About The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement
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The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement volunteer leadership and staff team are hard at work to build a flexible and effective infrastructure to maximize efforts to tackle these challenges, currently in focus:

Animal Trends: overpopulation of cats; transport of animals across geographic regions; need for emergency assistance

Financial Climate: worldwide economy effect on fundraising and municipal budgets

Business environment: increasing need for technological advancement, professional staff, and organizational transparency.

     Leaders Committed to Excellence Video
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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.


Formal codes of ethics, in themselves, are never enough. No document can cover every eventuality. No series of rules and procedures can guarantee ethical behavior. But establishing a formal code of ethics is crucial because it sets the tone, defines the issues and articulates the values and visions of the organization. Codes of ethics are public announcements. They are statements about the beliefs and intentions of the organization. Codes help to define both the issues at stake, and exactly who has a stake in the issues. Codes help to clarify rights and obligations and articulate an unmistakable minimum standard of conduct. Codes help to make up for human frailty by guiding the individual on what conduct is acceptable. Finally, codes provide a basis for doing principled reasoning and making ethical decisions.

Core Values

"Unless all members of an organization share a common vision and a similar series of values, the objective, purpose, and/or goals of that organization cannot and will not be achieved." -James MacGregor Burns

"The culture of any organization can be documented in its rules and values, but the real culture and worth of an organization is truly demonstrated in the behavior of its members." -Allan Cox

We believe that as leaders in animal welfare, we are accountable to each other, to the communities we serve, and to the collective impact we seek to make as a profession.  

Collaboration and Respect
We believe in respectful discourse no matter how challenging the issue or however strongly we believe in our individual opinions.  We believe that we become enlightened when we are open to diverse perspectives, assume the best in other’s intent, and that this will, in the end, lead to better decisions.

We believe the responsibility we carry within our communities demands the highest levels of professionalism and a commitment to lifelong learning.  Professionals in animal welfare, care and control conduct themselves with decorum, ascribe to high standards of competence, and work to implement best practice in the operation of their agencies.

We earn the respect and trust of all those in animal welfare because we act honestly and are clear in our intent to address the issues and challenges through open dialog and engagement of diverse perspectives.  We believe this is the only way we can advance collectively as a profession.

We believe that every member of The Association has something of value to contribute to the richness of the animal welfare community, and that each member should feel welcomed, included and appreciated as peers for their experience and perspective.

We work to support an environment that fosters creativity and that celebrates new ideas and different perspectives.

Lifelong Learning
We believe a commitment to continuous professional development is essential to success in animal welfare.

We operate the Association as diligent stewards of the resources our members and partners contribute.  We strive for the greatest efficiency in our operations so that we may invest more in the development of programs and services that provide value to our members.


SAWA Bylaws (June 12, 2013)
2010-2013 Strategic Plan
2013-2016 Strategic Plan
2016-2018 Strategic Plan


  • 15508 W. Bell Rd

  • Suite 101-613, Surprise, AZ 85374

  • Phone: (888) 600-3648

  • Fax: (866) 299-1311

  • admin@theaawa.org