PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- About 50 protesters gathered outside Philadelphia City Hall late Wednesday demanding Mayor Jim Kenney and the city to provide more funding for the Animal Care and Control Team.
The protestors, some carrying signs and placards, say ACCT Philly is the most underfunded animal care organization among cities comparable to Philadelphia.
They say deplorable conditions at the Hunting Park facility are to blame for a recent outbreak of upper respiratory ailments among dogs in the shelter. The outbreak caused the agency to house dogs in tents outside the building to keep dogs in isolation. Protesters say the facility does not have its own isolation unit and that the building is in bad shape.
The mayor's officer released this statement to Action News:
"The administration is committed to the safety and wellbeing of animals in the City of Philadelphia. As our budget is developed each year, we must carefully consider all of the needs that exist across our city and allocate funds accordingly. While we have many pressing needs that need to be addressed in the upcoming year, we have made significant commitments to increasing funding for ACCT.
Since the start of our administration, more than $500,000 in City capital funding has been allotted for improvements to kennels and the construction of a new adoption center. An additional $165,000 in capital funding has been allotted for new kennels and $750,000 for a new roof in the FY20 capital budget. The City also covers the cost of ACCT's rent and utilities, as well as the fuel and maintenance for seven vehicles, which is worth $371,500 of in-kind support annually. Finally, we added $100,000 for ACCT's operating budget in FY20, which is still awaiting final approval from City Council. If approved, the Kenney Administration will have increased the City's support for ACCT by $300,000 over FY16 levels (+7.4%).
We will continue to support ACCT Philly to the best of our abilities, prioritizing the health and safety of the animals in ACCT's care, as well as the staff and volunteers who help care for them."
Protesters outside City Hall demanding more money for ACCT