Shelter Safety 83

Animal Shelter Safety

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We, the volunteers and supportof ACCT Philly, have initiated this petition to respectfully request that the shelter implement essential safety measures at ACCT Philly to protect the safety and welfare of volunteers and staff.

The recent increase in aggressive dog bite incidents over the past 10 months has led us to advocate for change. We need to proactively address the behavior needs of the dogs in ACCT’s care as well as any dangerous dogs and hire a certified behaviorist and/or certified, credentialed trainer with high intake shelter experience in a management role.


Petition to the Board of ACCT Philly

ACCT Philly is an open-intake shelter often forced to care for dogs that we have no behavior background information on. Many of these dogs have been known to have behavioral challenges in the shelter, posing a substantial risk to staff and volunteers yet they remain available to the volunteers and public for handling and adoptions without adequate assessment and intervention to mitigate risk. This has led to severe bites to staff members, volunteers and rescue partners after noted aggressive dogs have been made available.

The uptick in dog attacks is alarming and highlights the immediate need of having skilled personnel to assess and develop a behavioral action plan to care for these dogs in a safe and ethical way. The shelter has been operating without a Certified, Credentialed Trainer and/or Behaviorist for many years yet it is one of the most vital roles in animal welfare for public safety.

What we need:

• We are asking to have the Board fund or fundraise for a management position for a Certified and Credentialed Behaviorist and/or Trainer with significant experience in a high intake shelter environment.

ACCT Philly is ethically and legally obligated to ensure the safety of the staff, volunteers, rescues and the public against dangerous dogs and it is failing with its current approach to care.

The shelter is earning a reputation as a place that is unsafe to serve as a volunteer due to the increase in dog attacks. Now is the time to take action before a grave tragedy forces the hand of the Board and the Leadership Team.

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