Mayor Kenney vowed his support and voiced his appreciation Wednesday for the city's leading animal welfare organizations' effort to make the Philadelphia a city of no-kill shelters.

In a room filled with animal activists attending a news conference, the mayor praised the "Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition."

The groups that formed the coalition "share a common goal in ending euthanasia. Now the leaders in the community have come together to work toward this common goal."

While he does not have a pet, the mayor said he lives in a building where many residents have animals that enrich their lives.

Also at the news conference were Missy, a friendly black cat, and Ferny, a pit bull mix. Both are looking for homes.

Each year, thousands of adoptable animals are euthanized when shelters overflow.

Last year, about 82 percent of the 18,000 cats and dogs housed by the city's official shelter, the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia, survived — a dramatic increase from 2005, when nearly 90 percent of the animals brought to the city shelter were euthanized.

In addition to the city shelter, the coalition includes the Philadelphia Animal Welfare SocietyPennsylvania SPCA, and 10 other organizations. To get the effort started, the group received a $178,000 grant from PetSmart Charities. The money will be used, in part, to hire a worker at the city's shelter to work with owners who want to surrender an animal.