Shelter Hospital techs examine an old golden retreiver

Our Mission

The PSPCA rescues animals from cruelty and neglect, rehabilitates them medically and behaviorally, and places them with new, loving families. We bring our mission to life through the lifesaving efforts of our Humane Law Enforcement division, in-house Shelter Hospital, low-cost veterinary services, behavior and enrichment program, humane education, and placement of abandoned animals in loving forever homes.

The PSPCA has the distinction of being the state’s oldest, largest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization, and the nation’s second oldest. We were founded in 1867 by a Philadelphia businessman determined to end the pervasive abuse of the city’s working horses through the creation of state laws protecting animals and their subsequent enforcement. Now, 150 years after our founding, the PSPCA is the state’s leading animal welfare organization. Headquartered in North Philadelphia, we have two regional locations, the Central PA Center at Danville (Montour County) and the Lancaster Center, and a satellite location, the Fishtown Center (Philadelphia).

The PSPCA’s extraordinary work benefits animals in need, pet parents, and residents throughout Pennsylvania, crossing all social and economic boundaries and age ranges. We help communities address animal cruelty issues through our uniquely powerful operations, including:

  • One of the nation’s largest HLE divisions, with 10 sworn officers serving 23 counties throughout the Commonwealth, rescuing animals and litigating cases of cruelty to punish animal abusers to the fullest extent of the law.
  • One of the country’s most innovative forensic programs
  • One of the East Coast’s largest in-house shelter hospitals
  • The region’s only large-scale rescue organization, offering countless abused animals their only opportunity to escape a horrific life of cruelty
  • Philadelphia’s only full-time humane education program, helping prevent animal cruelty before it starts and helping our city’s youth become the next generation of animal advocates
  • Innovative research projects such as our Outpatient Parvo Clinic. The groundbreaking results, which indicate that infected puppies can recover without ICU-level care, have already begun to change how shelters and animal welfare organizations across the country treat puppies with parvo.

These programs embody our no-kill philosophy. We do not euthanize for time or space, and in 2017 we are proud to have achieved a 97 percent live-release rate.

This comprehensive mission remains possible through the generosity of our donors — individuals, organizations and foundations who help us continue our lifesaving work and provide vital yet affordable pet services to the community. We do not receive any federal, state or local government funding.