ACCT Philly volunteers say conditions inside are deplorable

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It did look clean inside the Animal Control and Care Team building in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia on Friday, where thousands of animals come through each year.

However, we spoke to numerous volunteers who say it's typically not like that.

They say soiled kennels can't be kept up with and the drainage system can't handle the urine and wash water.

Cages routinely break, as do the washers and dryers they depend on to clean everything.

Jessica Graaf of the Philly Bully Team Rescue said, "There's usually pools of urine on the floor."

Andrea Sunderland has been a volunteer at the shelter for five years.

"We have a mouse problem in there," she said.

Maria Termini, a volunteer of six years, said, "There is no isolation area, so sick animals are housed with not-sick animals."

On Friday, we got a chance to speak with Executive Director Susan Russell. She's in charge and says she and her staff are doing their best.

"We're definitely doing our best. We do a deep cleaning every morning with the dogs," Russell said.

The volunteers agree.

"I think Susan is great. She's super hands-on," said Graaf.

"This is by no means her problem. She inherited this building," said Sunderland.

Rather, they say it's a lack of funding by the city, and effort over the years by the board to fundraise.

"What this has to do with is a city that has turned a blind eye to this," said Termini.

We reached out to the ACCT board.

They gave us these stats below:
FY19 operating budget for ACCT was $4.2 million, $100,000 increase requested for FY20 operating budget

Since the start of the Kenney administration, $500,000 in city capital was allotted for improvements to kennels and the adoption center.

Another $165,000 in capital funding has been allotted for kennels in the FY20 capital budget.

$750,000 allotted for a new roof in the FY20 capital budget

The City provided additional emergency resources over the past four weeks to assist with the recent URI outbreak

Office of Emergency Management, Fleet, and Public Property all provided personnel and equipment to assist ACCT.

Tents, generators, fuel, and other materials were acquired to support quarantine efforts

Regarding the Board: "Four new members have been added over the past six months. They each bring diverse experience and expertise, including fundraising."
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