Shelter Me: Morris Animal Refuge

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This week's Shelter Me features an institution for animal rescue here in Philadelphia. Matt O'Donnell takes us to the Morris Animal Refuge. (WPVI)

Morris Animal Refuge in Center City is America's first animal shelter.

They opened their doors in 1874 and are still operating in Elizabeth Morris' original house.

"Elizabeth Morris, who was part of Philadelphia historical Morris family, really loved animals and wanted to help and take care of them," says Executive Director of Morris Animal Refuge, Lewis Checchia.

Today, the non-profit shelter relies solely on the public's support.

The neighborhood van was donated to the rescue and serves as their lifeline, connecting them to different events and fundraisers.

"It's really the heartbeat of our shelter," Checchia says.

Their 6th annual pumpkin smash at City Tap House in University City showcased some of their adoptable dogs.

"Proceeds from every pumpkin beer sold are going to go towards Morris to kind of help those guys with their fantastic mission as a no kill shelter," says City Tap House Brand Director, Andy Farrell.

Benny has a newly discovered food allergy that was making him very itchy.

"With us, he is getting medicated baths so he's looking so much better," says Events Coordinator at Morris Animal Refuge, Sofie Samul.

Now, he's ready to find an owner to curl up next to.

Ricky is a highly trainable mutt, eager for a new home.

"Ricky is an 11 month old mix breed. As you can see he has a lot of energy," Checcia says.
Little Lemon was a stray along with her mother and siblings, she is fitting for any feline fanatic.

"She's an 8 week old kitten and she's adorable," says Checcia.

And Peony is a 5-month old kitten, who showed up to the shelter on Columbus Day. After being spade and vaccinated, she is ready to go to a good home.

If you're interested in any of the animals featured in this report, you can visit the Morris Animal Refuge website.
And, if you'd like us to share your shelter success stories, post a picture to the FYI Philly Facebook page using #6abcshelterme and tell us where you adopted your pet and how much they mean to you.

We'll be featuring your stories on upcoming Shelter Me segments.
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