Philadelphia Department of Public Health. On September 17, the Health Department issued an open bid for the animal control contract. The new contract will take effect on January 1, 2009. The request for a new vendor explicitly defines animal control responsibilities as “accepting and humanely disposing of up to 30,000 unwanted pets per year.”

Accepting and disposing… ummm…. ok, where is there anything that says they need to facilitate or attempt to facilitate placement of animals in new homes or rescues? All it says is that they have to take them and kill them and get rid of them! This is beyond disgraceful!

PACCA currently holds the contract and has since 2005. Their contract run through June of 2009. When they got the contract in 2005, there was an 11% save rate which means almost 90% of the animals that came in were killed. Now, PACCA working with PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society), has increased the save rate to 60%. When you look at what they started with, it’s an incredible improvement! And their ultimate goal is 100%, a no-kill Philadelphia, a city in which a home is found for every healthy and treatable animal.

PACCA has fought to include lifesaving efforts as an integral part of animal control, including: adoption outreach, foster care, volunteerism, collaboration with rescue and shelter partners, and spay/neuter services. Under the City’s new proposal, collecting and “disposing” of homeless animals is all that is required.

We cannot go back. We must demand that the Health Department rescind this “catch and kill” language and propose an animal control contract that requires lifesaving activities and sets minimum lifesaving achievements, with a starting place of 60%, the current level, so that the progress of the last three years continues.

Mayor Nutter and City leaders must be told that we will not allow the pets we love to be cast aside and disposed of like garbage. If you believe it is wrong for thousands of additional innocent animals to be killed, please make your voice heard. The future of Philadelphia’s animals, those lucky enough to be in a loving home, and those whose lives depend on finding one, is in your hands.

What Can You Do?

Philadelphia Residents
Click here to send a fax to Mayor Nutter and City Council members.

Click here to find your City Council representatives and contact them via phone, email, and U.S. Mail.

Non-Philadelphia Residents
If you live outside the city, you are still encouraged to contact City Council members. Mention any connection you have to Philadelphia (born here, family who lives here, work or do business here, went to school here, etc.). Even if you don’t have any connection to Philadelphia, let Council members know how you feel and why you are moved to speak out. Contact information for all members of City Council can be found here.

Call Mayor Nutter: 215-686-2181.

Message to Mayor Nutter and City leaders (cut and paste into your own document):

I am outraged and appalled that the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is signing a death sentence for thousands of animals. The lifesaving achievements of the last three years are to celebrated and furthered, not abandoned. We will not go back to a time when most homeless animals are killed. Classifying them simply as objects to be collected and disposed of like garbage is unacceptable. We demand that the Health Department rescind its current request for proposal for animal control services and rewrite it to require lifesaving. The agency that holds this contract must achieve progressive save rates, with a starting place of 60%, the current level, so Philadelphia continues moving closer to the goal of guaranteeing a home for every healthy and treatable pet. We will not allow this city to turn its back on Philadelphia’s animals.

For more information, see PAWS website where this information comes from.

Enough animals die every year because of lack of homes and lack of care, don’t let Philadelphia add 30, 000 more to that already far too excessive number of deaths!

Animal Welfare is everyone’s responsibilty! Even if it’s not your city or state today, it may be tomorrow and you may want to the help of everyone, will you be able to say you helped them? I live in Wisconsin, but I don’t let this stop me from trying to help, from trying to get the word out, from writing, calling and emailing. It is OUR responsibility to speak up for those without a voice, no matter where!

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