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Began by Elizabeth Morris in 1858, the Morris Animal Refuge is America's First Animal Shelter. We are committed to adoption, education and high-quality care, and as an open admission, lifesaving shelter, we have never turned an animal away.
The Refuge was founded in 1874 and is unique in its early attempt to humanely treat pets, particularly cats. Keeping with Philadelphia tradition, the Refuge established a number of "firsts" in animal welfare.
Elizabeth Morris began sheltering animals in her home and America's first animal shelter was born!
Morris leased a small house on 10th Street to take in more homeless cats and dogs.
Realizing the need for additional space, the current location 1242 Lombard Street was purchased.
Elizabeth Morris and her Shelter gain international attention by the city of Paris France.
Needing more space for the shelter, Elizabeth Morris purchased adjacent 1238 Lombard Street.
Elizabeth Morris passed away at the age of 80 years after pioneering American Animal Shelters.
Morris Animal Refuge uses the first motorized Ambulance.
First Spay and Neuter program launched.
In more than 140 years of operation, the Morris Animal Refuge has cared for hundreds of thousands of animals and shaped the course of animal welfare in the United States. See our annual animal care statistics and see the impact of our work for yourself!
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The Morris Animal Refuge is always looking for qualified animal lovers to join our staff. Check out any open positions we have at the Refuge!