On Thursday we announced that ACCT Philly will soon undergo a major renovation of the kennel HVAC system. As promised, we’d like to share further details of this exciting project with you.

What and Why
The current heating and cooling system in the kennel area is outdated and unreliable. The City recognizes that the pets under our care need and deserve an appropriate living temperature and have agreed to provide a complete overhaul and replacement of the HVAC system.

The renovation includes a new heating/cooling system, new kennel ceiling and lighting, and cleaning of all vents. This system will provide better climate control and a higher air exchange rate, ensuring pets housed at ACCT Philly – both cats and dogs – will have a more comfortable and healthy environment.

Construction begins February 6th, 2017 and we expect the project to last approximately two months. The project will have two stages: the back kennels (last three rows) and the front kennels (first three rows). We will begin construction on the back kennel section first.

Because construction is taking place in the ceiling above the kennels, it will be necessary to close each kennel section being worked on. This is for the safety of the dogs and humans below. Unfortunately, this means we will have three operational rows of kennels for the entirety of the project. The first three rows will be open during Stage One, and the back three rows will be open during Stage Two.

Addressing Challenges
Our absolute top priority during this process is to minimize euthanasia through a combination of increased live exits and decreased intake. These are the steps we are taking to accomplish this goal:

1.) Adoption Promotions – We are launching the “Home Improvement Adoption Campaign”, an assertive adoption promotion and event schedule encompassing the next two months. The campaign will feature adoption promos, free perks and giveaways, and pop-up adoption events as needed. Details can be found on the landing page as they become available: www.acctphilly.org/homeimprovement

2.) Media Outreach – It is important for the public to be aware of our critical need for support. We will be reaching out to our media partners for help spreading the word. In addition to earned media, our normally scheduled weekly media appearances will be utilized to inform the public about the HVAC renovation.

3.) Incentivized Transfers – Transfer partners will be offered free spay or neuter, microchip and 4DX testing with every large adult dog transferred. Dogs unable to be spayed or neutered due to medical reasons will be offered free blood work.

4.) Recruiting Assistance from Area Shelters – Senior leadership is negotiating with local shelters to see how we can work together to save lives. Further details will become available as we continue to formulate mutually beneficial agreements.

5.) Maximizing Available Space – Double-sided kenneling is temporarily suspended and we are exploring options to utilize multi-purpose room as temporary dog housing. The number of large dogs housed at the Everyday Adoption Center will be increased.

6.) Managed Intake – ACCT Philly is an open-admission shelter that cannot turn away an animal in need or an owner wishing to surrender. However, there are steps we can take to better manage the flow of pets coming through our doors. Managed intake is a multifaceted approach to population management that varies from shelter to shelter, but usually involves intensive client education, scheduled intakes, and deflecting intakes whenever possible. ACCT Philly’s approach to managed intake will evolve over time as we evaluate the result of these changes, but our first version will include:

      • Set surrender hours
      • Stricter criteria for eviction holds
      • Stricter criteria for bite quarantines
      • Empowering animal control officers to return ID’ed animals directly to owners
      • Counseling owners wishing to surrender about the likelihood of euthanasia and providing surrender alternatives
      • Public outreach to educate and help at-risk pet owners

Please know that this is not an exhaustive list and we are committed to keeping you up-to-date on our plans. We welcome any suggestions for improvement or new ideas!

How You Can Help

Spread the Word – Please share our social media posts and tell your fellow animal lovers about our need for support during the renovation. Flyer your neighborhood with upcoming adoption event flyers. Ask to leave pet surrender prevention brochures at your local grocery store.

Encourage Adoption – Adopting from ACCT Philly directly supports Philly pets and strengthens our community. If you know someone looking for a pet, encourage them to #adoptlocal and to #adoptdontshop.

Continue Supporting ACCT Philly – Keep doing what you do best: being our biggest fans. You do so much for the homeless animals of Philadelphia and they need you now more than ever. Please keep coming in to volunteer, sharing adoptable pets online and being a voice for the voiceless.

Stay Positive – Yes, this will be a difficult time. But we are strong, and together we can provide the animals the healthy, comfortable environment they deserve without sacrificing our mission.

Thank you for your continued support, we are deeply grateful for all of your efforts!