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America’s First. Philadelphia’s Forever. MISSION STATEMENT Founded in 1874, Morris Animal Refuge is America’s First Animal Shelter. We are committed to adoption, education and high quality care, and as an open admission shelter, we have never turned away an animal in need.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Wayne D. Humphrey III Anne Evans Stephen A. Kwaszkiewicz Britt J. Carpenter Kylie Flett Michele Leff Annmarie O’Donnell Donielle Powell Lars Schless Marc Scholtyssek Jordan Strokovsky Mary Ann (Sally) Wirts


Morris Animal Refuge 1242 Lombard Street Philadelphia PA 19147

WELCOME TO OUR 2019 SUMMER NEWSLETTER This year has been a busy one for the shelter as we continue to improve our animal care standards for all of our wonderful pets. Thanks to some extremely generous donors we have been able to update our cat kennels, create two new isolation rooms, and more! All of this while maintaining a 98% save rate over the past year. The success of Morris has hinged on the selfless giving of our donors. In this newsletter you will learn about some of our biggest successes of the year. I hope that you find it in your hearts to help us continue to improve our shelter and save even more lives. Here’s to a fantastic summer of endless tail wags and purrs!

Tel 215.735.9570 Fax 215.735.6398

Lewis P. Checchia Executive Director

22nd ANNUAL FUR BALL: A Night at the Carnival By: Donielle Powell, Fur Ball Committee Co-Chair On March 30th, we hosted our largest signature fundraiser, the Fur Ball, at the 23rd Street Armory. This year’s event celebrated our achievements, paid tribute to many of our supporters, and raised over $40,000 to benefit the animals at our shelter! A special thanks to all of our sponsors, especially Arm & Hammer, 12th Street Catering, Punch Media, and Enlight Lighting & Video Production for their significant contributions to the event.

from the bar, guests had the opportunity to experience our various sideshow acts. These included Makenzie the Magnificent our fortune teller, Jasmine Ma (Miss Pennsylvania 2019) the strong woman, and our Magical Healing Morris Puppies. For the fifth consecutive year, DJ Perry Angelozzi packed the dance floor. Over 350 attendees were greeted upon arrival with When taking a break from the tunes lively bluegrass music, ready to celebrate the Fur Ball’s and the carnival games, guests 22nd year at the carnival. After grabbing a Bluebird enjoyed various performances from Cotton Candy Distilling Boozy Snowcone or Cotton Candy Old Fashion Circus Arts and Project Moshen Dance Company. Steve Morrison, of 93.3 WMMR, once again generously lent his emcee talents for the evening, which included the presentation of the Elizabeth Morris Award for Animal Welfare Advancement. This year’s award was presented to Brearly Karsch, a long-time supporter of Morris Animal Refuge. And last, but certainly not least, were the presence of Morris alumna, Serena the dog, our four-legged guest of honor.

Thank you to everyone who attended and made this event our most successful one yet!

ARM & HAMMER LENDS A HAND By: Emmy Homan, Development Manager When Clare Morrison of The MAC Fund reached out to us to ask us to host their check presentation with Arm & Hammer we were more than happy to accommodate. On a beautiful day in January representatives from all three organizations gathered together in our yard to celebrate the wonderful commitment that Arm & Hammer has made to helping shelter cats. This is when our amazing partnership with Arm & Hammer began.

From donations of kitty litter to being our top sponsor for our annual Fur Ball, the crew at Arm & Hammer has been so generous and helpful to us here at the shelter. There are so many exciting things on the horizon with Morris Animal Refuge and Arm & Hammer and we could not be more grateful! Keep an eye out for a national marketing campaign by Arm & Hammer featuring some of the amazing cats of Morris Animal Refuge!

Thank you Arm & Hammer!

