Get Involved

There are many ways to save a life!

PAWS was founded in 2005 as a small volunteer group with a dream to make Philadelphia a no-kill city where every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home. We have made incredible strides thanks to caring supporters who get involved however they can, whether adopting, fostering, making contributions of time or funds, and so much more. Join our mission and start saving lives!

The Most Important Ways You Can Make An Impact


Every adoption from PAWS opens up space for us to save another animal in need.

Adopt Now!


Your gift of funds or supplies will truly save lives.

Donate Now!


By opening your home for a few weeks, you’ll change the life of a shelter pet who needs you.

Apply Now!


Volunteers play a central role in every aspect of our work and enable us to save as many lives as we can.

Apply Now!

Join the PAWS Community

Share Your Story

Share your pet’s story and help spread the word about PAWS’ lifesaving efforts. Post your adoption update on social media to inspire others to adopt!

Visit PAWS on Facebook

Attend PAWS Events

From smaller adoption events to our annual Mutt Strut fall festival and Chefs’ Night gala, there’s something for everyone.

See the full calendar

Start a Fundraiser

Create a personalized online fundraising page in minutes to share with friends and raise needed donations for Philadelphia’s animals.

Get Started!

Become A PAWS Partner

Businesses of all kinds play a major role in helping PAWS save lives. Whether you sponsor or host an adoption or fundraising event, donate expertise or supplies, help us reach new audiences to build support, or offer help in another way, you will be serving your community and joining a city-wide effort to make Philadelphia a no-kill city. In return, we can offer branding and promotional opportunities, exposure through our social media channels, and the appreciation of our large and loyal community of supporters.
Become a Partner

Current Partners

Volunteers Welcome!

Share your free time with the animals and help save the lives of pets in need. We’re always looking for volunteers to help in every area of our lifesaving efforts.

Learn More

Become a Foster Parent

Learn More

Make a Gift and Save a Life

Make A One-Time Donation

PAWS is 100% donor-funded. Every animal we save depends on the generosity of our supporters.


Give Monthly

Make the commitment to be a lifesaver all year long.

Give Monthly

Give Another Way

There are many ways to make a difference for the animals who need you.

Learn More

Find Your Newest Family Member

When you adopt a new best friend from PAWS, you are saving a life that might not have had a chance without your kindness.

All Available Dogs
All Available Cats

Join the Conversation

Wanted: Safety Net fosters! Would you like to help a furry family stay together? Shy sisters Penny and Knubbs are looking for a temporary home through PAWS’ Safety Net Program, along with more than a dozen other cats urgently waiting for the same chance!

Many animals entering shelters have owners who are desperate to keep them, and just need a temporary place for them to stay during a difficult transition. By fostering a friendly pet until they can be reunited with their family, you’ll prevent them from permanently losing their loves ones *and* open shelter space for another pet in need!

We currently have a long wait list of cats who are at-risk of permanently losing their families, so if you’re looking for some feline companionship now or in the coming weeks, we’d love to make you a match. PAWS provides veterinary care for foster animals and plenty of guidance and support for you along the way — plus, supplies are available if you need them!

Email to take home Penny and Knubbs, or another cat in need!

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Birds of a feather drink Found Friends together! 🍻🐾

Our pals at Dock Street Brewery recently kicked off the dog days of summer with the re-release of Dock Street Found Friends, a delectable hazy IPA crafted to support PAWS. Beer and animal enthusiasts came together to celebrate at Dock Street South, welcoming both two and four-legged friends. The event featured a brewery tour by Head Brewer and PAWS foster Mark Russel, custom pet portraits by @CharAndWhiskers, dog treats by @TwoCatsAndADogCo, and plenty of delicious beer.

Purchase your own Found Friends at any Dock Street Brewery, and remember: For every 4-pack sold, $1 will be donated to support PAWS’ mission of making Philadelphia a no-kill city! Special thanks to Tom Kretschmer and @6abcactionnews for producing this story.

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Foster urgently needed! Poor Heather is feeling very crummy and is looking for a home to recover in ASAP. We rescued her from @acctphilly after she was found as a stray, and now she’s come down with a pneumonia that’s really wiped her out (although she’s still showing off her lap dog and wigglebutt skills in spite of being sick). We’re doing all we can to make her comfortable at the shelter, but it’s no match for a loving home!

