Northeast Times

To the rescue…

PAWS is opening a new location in the Northeast that offers an adoption center and a wellness clinic.

  • On a local level: The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society will open its third city location at 1810 Grant Ave. on Friday. PHOTOS COURTESY OF PAWS

  • On a local level: The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society will open its third city location at 1810 Grant Ave. on Friday. PHOTOS COURTESY OF PAWS

  • On a local level: The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society will open its third city location at 1810 Grant Ave. on Friday. PHOTOS COURTESY OF PAWS

Ima­gine a place where you can go to find the per­fect pet to add to your fam­ily. Or how great would it be to find a place to take your buddy so he or she can get everything needed to stay healthy.

That place is hav­ing its grand open­ing Fri­day. Phil­adelphia An­im­al Wel­fare So­ci­ety, bet­ter known as PAWS, is open­ing its third city loc­a­tion at 1810 Grant Ave.

The 5,700-square-foot fa­cil­ity will com­prise two sec­tions. The first will be a massive ad­op­tion cen­ter where po­ten­tial fam­il­ies can come and spend time with ad­opt­able dogs and cats. Most of the an­im­als will be pulled from An­im­al Care and Con­trol Team in Hunt­ing Park and will be moved in­to PAWS’ no-kill shel­ter.

The second part will con­sist of a well­ness clin­ic that will serve ba­sic needs for an­im­als who need med­ic­al care. The fea­tured ser­vice offered will be low-cost spay and neu­ter­ing, which will mean few­er home­less dogs and cats in the fu­ture.

“When we opened our loc­a­tion in Grays Ferry (four years ago), we knew our next one would be in the North­east,” said PAWS Ex­ec­ut­ive Dir­ect­or Melissa Levy, a South Phil­adelphia nat­ive. “There’s a need for it there. There are a lot of people who would want to add a dog or a cat to their home, and there is a need for people to get vet care.

“It’s not a soup-to-nuts op­er­a­tion, but it’s a place where you can get spay or neutered or ba­sic needs for pets.”

Ba­sic needs in­clude all vac­cin­a­tions, up­per res­pir­at­ory in­fec­tions or vari­ous oth­er com­mon ail­ments pets pick up. The re­duced costs of al­ter­ing cats will be $60, while dogs will cost between $90 and $175, de­pend­ing on the size of the an­im­al. All in­clude shots and vac­cin­a­tions.

“Some­times, people don’t have the money to get their an­im­als the care needed,” Levy said. “The last thing we want people to do is to sur­render an an­im­al be­cause they can’t af­ford med­ic­al care. This keeps pets in a lov­ing home.”

PAWS has done a lot since it opened its first build­ing six years ago. Two years later came the Grays Ferry low-cost clin­ic. The reas­on the group is able to do this is be­cause of gen­er­ous donors. In fact, the non­profit is fun­ded solely by sup­port­ers.

“Our goal is to make Phil­adelphia a no-kill city. But shel­ters take in a lot of dogs. Our goal is to help as many as pos­sible,” Levy said. 

PAWS says its goal for the North­east loc­a­tion is to find homes for 1,000 an­im­als the first year and provide health care for 7,000 pets. It opens Fri­day, and to start, it will be closed on Sundays and Mondays.

“We will soon be open sev­en days a week,” Levy said.

And while the health care will be nice, PAWS will be the first shel­ter in the North­east that houses pets.

Levy said the large space at the new loc­a­tion will provide people a place to come to meet po­ten­tial pets. You won’t have to see the dog or cat in a cage. You’ll be able to in­ter­act with them and get a good idea if the pet is a per­fect match. It will also give the an­im­als a chance to pick their ad­op­ter. After all, that’s just as im­port­ant.

“You want to have a good fit, and this will give them a chance to find out if it is,” Levy said. 

And while Phil­adelphia still has a lot of work to do be­fore it be­comes a no-kill city, PAWS’ ex­pan­sion will likely help put a big dent in the num­ber of an­im­als who face eu­thanas­ia.

“There are a lot of great people, vo­lun­teers and oth­ers who are do­ing everything they can to save as many an­im­als as pos­sible,” Levy said. “I’m proud to see how far it’s come.

“I’m very happy to see how ser­i­ously so many people take this, and I’m very happy it’s com­ing to the North­east. Every­one is ex­cited about it.” ••

For in­form­a­tion on PAWS, vis­it www.philly­paws.org

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