Monday, April 24, 2006

Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine and PACCA Partner to Save Lives of Philadelphia Animals

Philadelphia, PA – Monday, April 24, 2006 – The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) and the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association (PACCA) are partnering to eliminate the unnecessary killing of potentially adoptable animals in the City of Philadelphia with the launch of the spay/neuter component of the School's new Shelter Animal Medicine Program.

"I am very pleased to announce the launch of this Penn Vet program; it will be a model of Penn's interaction with both the private sector and government agencies to benefit our community and beyond," said Dr. Joan Hendricks, the School's Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine. "I am immensely grateful to our generous donors, and I am proud of our School's commitment to positively impacting the relationship among animals, people and society by strengthening the bonds of the healing connection."

This program is now in place thanks to the generous support of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), PetSmart Charities and other donors. It supports the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats adopted from PACCA. With almost 30,000 animals entering the shelter each year, PACCA sees the greatest number of unwanted, orphaned and abandoned animals in our region. PACCA has made a commitment to ensure that 100% of dogs and cats adopted from the shelter will be spayed or neutered prior to going home. With this new funding, approximately 1,200 additional animals will be sterilized in 2006.

"The heartbreaking problems caused by pet overpopulation in our city are very real, and when we fail to work together as a community, animals who might otherwise live long lives, bringing joy to people, will die. To impact the bottom line — to save lives — we must identify new ways to maximize results by combining community resources," said Tara Derby-Perrin, PACCA's Chief Executive Officer. Her leadership of the new PACCA administration has brought about the record-setting save rates.

Penn Vet has spayed adoptable dogs from PACCA since the agency's inception in 2002; however, Penn has recently begun a Shelter Animal Medicine Program in which senior veterinary students will participate for the first time in a surgery rotation on-site at PACCA. In addition, Dr. Michael Moyer, VMD, has been recruited as the School's first Director of Shelter Animal Medicine, and a Shelter Animal Medicine course has been added to the School's core curriculum. The cooperative program with PACCA will ensure that students also experience other shelter issues and topics, including homeless animal management, the role of the veterinarian in an animal shelter, pet animal overpopulation, infectious disease control, behavior problems and evaluations, and animal cruelty, neglect and hoarding.

Both organizations are members of the Alliance for Philadelphia's Animals, a coalition of animal welfare and rescue groups working to control and care for Philadelphia's animals through pet adoption programs and spay-neuter initiatives.

"The ASPCA is pleased to join this partnership and is committed to assisting efforts toward a better city for Philadelphia's animals," said Ed Sayres, ASPCA president and CEO. "This partnership goes beyond any previous community-wide efforts, and will serve as a model to other communities across the country — a blueprint to end needless euthanasia of companion animals." Through its National Outreach Department, the ASPCA connects with agencies and individuals in Pennsylvania and the nation to help shelters help their communities; a new Community Initiative Project will focus on Philadelphia. The ASPCA is strategically providing advice, education, as well as resources that will accelerate and enhance animal-welfare efforts in Philadelphia, making it a truly humane community.

"PetSmart Charities is pleased to support this innovative program that not only will help reduce pet overpopulation, but also help provide animal welfare experience for veterinary students," said Patty Finch, PetSmart Charities grants manager. Over the past 10 years, PetSmart Charities has provided more than $39 million to 3,400 nonprofit animal welfare organizations to save the lives of homeless pets through adoptions (more than 1,000 per day), sterilization programs to prevent unwanted kittens and puppies, and retention programs to keep pets in their adopted homes.

"The Shelter Animal Medicine program is a shining example of community partners working collaboratively to improve the health and welfare of the animals in Philadelphia," said Anne Trinkle, President of the Alliance for Philadelphia's Animals. "The goal of the Alliance is to create a city where no healthy or treatable companion animal loses its life simply because it does not have a home. This new program addresses many of the issues in making that goal a reality."


The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine – Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the world's premier veterinary schools. Founded in 1884, the School was built on the concept of Many Species, One MedicineTM. The birthplace of veterinary specialties, the School serves a distinctly diverse array of animal patients at our two campuses, from pets to horses to farm animals. In Philadelphia, on Penn's campus, are the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital for companion animals, as well as classrooms, laboratories and the School's administrative offices. The large-animal facility, New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, Pa., encompasses hospital facilities for the care of horses and food animals as well as diagnostic laboratories serving the agriculture industry. The School has successfully integrated scholarship and scientific discovery with all aspects of veterinary medical education. For more information about the Shelter Animal Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, please visit our website at

PACCA – Founded in 2002 to provide animal care and control services for the City of Philadelphia, PACCA handles nearly 30,000 animals each year, and sees the greatest number of unwanted, orphaned and abandoned animals in our region. In 2005–2006, under the leadership of a new administration, PACCA has impressively reduced the death rate by more than 40 percent during the last year— a level of success that takes most communities five years to achieve. In fact, since the beginning of 2006, PACCA has not killed one animal for lack of space. These lifesaving results have been achieved due to a comprehensive revamping of shelter operations, combined with a centralized focus on community collaboration and partnerships to increase sterilization and adoption efforts. For more information about PACCA, please visit our website at



University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Gail Luciani

(215) 898-1475

Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association

Tara Derby-Perrin

(215) 852-4380


# # #

Copyright © 2002–2011 Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, Inc.