By the Numbers

Leading Philadelphia to Become a No-Kill City


Every year, PAWS serves more animals than we did the year before, and we will continue until Philadelphia is a place where every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home. Our efforts are working: fewer pets are entering city shelters and more lives are being saved than ever before.

Lives Saved

As Philadelphia’s largest rescue partner, PAWS saves at-risk animals, primarily from the city’s animal control shelter, provides all the veterinary care they need, and finds them loving homes. We focus on populations least likely to survive: adult dogs, cats with treatable illnesses, fragile kittens too young for adoption, and animals with injuries or other special medical needs.
Note: Chart totals also include small animals, which we began rescuing in 2022.

2,378 Rescued in 2023
Dogs

0
Cats

0
39,947 Rescued to Date
Dogs

0
Cats

0

Pets Served In Our Clinics

PAWS’ two clinics keep families together and prevent pet homelessness by providing a crucial safety net: affordable basic veterinary care to those who cannot otherwise access it. With 1 in 4 of Philadelphia’s 1.5 million residents living below the poverty line and hundreds of thousands more struggling to make ends meet, PAWS helps pet owners keep and care for their beloved pets rather than face having to surrender them to a shelter. 

28,723 Served in 2023
Grays Ferry

0
Northeast

0
365,787 Served to Date
Grays Ferry (opened 2010)

0
Northeast (opened 2014)

0

Spay/Neuter Surgeries Performed

By providing affordable spay/neuter for owned pets, community cats, and animals in the care of other rescue organizations, PAWS curbs the birth of unwanted litters, prevents health conditions that lead to shelter surrender, humanely manages outdoor cat populations, and reduces the number of pets needing to be rescued.

13,786 Spay/Neuters in 2023
Grays Ferry

0
Northeast

0
147,914 Spay/Neuters To Date
Grays Ferry

0
Northeast

0

Fewer Pets Becoming Homeless

As a result of community-wide efforts, the number of stray and surrendered pets entering Philadelphia's animal control shelter has declined by nearly half since PAWS began. Spay/neuter, owner support, and rescue/rehoming alternatives are essential and growing elements of what has become a robust animal welfare movement in our city.

Magnifying the national trend, Philadelphia shelter intake climbed sharply in 2023 due to mounting community hardship in the aftermath of the pandemic. Rigorous efforts to support pet owners in keeping their beloved pets is needed to stem the flow of animals into shelters, and therefore is a core focus of PAWS' efforts.
2011
30139
2013
28502
2015
23605
2017
17946
2019
15567
2021
14200
2022
13955
2023
16724
Animal Intake 100 100

Rising Citywide Lifesaving Rates

The goal of all PAWS' programs is to increase the lifesaving rate at Philadelphia's animal control shelter, with the ultimate goal of ensuring survival for every savable pet. While we have much work to do, the current save rate of 86% is a world away from the abysmal 11% that prompted PAWS' founding 17 years ago. The dip in 2022-2023 can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the sharp rise in intake due to the long-term effects of the pandemic. (Approximately 93% will signify no-kill, since 6-8% of animals entering the shelter are unsavable due to severe medical or behavioral issues.)
2011
60
2013
66
2015
78
2017
83
2019
87
2021
89
2022
87
2023
86
ACCT Live Release Rate (%) 100 100

Shelter Statistics

PAWS is a limited-admission, no-kill shelter. We rescue dogs and cats primarily from Philadelphia’s animal control shelter based on available space in our facilities and foster homes, and on our ability to provide proper care for animals’ behavioral and medical needs. Once we rescue an animal, we remain committed to its care until we can find it an appropriate, loving adoptive home. PAWS only euthanizes animals who are suffering from untreatable illnesses/injuries, or whose behavior would make them a danger to the public if released.

There is more work to be done.

Together with like-minded organizations and a vast and caring community of animal lovers, PAWS is leading the effort to save and serve the city's most vulnerable pets. With each passing month, we move closer to our goal: a no-kill city, where every savable pet in Philadelphia is guaranteed a home.
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