionate and love to be touched – hug me, pet me, hold me! I like to play with other dogs my size and can live very well with them. I’m not sure yet about cats, so please speak with the adoption staff if you have one.I’m urgent because: I need some obedience training to refine my manners and let my personality shine. It’s not my fault – I’ve never been lucky enough to have an owner to teach me these things!
**3/18: Justice found a loving family in South Philly and joins a full house with several kidsI’m Justicea mellow lady looking for love. I’m a 2-4 year old female who looks like a shepherd/Rottweiler mix. My owners surrendered me to the city’s animal controlshelter because they could no longer care for me, and I was later rescued by PAWS. I’m an easygoing girl and will be content with just a few short walks per day. I get along with some dogs (I prefer smaller dogs), so I would like to meet any resident dogs before going home. I need a loving human to be my companion. Could it be you?I’m urgent because: I need a strong leader who can help me work on my leash manners when I meet other dogs.
**3/14: Adopted! Malloy now lives happily in South Philly with his new family.I’m Malloy, a playful, energetic boy around 1-2 years old who was found alone on the street in North Philly. I have lots of energy and love to play, and I fall in love with everyone I meet! Even though I have a grown-up body, I’m still a puppy at heart, so I need a good leader to help me learn my manners. Help me grow into the wonderful family dog I’m meant to be!I’m urgent because: I need basic obedience training to help me reach my potential. I’m doing a good job learning skills in the shelter, but I would really benefit from experience living in a home.
**3/12: Adopted! Maeve now lives on 13 acres in Berks County with a loving family that includes a 7-year-old human brother and an 11-year-old canine brother.I’m Maeve, a spunky strawberry blonde looking for a home. I’m a 3-4 month old pit bull mix puppy who was found as a stray. You wouldn’t believe it now, but when I arrived at PAWS, I was severely underweight and was suffering from a skin condition that made me lose all my fur. I’ve bounced back and am now in great health – I just need to receive medicine for a few more weeks to be 100% cleared up. I live with kids and other dogs in my foster home and get along well with them. Contact my foster mom at to meet me!I’m urgent because: I’ve been waiting for a home longer than most puppies, since my medical treatment set me back a few weeks in searching.
**2/25: Adopted! Dez now lives happily in Northeast Philadelphia.**I’m Dez, a sweet senior boy who’s looking for a place to settle down. I was surrendered by my owners after 10+ years because they no longer wanted me. After spending all my life in a comfortable home, shelter life is confusing and a little scary to me. I’m a true lap cat and would love to cuddle up with you. Come meet me at 2nd and Arch!I’m urgent because: I’m getting stressed out here at the busy shelter and long to return to a quiet home.
**2/25: Adopted! Scrubbs found a new family, who visited all the way from Illinois to pick him up. They have two previously adopted PAWS dogs, who we’re sure Scrubbs will have lots of fun playing with.**I’m Scrubbs, a big boy with a huge personality! I’m around 1-2 years old and was found as a stray in Port Richmond. I’m confident and friendly, and I’m a sucker for chin scratches. I’d make a great addition to a multi-pet home – I even like to wrestle with dogs my size! Because I’m so playful, I’d probably do best in a home with older children. You can usually find me sneaking around the adoption center, looking for adventure.I’m urgent because: I’ve waited more than 6 months for a home.
**2/23: Adopted! Tink is now living happily in South Philadelphia.** Hi there, I’m Tink! I’m a cute-as-a-button pit bull mix around 9-12 months old, and I’m ready to go home! I ended up at the shelter because my owners were moving. Once I’m in a stable, loving home with someone who will give me a little practice, I’ll do a great job with obedience training and housetraining.I’m urgent because: I’m a silly puppy in a grown-up body, so I’m looking for someone who can teach me all the skills I need to be an awesome pet.
**2/22: Adopted by her foster parents!**Let’s go! I’m Darla, a spring-loaded bundle of energy who’s ready to bounce on out of here. I’m a 55-pound, 1-2 year old pit bull mix who was found as a stray. I’m always ready to play – I’d also make an excellent running partner! Once I’ve expended my energy, I’m content to chill out until it’s time for our next romp. I get along just fine with other dogs, but I don’t mesh well with cats. I live every moment to the fullest!I’m urgent because: I need an adopter who can give me exercise and keep up with my energy level.