Heather is dog friendly, but is currently looking for a home where she can avoid contact with other dogs since they could catch her illness. If you’d like to take home this friendly 4-6 year old, email with the subject “Heather”!

If this is your first time fostering, you can sign up at through our #linkinbio. PAWS will provide medical care, guidance, and any needed supplies — all you need to provide is lots of love and a caring home ❤️

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Save the date for the 18th Annual PAWS Mutt Strut! Philadelphia’s biggest, must-attend fall festival for dogs and the people who love them is back and better than ever—so mark your calendars now for Saturday, October 5, 2024! 🗓️

This dog walk and fall festival brings thousands of animal lovers together at @navyyardphila for a day of fun activities and games, live music, contests, great food, and so much more, all to raise lifesaving funds for Philadelphia`s homeless pets 🐾

NEW THIS YEAR: quench your thirst at our very first Mutt Strut beer garden, courtesy of our friends at @dockstreetbeer! 🍻

Stay tuned for details on pre-sale tickets in the coming weeks, and email to learn more about sponsorship and vendor opportunities!

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This chatty senior biddy needs a home ASAP! Lady Lanza is recovering from dental surgery, but that won’t stop her from sharing all of her opinions with you. She was found as a stray at 14 years old, and is far too sweet to be spending her golden years at a shelter. She’s dreaming of soft blankets, sunny naps, and gentle pets from someone who loves her❤️

Easy-going and affectionate, Lanza is a true lap cat who would be thrilled to spend her time lounging around with you. If you are looking for a sweet, quiet, and relaxed cat, she’s the girl for you!

Sweet Lady Lanza is looking for a foster or adopter through our Hospice Program. She had a small mass removed from her mouth that turned out to be cancerous, and while there’s a chance it may return down the line, there’s no evidence of that at the moment she’s doing well aside from some temporary discomfort!

If you’d like to transform a senior’s life, email to foster Lanza, or find her on our adoptions page to learn more about making her a part of your family (link in bio)!

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Everyone loves a kitten 😍 But did you know nursing babies who are rescued with their mothers have a harder time finding foster homes? Konya and Betty recently arrived at the shelter with their little ones in tow, and these sweet mamas are still hoping someone will come scoop them up!

The best kept secret of fostering a whole family is that mom does a lot of the work: with just the basics (food, litter, vet care, and love) the kittens will grow healthy, strong, and ready for loving homes. When Mom’s done nursing, she’ll go on to find a family of her own, too!

If you’d like to give a fresh start to one of these families now, or another who needs help as kitten season stretches on this summer, please sign up through our #linkinbio or email for more info!

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PAWS is deeply grateful to The Irving and Phyllis Millstein Foundation for Animal Welfare for their recent grant in support of our lifesaving efforts. The Foundation shares in our passion and dedication to the care of homeless pets and to supporting pet owners. We are especially thankful for their support of PAWS` community clinic fund and our dental care efforts – two of our most essential lifesaving programs.

Dogs like Jackpot, pictured here, are just one recent example of how The Foundation`s generosity saves lives. At 7-years-old, Jackpot was found wandering on his own. He was brought to the city shelter where PAWS rescued him so he could begin his journey back to health. Our medical team diagnosed Jackpot with severe dental disease and provided him with the lifesaving surgery he so desperately needed. His surgery was a success, and Jackpot is now recovering in a loving foster home, awaiting adoption.

The Foundation`s mission is to protect, care for, and support vulnerable, at-risk animals and to address animal-related human conditions, connections, and bonds. Irving and Phyllis valued the human-animal relationship, and the Foundation provides grants and programs that foster and preserve these relationships.

PAWS is grateful for The Irving and Phyllis Millstein Foundation’s generous lifesaving funding; their support is invaluable to our ability to carry out our mission and save lives. To learn more about The Foundation, please visit

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As we celebrate Juneteenth, commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States, we continue to reflect on how inequality and racism affects our work, and how our expanding awareness can continually shape and inform our efforts. The intersection of race, class, and access to resources is central to the discussion: many pet owners in Philadelphia and in communities across the country face significant barriers to the essential services and support they need, and shelter intakes are often a direct reflection of these inequities.

