Pet society

ACCT Philly faces crisis as pet abandonment hits record high

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – ACCT Philly juggles multiple crises at once. They are seeing a record number of abandoned pets, which has led to overcrowding.

A respiratory virus has also broken out among the dogs.

The owner of the former Saint Leo School in Tacony generously donated the building for use as an emergency shelter.

ACCT Philly officials have quarantined the exposed dogs from the school.

About six dogs were medically cleared Friday to return to the ACCT Philly hunting park location.

“There are not enough adopters, not enough foster families, and then you have an increase in the number of people giving up their animals for various reasons,” said Sarah Barnett, acting co-executive director of the ‘ACCT Philly. “Some are pandemic-related, some are not. Some people have reached a breaking point and seen many eviction assignments.”

Barnett says animal care at the alternate site is provided by Brandywine Valley SPCA, which provided supplies and staff to help set up and defray some of the costs.

ACCT Philly is also working with the Bissell Pet Foundation, which provided critical additional funds and resources to set up the shelter and support staff.

ACCT shelters have been over capacity for months. Plus, they have a hiring crisis.

More than half of the agency’s 24 animal care positions are vacant.

Barnett says the decision to close was not easy, but was recommended by the organization’s veterinarian and confirmed by disease management, experts from the University of Florida Maddie Shelter Medicine Program and the ‘University of Pennsylvania.

The actions taken are approved by the City of Philadelphia and the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.

“We need the community to come together, and we need more people to solve problems in the community,” Barnett added.

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