ACCT Pen Pals

The Pen Pals is a life saving program of the Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia.

*Give long-term resident dogs special one-on-one socialization and enrichment to improve their quality of life while living at the shelter.
* Make long-term resident dogs more adoptable through enhanced socialization and skill training.
* Expand adoption opportunities for long-term residents through creative, consistent, wide-reaching promotion and marketing.
* Ensure successful “forever home” through individualized pre-adoption screening and post-adoption follow up and support.

The ACCT Shelter has a number of dogs who have been waiting longer than others for an adoptive home. These dogs are smart, loving, healthy, behaviorally adoptable dogs who, after spending so long in the shelter environment, may not appear as adoptable. These “long term residents” often exhibit depression or kennel stress, hurting their chances at adoption. There are also many dogs who, due to their breed or presence in the kennel, tend to be overlooked by adopters. The ACCT Life Saving Department’s Pen Pal Program aims to improve the quality of life for these dogs and prioritize their adoption.

The Pen Pal Program pairs up dedicated volunteers with their assigned dog for one-on-one socialization and enrichment through obedience training and outings away from the shelter. For example, Pen Pals dogs go on group hikes in the woods, are invited to special off-site activities, and are included in fun photo-shoots by volunteer professional photographers! Potential adopters then work one-on-one with the dog’s Pen Pal volunteer, who knows the animal on a personal level, to make sure the adoption is the right fit for the dog and family. Pen Pal volunteers also act as a support system for the adoptive family, providing post-adoption follow up to help the dog transition successfully into its new home. Since its inception in December 2009, the Pen Pal Program has helped over 1300 dogs find loving foster, adoptive and rescue placement! Check out our photo albums to see the faces of the lives we've saved and updates from their new families!

Visit our YouTube Channel here:

111 W Hunting Park Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19140
United States

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