Pennsylvania SPCA offers $5 adoption fee to help clear the shelters

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Pennsylvania SPCA held a “Really Big Adoption Event” Saturday, where nearly 200 dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs could be adopted for as little as $5.

The Animal Welfare Agency says adoption rates have fallen and surrenders have risen. Because of this, animal shelters are overcrowded and they need to move their animals to permanent homes.

“Animals come out of situations of cruelty and neglect every day and we can never say no, we never want to say no. So we have animals coming in and we have to leave animals so we can make room for the animals coming in,” said Madeleine Bernstein, the PSPCA’s manager of lifesaving.

Bernstein said the current circumstances of the pandemic have been difficult for emergency shelters and inflation is also taking its toll.

“It was COVID and things were really tough with work and stuff, but I got through it and set a savings goal so I can get a new dog,” said Patricia Chatman of North Philadelphia.

Chatman said she searched the shelter’s website and came up with a plan.

“I’m hoping to get someone who jumps and hops and screams every time they see me. I want a little barker,” she said.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Echols was looking for cats.

“We have prepared everything. We have litter boxes, dishes and toys, so we’re helpful,” said Echols of Ridley Park.

Shelter workers say the hard times are far from over, but they hope this event will help.

“Everyone has a hard time. It’s a tough time in animal welfare right now,” Bernstein said.

The PSPCA isn’t the only shelter that’s overflowing. ACCT Philly also ran out of kennels this week. Both agencies say they need people willing to fund to ease some of that burden.

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