Red Paw, Philly's emergency response team for pets, shutting down

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The country's only 24-hour emergency response team for pets is ending its services and it says the pandemic is partially to blame.

The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team in Philadelphia announced on Wednesday that after nine years of rescuing animals from fires and floods it's closing down.

COO Lori Albright says the nonprofit was already being run by a very small team of dedicated volunteers.

These tough times have made fundraising a challenge and ultimately the 24/7 services were no longer financially sustainable.

Albright says she hoped to merge her organization with the Philadelphia Fire Department but the pandemic's strain on the city budget made that nearly impossible.

"We were moving in this direction before the pandemic," Albright said. "We needed to the city to be doing well, we needed the ideal circumstances to all come together in order for this to work."

Red Paw is initiating transitioning plans.

On October 1 services will officially be discontinued.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.