If you’ve thought of adopting a new furry friend, now’s a good time — for you and the shelter community.
Earlier in May, dogs at ACCT Philly, the city’s shelter for strays and surrenders, started suffering from a severe upper respiratory infection that spread rapidly. Some dogs became seriously ill; a few died. To contain the virus while ACCT treats its animals, other shelters have stepped in, including the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Philly headquarters.
“This happens to many shelters. Like kids in a classroom, one gets a cold and then they all get it,” said PSPCA CEO Julie Klim. “The severity of this instance makes it a little more rare.”
Since May 19, the Erie Avenue SPCA has taken in more than 100 animals — about three times its average intake.
This time of year is already one of the PSPCA’s busiest. Many people move starting in June, causing an uptick in intakes. Meanwhile, adoption rates decrease as people plan around vacation. On top of that, summer is prime cat-mating season, meaning shelters are swarmed with kittens in addition to strays and surrenders.
Now, however, Philly’s SPCA is at capacity. To clear its decks for more dogs and cats, it will waive adoption fees this weekend, May 31 to June 2, on animals that have been at the shelter for two weeks or more.
Typical SPCA adoption fees for cats fall between $50 and $125, and between $75 to $350 for dogs. The price varies based on factors like an animal’s age, medical history, and length of time at the shelter. At the highest end of that range are puppies, none of which have lingered at the shelter for more than two weeks.
“The shelter is stressful for animals, so we really want to incentivize adoptions for those that have been here longer,” says Klim. That includes what are considered “Good Samaritan” dogs, like Labs, retrievers, German Shepherds, and Shih-Tzus — which often have adoption fees as high as $300.
All free weekend adoptions include a medical examination, spay and neuter, microchipping, and standard shots.