URGENT: The city shelter is full, and we need your help to make more room for at-risk cats and dogs!

Dental Care

Homeless pets with dental disease are among those most at-risk in the city shelter. So at PAWS, we talk about teeth a lot.

Many stray and surrendered cats and dogs—who have already been through so much—arrive at shelters with painful dental complications like fractured teeth, stomatitis, and tooth resorption. With proper treatment, they can go on to live full, happy lives and make adoptive families complete, rather than face continued suffering and euthanasia.

Often, their only barrier between life and death is a rescue organization’s ability to afford their costly dental surgery. And right now, there are more animals who need our help than we can afford to treat.

PAWS is able to perform most dental surgery in-house thanks to an extraordinary team of veterinarians, including a part-time dental surgeon, and we recently acquired necessary dental x-ray equipment. This expansion enables us to accommodate more animals with dental disease than ever, but the surgeries remain costly and some complicated or urgent cases still must to referred to outside veterinary practices who partner with PAWS. These surgeries typically cost us $515 per animal but can be as expensive as $1,500.

To continue leading Philadelphia to become a no-kill city, we must provide what these animals need. Because we can only save them if we can pay for their dental care, we have created the Tooth Fairy Fund.

Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea’s dental disease nearly cost him his life. He’d been living outside and cared for by a neighborhood caretaker, but had slowly begun to starve when his tooth decay made it too painful to eat. This affectionate boy was brought to the city shelter, and would have been euthanized if a rescue couldn’t commit to his medical care. Thanks to Tooth Fairy supporters, PAWS was ready to welcome Sweet Tea and provide him with the dental care he desperately needed.


This kind senior, who is blind, found safe haven at PAWS after arriving at the city shelter with matted fur and a mouth full of bad teeth. A Good Samaritan brought him in after he showed up on their doorstep; there was no way to know how long he’d been fending for himself in the cold. Porkchop bravely underwent extensive dental surgery and quickly found a loving home once he recovered.


Every pet deserves comfort in their golden years, and Bear is no exception! This sweet and friendly senior came to us in dire need of treatment for dental disease and a host of other senior ailments. Even prior to medical treatment, this affectionate grandpa had so much love to give. After significant dental work Bear has made a full recovery, and now lives happily at home with a loving family!



Leroy is one of the lucky ones: this gentle 12 year-old came to us from the city shelter after his owner passed away. Our veterinary team found he had an untreated mass in his mouth along with severe dental disease requiring surgery. He is now feeling better and loving life in his new home!

Give a Healthy Mouth & a New Life

Affectionate former stray, Snacks, found safe haven after arriving with a mouth full of bad teeth and a broken leg. Thanks to our supporters, Snacks got the dental surgery and supportive care he needed from our medical team. He has since fully recovered from his time on the streets and is happy and healthy in a loving home!

This year, we aim to provide lifesaving dental surgery for more than 175 cats and dogs. Become a tooth fairy to a homeless pet in need! 



Donate to the Tooth Fairy Fund


Complex Medical Cases

More and more, the shelter animals most in need of rescue have illnesses or injuries requiring specialized veterinary care. They find it at PAWS: we help them heal so they can go on to enjoy the carefree lives they deserve.

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Cat Rescue and Care

PAWS rescues homeless cats who are most in danger: those with treatable medical or behavioral issues, mothers with kittens, and orphans who are too young for adoption. We help them get well, then place them in loving homes.

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Dog Rescue and Care

Dogs of all sizes and varieties find safe haven at PAWS: especially seniors and those with special medical needs. We give them the veterinary care they need, and then use our proven matchmaking skills to find them just the right forever home.

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