HAPPY TAILS: BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LIFESAVER FUND By: Courtney Smith, Adoption Coordinator WHAT IS THE LIFESAVER FUND? The LifeSaver Fund is for animals that need extra medical care or behavioral rehabilitation prior to adoption. When an animal in need comes to Morris these funds are ready and waiting. This allows us to provide immediate care and get the animal ready for their new fur-ever homes as quickly as possible. Want to learn more? Visit

Roz the Tripod At only about 2-3 weeks of age, Roz and her 4 litter mates were pulled from Animal Care & Control Team in mid-April after being dropped off as strays. Roz was the feistiest of the group – she immediately started biting everyone and was somehow more vocal than the rest of the kittens. The litter, named after Frasier characters, was immediately placed in foster care with a Morris staff member and the following day it was noted that Roz had developed some swelling and discomfort in her rear left leg. A treatment course of antibiotics and pain medication was started until the symptoms not only didn’t improve, they worsened. Upon a second examination, it was discovered that Roz’s leg was completely broken, likely caused by previous trauma. Due to high risk of complications without surgical

Dancing Dolphina Dolphina came to Morris Animal Refuge in January as a transfer from Animal Care & Control Team after she was taken in as a found stray on Christmas Eve. Like with any stray animal, the staff knew very little about her temperament other than that she handled the intake process like a champ and was “just dancing away” during her initial examination at ACCT. Dolphina patiently waited for her forever home for nearly 6 months. During this time Dolphina developed some kennel and dog reactivity, making it more difficult for us to find her perfect adopter. Luckily, multiple dedicated volunteers became extremely attached to her.

intervention, it was decided to move forward with an amputation despite sedation risk – Roz was only about 1/4 of the appropriate weight to safely sedate. Not only did she make it through surgery, she immediately demanded a meal and acted like nothing ever happened. Today, she’s still in foster care waiting for her spay day and then she’ll be moving on to her new furever home where she’ll be running around with another cat playmate.

Because of her charm and outgoing personality, she spent a lot of time hanging out at Dirty Franks, going on runs, and being an attention hog at Rittenhouse Park. Our Life Saving Manager, Josiah, also started an enrichment program that he got the idea for while at the annual HSUS Animal Care Expo. By attaching treat containers to the front of the kennels it encouraged the dogs, including Dolphina, to present better behavior when people come to see them in the kennel because there is always the possibility of a treat. This enrichment and the dedication of our volunteers helped us to finally find Dolphina her perfect fur-ever home!

MAKING A LASTING IMPACT THROUGH A LEGACY DONATION By: Emmy Homan, Development Manager Jeanne Myers began supporting Morris Animal Refuge over 25 years ago when she adopted her two cats from us, Kute and Black Beauty. These two cats lived the rest of their lives with amazing care from Jeanne. She currently has a cat, Little One, who requires special feedings, medications, and grooming daily. Her dedication has paid off and Little One is finally up to a healthy weight! Other than her dedication to the animals in her home, Jeanne is passionate about all animals, pets and wildlife alike. Because of this, Jeanne donates to multiple animal welfare organizations regularly, including Morris Animal Refuge.

Jeanne makes regular contributions to Morris (in memory of Kute and Black Beauty), including providing part of the matching gift for Giving Tuesday in 2018. Thanks to the matching gifts from people like Jeanne, this Giving Tuesday we raised almost double what we had the year before. Giving now can do amazing things for the animals currently in our care, but Jeanne wanted to make sure that the animals that come to us in the future also have everything that they need to thrive. That is why when she was starting to make estate plans she decided to include Morris Animal Refuge. Jeanne added Morris to her will to ensure

NEW CRASH PADS FOR OUR CATS By: Carolyn Fitzgerald, Director of Operations The Refuge’s cats are lounging comfortably in new cat condos provided by a generous donation from Brearley Karsch. Brearley has been a supporter of Morris Animal Refuge for years and funded the last kennel updates in the 1980’s. Unfortunately, since the last update we have not had the means to update again until now. Morris’s cat kennels had been sorely undersized for years and did not meet the necessary standard of care size prescribed by leading national experts. These new Shoreline cat habitats provide freedom to express normal behavior, one of the Five Freedoms of Animal sheltering, by being larger in size and most with a separate litter area. Less stressed cats are happy cats, and happy cats attract adopters quicker! It is a win-win! Along with the new cat condos, each cat room was spruced up with colorful, fun paint and new floors! The windows looking into the cat rooms have been covered half way up to lessen the stress on cats from seeing pups at play. Overall, we are thrilled with this new opportunity to provide better standards of care for our animals.

