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Pet Surrender Help Desk Finds Permanent Home at ACCT Philly



For Immediate Release: CNKP: Samantha Holbrook ACCT Philly: Sarah Barnett April 26, 2021


What launched as a volunteer driven effort in 2013 will now become a key program of ACCT Philly


Established in 2013 as a volunteer-run effort, the Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia Community Pet Help Desk has focused on helping Philadelphia residents keep their pets. Since the Help Desk first put down roots at ACCT Philly as a CNKP satellite office in early 2018, it has helped 5,017 people and pets stay together and out of Philadelphia’s shelter system. The Help Desk was part of a broader strategy to reduce euthanasia at ACCT Philly, which in 2011 had a dismal live release rate of 11 percent, meaning only 11 percent of animals who entered the shelter made it out alive. By the end of 2020, ACCT Philly’s live release rate had increased to 89 percent, and the organization has made a significant number of changes including an increased focus on efforts to help keep people with their pets.


As a result, ACCT Philly is now able to fully integrate the Help Desk within the organization to further enhance its surrender prevention efforts, continuing to fund three staff positions and managing the day-to-day operations, with CNKP continuing to stay on in an advisory capacity.


“We’re experiencing an exciting shift in animal welfare where the value of owner retention programs are finally being recognized as a lifesaving measure,” said Samantha Holbrook, President of CNKP. “The Help Desk has long been a critical resource for pet owners, helping ACCT Philly save more animals and also helping community members keep their pets in their homes and out of the shelter system. We’re thrilled that after many years, ACCT Philly is now at a place where the organization can adopt the Help Desk and give it a permanent home, and we are excited to continue to work alongside ACCT Philly in an advisory capacity to build upon the Help Desk’s success.”


“We are so grateful to Citizens for a No Kill Philadelphia for creating and maintaining such an important resource. As a nonprofit serving as the only open intake shelter and animal care and control provider in Philadelphia, we see the impact the lack of resources has on pet owners firsthand,” said Aurora Velazquez, Executive Director, ACCT Philly. “It’s why we launched the P.E.T.S (Philadelphians Empowered Through Support) Fund in 2020, and why this next step of fully adopting the Help Desk and having it become an ACCT Philly program is only going to enhance our ability to help pet owners in need.”


Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia will continue to assist ACCT Philly with the Help Desk, a program it launched and developed over the past eight years. The transition will also allow CNKP to better focus on addressing gaps still remaining in Philadelphia’s animal welfare community, such as providing temporary and emergency foster care and boarding to pet owners in transition, assisting senior citizens in obtaining resources for their pets, and assisting Philadelphia residents experiencing homelessness with caring for their pets, to name a few.


The transition will become official on April 26th. The Help Desk will continue to be the first point of contact for pet owners looking for assistance or looking to surrender their pet and can be reached at helpdesk@acctphilly.org. ### About Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia: Founded in 2009, Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to saving all healthy and treatable companion animals in Philadelphia shelters. It works with the citizens of Philadelphia to prevent animals from entering our city's shelter system through grassroots efforts, community outreach events and surrender prevention, and political advocacy, with the goal of raising awareness about the no kill model and saving the lives of the animals who die each year in Philadelphia shelters because of overpopulation and lack of resources. You can learn more about CNKP at www.phillynokill.org


About ACCT Philly: ACCT Philly is a nonprofit organization and the only open intake and animal care and control provider in Philadelphia. ACCT Philly’s mission is to provide shelter, care and life saving efforts for homeless, abandoned, and abused animals and protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Philadelphia, providing a benefit to all of the citizens of the City regardless of race or economic status. You can learn more about ACCT Philly at www.acctphilly.org

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