N.J. pets in need: March 25, 2019
Profile: Animal Welfare Association
The Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees was founded in October 1948 by local residents who were appalled by the conditions they saw at local for-profit pounds at the time. The group held their first meeting in a living room and called themselves “Baby Animal Welfare.”
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.
The group’s shelter in Voorhees was built in 1966 and the AWA opened the region’s first low-cost spay/neuter clinic in 1974. In the 1980s the group began a structured program where volunteers would bring animals to local nursing homes on a regular basis.
Today, the Animal Welfare Association has 942 active volunteers. Its clinic performed 8,081 spay/neuter surgeries and gave vaccinations to 6,958 pets in the community at a low cost in 2017 and more than 2,500 pets found homes through the AWA Adoption Center.
For more information about the nonprofit group, go to awanj.org.