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

The animal welfare agency says adoption rates have been down and surrenders are up.

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Saturday, July 9, 2022
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"Animals come in every single day from situations of cruelty and neglect and we never get to say no, we don't ever want to say no," said the manager of life-saving for the PSPCA.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Pennsylvania SPCA held a "Really Big Adoption Event" Saturday where the nearly 200 dogs, cats, bunnies and guinea pigs could be adopted for only $5.

The animal welfare agency says adoption rates have been down and surrenders are up. Because of that, the shelters have been overcrowded and they need to get their animals into permanent homes.

"Animals come in every single day from situations of cruelty and neglect and we never get to say no, we don't ever want to say no. So, we have animals coming in and we need animals to leave so we can make room for the animals coming in," said Madeleine Bernstein, who's the manager of life-saving for the PSPCA.

Bernstein said the current pandemic circumstances have been difficult for shelters and inflation is taking its toll, too.

"It was COVID and things were really hard with work and stuff but I got past it and I made a savings goal so I could get a new dog," said Patricia Chatman, of North Philadelphia.

Chatman said she browsed the shelter's website and came up with a plan.

"I'm hoping to get someone who's going to jump and hop and scream every time they see me. I want a little yapper," she said.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Echols looked for cats.

"We've got everything all set up. We have litter pans and 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 helps.

"Everyone's having a hard time. It's just a hard time in animal welfare right now," said Bernstein.

The PSPCA isn't the only shelter experiencing overcrowding. ACCT Philly also ran out of kennels this week. Both agencies say they need people willing to foster to ease some of that strain.