Philadelphia’s adoptable animals need you! Whether you’re ready to adopt a new furry family member or just wondering how you can help, there are plenty of ways you can support Philadelphia’s Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) and the dogs and cats they care for.

ACCT only has a limited number of kennels in their shelter, which means when the shelter is full, every dog becomes urgent. Here’s how you can help ACCT make sure that every dog and cat is cared for and can be adopted out!

If you can lend a hand a few times a month…

Become an ACCT Volunteer!

Shelter volunteer opportunities include anything from walking dogs and socializing cats to distributing supplies and doing shelter laundry. You can sign up as an individual or with a group. Are you good at taking photos? ACCT also works with photographers who are willing to volunteer their time to take quality photos of adoptable dogs and cats for the ACCT adoption website. Learn more about ACCT’s volunteer opportunities.


If you’re looking to spend some quality one-on-one time with a dog…

Join the Pen Pal Program

This program pairs dedicated volunteers with specific dogs for one-on-one experiences such as obedience training and field trips away from the shelter. For example, Pen Pal dogs go on group hikes in the woods and other special off-site activities!

The Pen Pal program focuses on dogs who have been at the shelter for longer than most of the other dogs. These shelter dogs are overlooked by adopters for a variety of reasons such as the appearance of being depressed or exhibiting anxiety that can be off-putting to potential adoptive families. By taking them out of the shelter and giving them some real-world experiences, these dogs can return to the shelter acting more like the lovable, smart, healthy dogs they are. Learn more about the Pen Pal Program.


If you’re able to commit to caring for an animal for a few weeks or many months…

Become a foster volunteer!

Fostering animals provides a temporary home for dogs and cats due to overcrowding in the shelter or to help animals whose current health conditions are not manageable in a shelter setting. Foster care is needed for animals who are healthy, sick, injured, or too young for adoption.

ACCT receives more animals than can be accommodated in the shelter, so moving them into foster homes not only saves their lives, but also the lives of those who take their places. Fostering a shelter animal is a wonderful, rewarding experience, but remember, it can also be time consuming and hard work. Learn more about fostering animals.


If you’re ready to make the lifelong commitment of caring for an animal…


Adopting a cat or dog is a big decision! If you’re new to caring for animals, consider volunteering and fostering before deciding to adopt. Once you are ready to commit to adoption, ACCT will help you find a pet that’s right for you, answer your questions, and fill out an adoption application. Opening your home to a new animal can seem daunting, but many people will tell you that it will change your life for the better! Learn more about adopting from ACCT.