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  • Promote the sharing of information among and within animal welfare and control agencies.
  • Enhance the positive and professional image of animal welfare and control agencies.
  • Provide educational opportunities for members.

Our Mission

The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement develops strong leaders, promotes standards of practice, and cultivates collaboration to advance the animal welfare profession with a unified voice.

Operating Values

What We Stand For As a Profession
  1. We believe in the intrinsic dignity and sanctity of human life.
  2. We believe in the intrinsic dignity and sanctity of animal life.
  3. We believe that companion animals are a product of human intervention and that we have a special obligation to them in regard to humane treatment and responsible stewardship.
  4. We believe we have an obligation to alleviate suffering.
  5. We believe we have an obligation to prevent cruelty.
  6. We believe that people should treat each animal as kindly as possible.
  7. We believe we have a duty to protect and care for the suffering and homeless.
  8. We believe that our values, decisions, conduct and behavior should set the tone and be a model for others in their care and treatment of animals.

The commitment, care and attention we afford to both human beings and animals are only differentiated by degree and not by kind.

How We Operate As an Association

  • Communicate consistently, truthfully and with integrity inside and outside of the organization.
  • Accept responsibility for our actions.
  • Provide honest and accurate information regarding agency policies, procedures and programs like fund raising and the disposition of animals.

  • Treat all living creatures with respect and dignity.
  • Create an open environment which encourages and solicits input from all stakeholders.
  • Recognize the value of each individual or group.
  • Acknowledge socio-economic, cultural, ethnic and philosophical differences.
  • Advocate and model respectful behavior through individual and organizational example.

  • Apply all applicable laws impartially with organizational guidelines.
  • Provide humane treatment and care for animals.
  • Seek ways to improve the operation and delivery of services. Pursue excellence.
  • Share information and seek input from, educate, and cooperate with others.

  • Use good judgment instead of being judgmental.
  • Listen to and consider opposing viewpoints.
  • Make informed decisions without personal bias.
  • Apply consistent principles in decision-making while allowing for flexibility.

  • Strive to provide for the physical and psychological needs of people and animals.
  • Encourage and support board and staff development.
  • Provide a humane and dignified death for animals using recommended and approved methods.
  • Extend the principles of caring and compassion to the public.
  • Provide a supportive environment in which to deal with issues of euthanasia and grief.


  • Represent the organization in a professional manner.
  • Strive to promote positive and collaborative relationships with other agencies, organizations, and individuals.

Vision/Long-Term Goals

  1. The Association is respected as the voice for effective management of animal welfare and control organizations, and related issues where this expertise is essential.
  2. The Association is the source for professional knowledge, best practice, standards of competency and industry data concerning the operation of animal welfare and control organizations.
  3. The Association is the catalyst for continuous professional development of agency management and elected leadership teams.
  4. The Association is the access point to a robust network of experience, expertise, ideas and resources willingly shared by its members who represent the full diversity of animal welfare and control organizations.
  5. The Association is a sought-after partner with industry and related animal welfare organizations pursuing mutual goals and interests in advancing the profession.
  6. The Association operates with the infrastructure, volunteer and staff leadership and financial capacity required to fulfill its mission at the highest levels of excellence.


  • 15508 W. Bell Rd

  • Suite 101-613, Surprise, AZ 85374

  • Phone: (888) 600-3648

  • Fax: (866) 299-1311

  • admin@theaawa.org