We aim to protect the precious bond that people share with their pets, and we know that reducing the flow of animals into shelters will only be possible when everyone can get the support they need. Keeping pets and their families together means ensuring access to affordable veterinary care, training services, pet food and supplies, and temporary foster care through efforts like our Safety Net Program.

For these reasons, PAWS` locations are OPEN today, so that we can make great adoption matches, offer affordable, accessible veterinary care, and provide pet owners with other vital support. However, we also observe the holiday: staff members get a "floating holiday" instead, allowing us to provide services while also encouraging our team to mark the occasion in a way that is meaningful to them.

If you`d like to contribute to these discussions at PAWS, we invite you to reach out! Please contact us at

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What were these pups made for? To be loved by you, of course. 🩷 Our three newest rescues from the city shelter really need to move out of our shelter and into foster care. We know a foster home would make a world of difference as they undergo medical treatment and decompress...can you help?

🐾 Heather: This 4-year-old had a rough start after arriving from the city shelter and suffered a vaccine reaction, spending a night in emergency care. With medication and TLC, she’s feeling much better, but she’d be even happier in a foster home. Before her spay, she needs a “glow-up” for her itchy skin and ears, so she’s currently getting ear drops, antibiotics, anti-fungals, and medicated baths.

🐶 Nelly Furtado: This 8-year-old was surrendered after her owner passed away, and she’s been a hit with everyone at PAWS. This friendly girl is social with people and playful with other dogs. She’s on pain meds for her front legs and needs an accessible foster home with minimal stairs. We’re unsure about her history with cats, so any foster home should plan for slow introductions.

🌴 Mama Bahama: This 6-year-old is full of spunk. Great with kids, dogs, and cats, she’s a loving, housebroken, and crate-trained pup. She was surrendered after her owner fell ill and would be much happier in a home, like she’s accustomed to.

Please email if you can help.

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No one puts Baby in the corner...unless it’s @philadelphiaflyers Head Coach Tortorella! 🏒🐾

Our adorable 1.5-year-old pup, Baby Girl, recently took the trip of a lifetime with her foster mom and PAWS staff to hang with Coach Torts at the Wells Fargo Center! Baby Girl and Torts hung out in the Flyers’ locker room, discussing the importance of pet adoption and supporting animal welfare organizations like PAWS, all as part of ESPN’s Stanley Pup.

As you can see from this clip, Baby Girl is super friendly, curious, and full of happy-go-lucky energy. She couldn`t help but check out every corner of that locker room! Known for her zoomies in the morning, love of long walks, and penchant for snuggling with her people, she’s always bringing joy. Her foster mom says she runs at such an impressive speed to greet them after work that she often ends up sliding across the floor! Her enthusiastic and goofy energy is contagious, and the lucky person who adopts her will have a built-in happiness maker.

Baby Girl is cat and dog friendly, and would love to live with animals that like to play and snuggle. She has excitable high energy, so we think she would do best in a home with older, dog-savvy children who don’t mind getting the best slobbery kisses!

Ready to draft Baby Girl as your star player? Submit an application at the link in bio.

#philadelphiaflyers #rescuedismyfavoritebreed #philadelphia

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PAWS’ June volunteer spotlight is Elyse Littman! Elyse began volunteering over a year ago, but it feels like she has been with us for much longer! She is a staple in our cat room and has a regular weekly shift and even takes extra shifts each week.

"Since being retired and a recent empty nester, I enjoy picking up shifts 2 to 3 times a week," says Elyse, "I feel that sense of purpose and satisfaction again. Cats and dogs have always been a part of my life and have brought me so much comfort and happiness that it is my honor to give back. The staff at paws are caring, friendly and give individual attention to each animal which is really special in a shelter environment."

Along with volunteering in the shelter, Elyse also does transport for PAWS! She takes animals to our adoption center, make sure that supplies get where they need to go and has even helped with our Philly Loves PAWS event. She is always ready to jump in where help is needed most! "I love being at the clinic and being a part of the cats` journey from arrival and medical treatment to foster homes or adoption center. I also get a lot of satisfaction when transporting cats from Grays ferry to PAC knowing I am helping get them closer to a forever home!"

We are so lucky to have Elyse and hope she volunteers with us for many years to come!

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