The decrease in foster homes has resulted in the shelters being at capacity

In response to Philadelphia shelters being full, the city’s three largest animal care organizations ‒ ACCT Philly, PAWS, and the Pennsylvania SPCA ‒ have teamed up to launch the Foster a Philly Pet campaign. The goal is to sign up 500 new foster parents this summer to save lives by providing temporary homes for pets in need.

ACCT Philly, the only open intake animal shelter and animal care and control provider in Philadelphia, is at capacity, and more animals are arriving each day. Summer is the busiest time of the year for shelters, and foster homes have decreased by 30 percent, leaving the organization with less space for animals in need. 

“We rely heavily on foster homes and rescue partners to help with placing our animals, and the decrease in fosters that we and rescues are facing has really hit us hard,” says Aurora Velazquez, Executive Director of ACCT Philly. “We’re excited to be teaming up with PSPCA and PAWS on this new campaign to help save more lives. Whether it’s fostering for ACCT Philly, PAWS or PSPCA, it will enable more of the animals we take in to find loving homes, and help reduce the stress of the animals in our care.” 

“It is only by coming together that we can ensure every savable animal in Philadelphia has a live outcome,” says Julie Klim, CEO of the Pennsylvania SPCA. “The Pennsylvania SPCA, ACCT Philly and PAWS are coming together and asking the citizens of Philadelphia to also come together to step up to foster. Together, we can save so many lives and move toward the day when Philadelphia is a no-kill city.”

“Our lifesaving work depends on fosters more than ever. By opening your home for a short time, you can save a life and make room in a shelter for another pet who desperately needs that space,” says Melissa Levy, Executive Director of PAWS. “Fostering is an incredibly rewarding experience that changes so many lives for the better ‒ the pet you rescue, the one who takes its place, and the families who eventually adopt them.”

Community members can sign up to foster with any of the three organizations at Fosters are needed for dogs and cats of all ages, from bottle babies and litters of kittens who just need a small quiet space to become strong enough for adoption, to dogs and cats who would love a break from the shelter or are recovering from medical treatment. Basic supplies are provided to fosters, and those who are not in a position to foster are encouraged to donate supplies that other fosters can use. 

Every time an animal is placed into a caring foster home, space is freed up at ACCT Philly for another stray or surrendered pet who needs it. The situation is dire, with kennels intended for one dog having to be split to house two at ACCT Philly, and dozens of animals being dropped off daily.

About ACCT Philly: ACCT Philly is a nonprofit organization and the only open intake and animal care and control provider in Philadelphia. ACCT Philly’s mission is to provide shelter, care and life saving efforts for homeless, abandoned, and abused animals. The organization takes in more than 15,000 animals annually, and operates adoption, foster and rescue programs, in addition to providing the community with owner surrender prevention resources. You can learn more about ACCT Philly at and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About PAWS: PAWS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving Philadelphia’s homeless at at-risk pets. As the city’s largest rescue partner and provider of affordable, basic veterinary care, PAWS saves and finds loving homes for thousands of homeless animals each year, and enables thousands more families to care for and keep their cherished pets. PAWS is working to make Philadelphia a no-kill city where every savable pet is guaranteed a home. To learn more, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

About the Pennsylvania SPCA: Since 1867, the Pennsylvania SPCA, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization headquartered at 350 East Erie Avenue, Philadelphia, has been dedicated to preventing animal cruelty and rescuing animals from abuse and neglect. The Pennsylvania SPCA’s lifesaving programs for animals include a low-cost veterinary clinic, low-cost spay and neuter services, pet adoption facilities, and the Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. For more information about adopting, donating or volunteering, please call (215) 426.6300 or visit