Voorhees, NJ, March 14, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- Animal Welfare Association (AWA) celebrates 70 years as a pioneer in progressive animal welfare services in South Jersey. To mark this milestone, AWA is planning a series of promotions and special programs throughout the year that will serve even more of the pets and their people in the community.
AWA pet clinic promotions include cat spay/neuters in June that will be rolled back to their 1972 price and, on select days in September, rabies vaccine pricing will be rolled back to $7. AWA also will expand its menu of community education programs that support pet retention, pet heat safety and senior pet health. In the fall, AWA will host a celebration to conclude a year of honoring its history and to signify the start of the next 70 years.
“AWA has evolved from its beginnings as an education and advocacy agency to its role as a resource that serves the entire community,” said AWA Executive Director, Maya Richmond. “As we continue to grow, our goal is not only to continue addressing the needs in animal welfare, but also to expand our programs that help pets and benefit people.”
AWA began with four women who were disgusted by the horrific conditions they saw at local for-profit pounds. They had a vision that there would be an alternative to the pain, suffering and sure death that most animals face when impounded. In October of 1948, the group held their first meeting in a living room in Camden and called themselves “Baby Animal Welfare.”
Over the years, AWA founders worked out of their homes raising awareness and funds, all while caring for animals. They contributed to humane legislation, rescued animals from pounds and picked up stray animals, including wildlife.
In 1960, AWA became the third organization in the United States to be accepted into the Humane Society of the United States’ affiliate program for adhering to humane standards. Two years later, Charles Clausing, AWA’s president, appeared in front of the House of Representatives concerning a bill on stealing pets from homes and the pound for research. It was part of his testimony that later became the Animal Welfare Act.
In 1966, AWA purchased 10 acres of land in Voorhees, NJ and erected a state-of-the-art animal shelter and humane society, a model for other shelters to follow. In 1972, AWA opened the region’s first low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Later, in the early 2000’s, AWA formally adopted a no-kill philosophy. This philosophy means that no animal is euthanized due to space, length of stay or for treatable/manageable conditions. Today the expanded AWA Pet Clinic provides high-quality care at low cost for local pets along with shelter and rescue group pets.
AWA is a founding member of the Animal Alliance of Camden County, which was formed in 2011 by five local animal welfare organizations and Camden County Shared Services. Alliance members decided to coordinate their efforts to better serve the pets and residents of the county. AWA is also a member of the Philadelphia No-Kill Coalition, a collective of animal welfare agencies working together to make Philadelphia a no-kill city where every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home.
In 2017, AWA had 942 active volunteers, including those who cared for the 731 pets who spent time in the foster program. The pet clinic performed 8,081 spay/neuter surgeries and gave basic wellness and vaccine services to 10,900 pets in the community at a low cost. More than 2,500 pets found loving homes through the Adoption Center.
From day one, AWA has been more than just a shelter. It is committed to its responsibility to educate the community, provide accessible veterinary care and remain a progressive leader in animal welfare.
Animal Welfare Association, a private, non-profit 501(c)3 animal welfare organization, serves as the leader in progressive animal welfare programs and services in South Jersey. Founded in 1948 by a group of women who wanted to make a difference in the lives of animals, the organization has become an overall community resource through its many programs. AWA is determined to eliminate animal suffering with the promotion of the human-animal bond. AWA does not receive funds from the government or national groups and relies upon local donations to fund its lifesaving programs. For more information visit www.awanj.org.
Maya Richmond, Executive Director
February 28, 2018