Report Cruelty: 866-601-SPCA
From Rescue & Rehabilitation to Forever Families
For nearly 150 years, the PSPCA has been rescuing animals from cruelty and neglect. It’s in our DNA – our founding principle and a core pillar of what sets us apart from other animal welfare agencies. This work involves a robust and holistic approach to helping these animal victims, including the following in-house resources:
- Humane law enforcement (HLE)
- Emergency and ongoing medical treatment
- Forensics expertise
- Behavior rehabilitation and enrichment
- Humane litigation
- Humane education
Humane Law Enforcement (HLE)
The PSPCA Humane Law Enforcement program is the only operation of its kind in Philadelphia and, for the most part, the 22 additional counties we serve throughout Pennsylvania. Our HLE officers serve as police officers to enforce the cruelty laws under the authority granted by state statute 22 Pa.C.S.A. Chapter 37 (HSPOS). In 2015, our officers rescued 1,122 animals through 8,332 investigations – an average of 23 per day – including 17 hoarding cases.
Treating and Rehabilitating the Victims of Cruelty
The victims of cruelty and neglect often need a tremendous amount of care before they are ready for adoption. Our in-house shelter hospital treats nearly 2,000 animals annually and includes a forensics team with expertise in collecting evidence and testifying. We are one of the country’s only animal welfare organizations capable of treating medical issues associated with severe abuse and neglect, including emaciation, dehydration, burns, broken limbs, embedded collars, lacerations, and infected wounds, in addition to the horrific medical issues resulting from hoarding, puppy mills, and forced animal fighting.
We are also invested in helping these animals work through the emotional scars of past of abuse and neglect. Our Behavior and Enrichment team helps animals overcome emotional hurdles, build confidence, and prepare to join forever families. This includes personalized programs and treatments, along with enrichment, for these animals who can remain in our care for months, even years, while their cases are prosecuted.
Bringing Abusers to Justice
Over the last three years, our officers conducted more than 16,000 investigations. These individual rescues varied in size from one to 300 animals and resulted in our officers saving over 4,000 animals. Our Humane Litigation team, comprised of in-house counsel and pro-bono litigators, has achieved a 90 percent conviction rate in cases that involve prosecution.
The ultimate goal for all of us who advocate for animals is preventing cruelty from happening in the first place. For this reason, the PSPCA has invested in Philadelphia’s only Humane Education program. The Humane Education team’s innovative approach to education helps the city’s youth develop compassion, empathy, and respect for all living beings and the environment, and foster solutions to decrease animal cruelty and interpersonal violence.