**2/21: Adopted!**I’m Victoria, a beautiful dilute calico who’s sweet, friendly, and quite outgoing. I’m around 4 years old and I ended up at the shelter because my owner was in poor health. I would be happiest in an only-pet home without small children. The more you get to know me, the more I’ll show you what a sweetheart I am. I like to be pet and to snuggle up with my favorite people!I’m urgent because: Being in the shelter setting stresses me out, so it’s harder for me to let my personality shine here.
**2/21: Adopted! Shadow now has a new loving Mom to help him grow up into a wonderful companion!**I’m Shadow, a playful puppy who’s ready for a family! I’m a mixed breed male around six or seven months old. I ended up at the shelter after I was abandoned at a vet’s office by my owners. I get along with other playful dogs, but I’m not quite used to cats. Since I’m such a rambunctious boy, I’d do best with kids over 10. I’m still a puppy and will be looking up to you to teach me manners and basic obedience training. I’m a fabulous family dog in the making!I’m urgent because: I don’t want to spend my puppyhood in the shelter! I ought to be in a home setting where I can master the skills I need to be the best dog I can be.
**2/14/12: Adopted! Layla found true love on Valentine’s Day and is now a beloved family dog living on the Main Line.**I’m Layla and I love to play, play, play!I’m a pocket-sized pit bull mix around a year old and I’m doing a great job of learning my puppy manners. I even know a few basic commands! For the past three months I’ve been laying low at PAWS’ clinic while I recovered from knee surgery. Now that I’m all better, I don’t want to spend another minute in the shelter. I’d love to show you my bubbly personality. . . come meet me and get some sloppy Layla kisses!I’m urgent because: I was cooped up for weeks on low-activity rest after my surgery, and I wasn’t allowed to run or bounce. Bo-o-o-oring. At last, I’m ready for some fun!
**2/11/12: Adopted!**I’m Baby, a lovable mutt (I look like a husky/pit bull mix) who’s actually around 5 years old and well past the rambunctious puppy phase. I ended up at the shelter when I was surrendered by my owners. I spent the last year in foster care, and am now back at the shelter until I find a home. Since I’ve spent so much time in a home setting, I’ve learned lots of skills: I’m housetrained, crate trained, I walk well on a leash, I’m not a chewer, and I’m very polite when meeting people and other dogs. (My only vice? I’m an occasional toilet drinker!) I love attention and would do best in a home where I’m not left alone for extended periods of time.I’m urgent because: I’ve waited over a year for a home.
**2/1/12: Adopted!**My name is Duncan, and I’m a shy guy around 8 months old. I was very scared when I came to PAWS, but I’ve made tremendous progress since then. For the first four months of my life, I lived outdoors in a feral cat colony without any human contact. Despite my outdoor beginnings, I’m a very friendly boy at heart and will do great in a home. Because I’m still getting used to interacting with people, I’ll need a gentle, patient owner who can help me get accustomed to being held and petted. I would do especially well in a home with an outgoing cat who can teach me the ropes. I’m a perfect companion in the making – please email to meet me.I’m urgent because: I need a little extra socialization for my personality to shine.
**1/23/12: Adopted with his sister Cola!** I’m Sparky, a sweet cat looking for love. I’m a vocal boy who will always have stories to tell you. I’m very closely bonded with my sister Cola, so we would like to be adopted together. We’d do best in a quiet home without small kids. Would you like to add our fun-loving pair to your home?I’m urgent because: I need a home that will take two cats at once.
**1/23/12: Adopted along with her brother Sparky to a loving home!**I’m Cola, Sparky’s sister and best buddy. I ended up at the city’s animal control shelter as a kitten in 2007, was adopted, and was recently returned to PAWS when my owners could no longer care for me. I love to be pet and have my head rubbed! I would be lost without my brother Sparky, so wherever he goes, I want to go too.I’m urgent because: Sparky and I come as a set!
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