A former local fire fighter puts his passion into making the City of Brotherly Love a no-kill zone
Garrett R. Elwood is not only the guardian of his Pit-Bull mix, Vegas, but also the founder and president of Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia (CNKP), a non-profit advocacy organization comprised of pet lovers committed to saving the lives of all healthy and treatable companion animals in Philadelphia shelters. Using political advocacy, grassroots efforts, and humane education, CNKP works with elected officials, other non-profit groups, and the public to raise awareness about creating a no-kill model that will save the lives of the more than 10,000 cats, dogs, and small animals that die each year in Philadelphia shelters due to overpopulation.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Elwood began his career in advocacy and fundraising on the Board of Directors of the Union Fire Association and the Lower Merion Township Firefighters Relief Association, where he had been an active firefighter for more than 10 years.
Elwood’s involvement in animal welfare began after visiting local shelters in search of a new dog. “I was appalled and disgusted at the terrible state of animal welfare in the city,” Elwood recalls. “Before seeing that, I had been proud to call Philadelphia my home. I knew I had to do something.” He started by fostering animals in need, and since then he has fostered more than 30 dogs, a cat, two bunnies, and two rats. Elwood became active in the animal welfare community and founded CNKP out of frustration with the lack of communication, cooperation, accountability, and leadership among the different organizations responsible for the city’s animals.
The group focuses on educating Philadelphia residents about the state of animal welfare, as well as promoting preventative measures such as high-volume spay/neuter programs, and making lifesaving a priority for Philadelphia animal lovers. With a new citizen-based no-kill model, the group’s goal is to tap into the estimated $15 million funneled out of Philadelphia each year to national animal welfare agencies.
CNKP’s activities include a petition drive to collect thousands of signatures in support of no-kill, organizing the largest annual adoption event in Philadelphia history, and participating in numerous outreach events all over the city.
To learn more, visit: PhillyNoKill.com.