Community Rushes To Save Animal Shelter — But It Still Needs Help

Last week, the Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly) experienced every shelter's worst nightmare: It ran out of room.

On Thursday, the shelter had to euthanize a nearly unprecedented 22 dogs because the kennels were full and nobody was stepping up to adopt them. Desperate to avoid putting anymore to sleep, shelter staff sent a plea out to the community: Please come help them.

And the community did just that. On Saturday, dozens of people showed up to rescue the vulnerable dogs and cats, whose adoption fees had been removed or cut in half. A photo shows the shelter's hallway filled with potential adopters, the long line of people happily waiting for their chance to save a life.

"This a photo that volunteer, Holly Dixon, took of the LONG line of people waiting to adopt dogs today at the Philadelphia city shelter," Fox reporter Dawn Timmeney wrote on Facebook. "It is so heartwarming to see, after the heartbreaking news that ACCT Philly had to put down 22 sweet dogs on Thursday because it was out of space."

According to the shelter, 52 dogs were saved, with 34 being adopted and the rest pulled by rescue groups or fosters. The shelter processed more than 100 adoption applications, with some people receiving vouchers to come back later to pick out their dog.

"Words can't describe our gratitude!" ACCT Philly wrote on Facebook on Saturday night. "Huge thanks to our volunteers, foster parents, rescue partners and friends in the media for making these dogs' wishes of a second chance come true!"

"Here's hoping tomorrow is another awe-inspiring day of lifesaving," the group added.

Through the end of Sunday, big dogs and adult cats are free to loving homes and smaller dogs have had their adoption fees cut in half. If you'd like to help save these animals, you can email or visit the shelter.