ACCT Philly extends partial shutdown over canine virus, opens for limited dog adoptions

ACCT Philly has extended the duration of its partial shutdown as it continues to tackle upper respiratory infections in a number of dogs at its kennels.

Shelter officials have identified the primary cause of the respiratory illness as canine pneumovirus. The virus can reportedly cause an epidemic of respiratory illness because it is highly contagious, most dogs do not have immunity and there is no vaccine.

"ACCT is following a management strategy provided by shelter medicine experts that maximizes life-saving and breaks the transmission cycle by not exposing more dogs," shelter officials said in a statement released Saturday. "ACCT continues to carry through on its strategy of separating healthy stray intake from the main kennel population."

ACCT Philly will be open for limited dog adoptions starting Saturday for dogs who are considered fully recovered in its main kennel and not at risk of shedding the virus.

Shelter officials anticipate being able to make a "clean break" on June 7. Until then, it aims to avoid new dog intakes as much as possible. During the partial shutdown, it will not accept any owner surrendered pets, but will provide pet owners with resources in an effort to re-home their pets unless the dog is a risk to public safety or is ill or suffering. Both instances would require euthanasia.

Pennsylvania SPCA's Erie Avenue Headquarters is also partnering with the shelter to assist with stray intake and owner surrenders.

ACCT Philly, the only open-intake shelter in Philadelphia, is also urgently seeking more fosters and volunteers for both its own programs and for its rescue partners as part of a sustained focus to quickly and regularly move animals out of the shelter.


As of Tuesday, seven cats, 22 kittens and six dogs are timestamped for euthanasia. The shelter currently has more than 100 cats and 100 dogs available for adoption.

Those interested in helping high-risk animals at ACCT Philly, but cannot commit to adoption or fostering, can pledge donations to urgent dogs and cats through its Love Local Program.

A pledge is a promise to donate to the rescue group that pulls a given animal from ACCT Philly. Individual pledges help accumulate the necessary funding for participating rescue groups to save urgent animals.

Volunteers say that rescues are more likely to pull animals, particularly those with expensive needs, when they see pledges have been made.

The shelter is located at 111 W. Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19140.