Behavioral Counseling and Support

When pet owners don’t know where to turn, PAWS’ team is  here to respond to requests for assistance and offer support in hopes of making pet retention possible by offering training and behavioral counseling.

In 2021, PAWS took a major step toward expanding our community support services by creating two new positions: a Dog Program Manager and a Cat Program Manager. Among other responsibilities, these team members respond to surrender requests and offer support and alternatives in hopes of making pet retention possible. They speak with distressed pet owners, identify their specific needs, and connect them with available services. In some cases, a referral to our medical team for veterinary care may be in order. But in many others, it may be helpful to offer training and behavioral counseling, and to provide related supplies and resources. Staff members allocate time weekly for case management, to ensure that clients receive needed care and that any next steps are planned for and carried out. Additionally, both the Dog Program Manager and Cat Program Manager have built relationships with dog trainers and cat behavior specialists who offer discounted or subsidized services to our clients. The issues they address are far easier to resolve in an existing home, rather than after an animal has been shuttled through the shelter system and into an unfamiliar home.

Meet the Team

Spike Dougherty, CPDT-KA

Spike has extensive experience working with dogs in both shelter and home environments and comes to PAWS as a certified professional dog trainer. In addition to other responsibilities as the Dog Program and Animal Care Manager, Spike provides training support and counseling for fosters and dog owners from the community in-need of additional support.


If you, or someone you know, needs assistance, please email

Alley Cagnazzi

Alley comes to PAWS with years of experience in animal welfare in Philadelphia and has built relationships with community cat caregivers across the city. In her role as Cat Resource Manager, Alley supports fosters, cat owners, and feral cat colony caretakers to access the support needed to keep cats out of shelters.


If you, or someone you know, needs assistance, please email


Affordable Veterinary Care

Shelter intake has always been tied to lack of access to affordable veterinary care. Often, all it takes is basic care – at an average cost of $100 – to make the difference between life and death, or to prevent the escalation of a medical issue that could lead to the pet being brought to a shelter by their overwhelmed owner.

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Pet Food Pantry

No one should have to decide between feeding themselves or their pet, so we’ve partnered with human service organizations and in-kind donors to provide pet food, litter, and basic supplies to our neighbors that need them.

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Safety Net Foster Page

For many surrendering owners, a few weeks or months of cat or dog care are all that stand in the way of keeping their cherished pets.

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