Letters: ACCT desperately needing assistance

Posted 5/5/21

I'm writing as an animal lover and long time adopter of homeless animals to inform like minded people that the homeless dogs and cats of Philadelphia are in danger because ACCT Philly, the only shelter funded by the city of Philadelphia, is in crisis.

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Letters: ACCT desperately needing assistance

Posted

I'm writing as an animal lover and long time adopter of homeless animals to inform like minded people that the homeless dogs and cats of Philadelphia are in danger because ACCT Philly, the only shelter funded by the city of Philadelphia, is in crisis. You may not be familiar with ACCT, but they are the place of last resort for strays, animals who are surrendered because they are sick or old or somehow may have become inconvenient for their owners.

ACCT receives the majority of their funding from the City of Philadelphia. Last year their funding was cut by $900,000. This led to the layoff of 17 employees, which as you can imagine was a disaster for their capacity to help animals. Additionally, in early April some of the medical staff were exposed to COVID, which resulted in a temporary halt in non-emergency intakes and surgeries. ACCT needs help. Money, volunteers, foster families (one of the most important ways to socialize dogs and help them prepare for adoption) are needed.

They are also currently overwhelmed with people who are giving up their animals. Perhaps some need to return to the office or can't afford the care that animals bring, but regardless of the reason, at a time when they have experienced every catastrophe that could happen to a shelter, ACCT is struggling to process, assess and adopt out animals. They recently worked with Best Friends of Utah, the leader in the no-kill animal shelter movement in the U.S., to become a no-kill shelter, which is a wonderful thing.

How can they legitimately function as a no-kill, though, when they intake animals with serious medical and behavioral problems which they can't treat because they have no staff or funds? The city government appears to expect them to accept every animal that presents at their doors, despite their enormous budget cuts. Or maybe animals don't matter to city administrators. Homeless animals are not being given a fair shot at finding a forever home. Good intentions are not enough.

So I am asking, are there people who care about animals who would like to help ACCT? Are their individuals who could volunteer? Are there people who could adopt and tell their friends about adopting? Are there individuals who might have relationships with the city who could help with future funding? Would it be possible to hold a fund-raiser in the waning days of a pandemic? ACCT is being asked to complete an impossible job. They need our help. Animals need our help now.

Ellyn De Guida
Chestnut Hill

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