that the organization that brought her two of her beloved cats will be able to continue to improve, grow , and help as many animals as possible. Legacy gifts like Jeanne’s provide future financial security to Morris Animal Refuge and helps us to make sure that we are able to continue the life saving work that was started by Elizabeth Morris over 145 years ago. We are so grateful to Jeanne and all of the donors who make the work we do possible.

Interested in becoming a legacy donor? Contact Emmy Homan at or call 267.951.2347

1ST ANNUAL PUPPY PAW-LOOZA By: Lewis Checchia, Executive Director These Guys and Gals Know How To Party!

decided to stick with Morris and hold another one for this year! Coined as “The 1st Annual Paws-a-Palooza”, the Last October, the Philadelphia Chapter fundraiser will be held on Thursday, of the National Association of Catering November 14, at the Drexelbrook. It & Events organization (Philly NACE) will feature wonderful food, drinks, and chose Morris Animal Refuge as their best of all puppies to cuddle. Our goal feature charity for their annual this year is to double what was raised fundraising event. Held at the Hilton at and bring in $12,000 for the shelter! Penn’s Landing, the event was a puppy wagging good time and by the For more information and tickets to the event, please visit end of the night NACE raised nearly $6,000 for Morris Animal Refuge! The event went so well that Philly NACE has

Volunteer Spotlight : Kait Dowling By: Ashley Rivera, Volunteer & Foster Coordinator The Morris Animal Refuge volunteer program is a key essential to keeping the shelter running as smooth as possible. From dog walking, cat socializing, shelter support, events and more, volunteers are an important part in helping us achieve our full potential. All of our volunteers do amazing work and we’re very grateful for all of them, but one volunteer in particular, Kait Dowling, has gone above and beyond for Morris. Kait first started volunteer in June of 2018 and since then has helped in many events, as well as lending a hand at the shelter. Q: What inspired you to get involved with Morris? A: I have always been passionate about animals. Growing up I watched neighborhood pets, participated in 4H, and went on to work at a ranch caring for various animals, training animals, and giving horseback riding lessons. When I moved to Philadelphia, I looked for local opportunities to spend some time working with animals again and the mural on the side of Morris’ shelter caught my eye. After learning a little bit about the history of Morris Animal Refuge as the oldest animal shelter in the country and their mission it seemed like exactly the opportunity I was looking for! Q: What is your favorite thing about Volunteering? A: The staff! Everyone at Morris is completely dedicated to animal welfare and are so knowledgeable and kind. Each employee at Morris truly makes you feel welcome as a volunteer and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know

everyone. The Morris staff definitely makes you feel like your time volunteering and contributions to the team are appreciated and impactful. Q: What would you tell someone who is considering joining the volunteer team? A: Don’t wait! Regardless of your skill set or interest, there are so many opportunities to give back to the community through volunteering at Morris. The options are endless, from helping out with puppy yoga, to spending some quiet time helping socialize cats, from fundraising to fostering. I’ve had so much fun helping out and it’s so rewarding seeing the payoff of everyone’s hard work in seeing animals find their forever homes! The Refuge is always looking for dedicated and animal loving volunteers, like Kait, to join our team! If you’re interested in volunteering, please fill out the volunteer application on our website, “My best experience at Morris is meeting little Leia. It’s amazing that Morris is able to help animals all the way in Georgia by transporting them up to Philadelphia to find homes. I was able to be there the day “Porch Puppy #1” arrived to give her a bath and just fell in love with that little pup. I am so happy I decided to foster, and then ultimately welcome Leia into our home permanently.”


Want to help us continue this lifesaving work? Make a donation at

Thank you!

Profile for Morris Animal Refuge

Morris Animal Refuge 2019 Summer Newsletter  

Morris Animal Refuge 2019 Summer Newsletter  


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