By Jim Sauls

South of South Street: Julian Abele Park Teams Up With PAWS

South of South Street: Julian Abele Park Teams Up With PAWS
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Members of the surrounding community bring their dogs to Julian Abele Part to meet new friends.

Members of the surrounding community bring their dogs to Julian Abele Part to meet new friends.

Every major city has stray animals. Whether they were born there or put on the street by owners who could not or did not want to take care of them, all of them want a warm place to sleep at night.

The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter located in Center City. Their goal is to provide homes for needy pets within the greater Philadelphia area.

That’ss why they recently held an adoption event at Julian Abele Park in the Graduate Hospital, area, located at 22nd and Carpenter streets. In this pet-friendly neighborhood, PAWS was hoping to find homes for several dogs and cats from their shelter.

Dr. Shavagi Ruciv has only been a volunteer with PAWS for a little more two months, but he believes in the organization and the importance of finding homes for these animals, apposed to them being euthanized.

“There are a few other [non-kill shelters] but this is by far the largest,” he said. “Since PAWS started, euthanasia rates in and around the Philadelphia area are down 60 to 70 percent.”

Euthanasia rates are still very high. According to the Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) almost 37 percent of animals brought to shelters in Philadelphia in 2012 were euthanized. And so far in 2013, 33.8 percent have been euthanized, most of which being cats.

Jackie hanging out on the sidewalk, trying to find a home.

Jackie hanging out on the sidewalk, trying to find a home.

There were several available pets around the park, mostly cats and dogs. Everyone from children to adults stopped at the park just to play with these friendly pets-to-be. With games like cornhole, ring toss and a large sprinkler, Julian Abele Park was any childs dream. Every now and then, you could hear someone asking his or her mom, “Can we keep him?”

PAWS’ ultimate goal was to find homes for their animals but they also wanted to recruit people to volunteer with them.

Rachael Voluck stopped by to find a puppy to bring home and although there were none that stood out to her, she did leave with a heavy heart and an open mind, saying she will most likely become a volunteer.

Julian Abele Park always has some kind of event going one, like early morning yoga, and cooking classes. But Betty Seymour, president of the Friends of Julian Abele Park, said they always like to have something for the pets. At the park’s grand re-opening in May, members of Red Paw, an emergency rescue organization for pets, were on hand speaking with park visitors.

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