Arizona Animal Welfare League, Inc.

Rating: 4.87 stars   104 reviews


25 N 40th St Phoenix AZ 85034 USA


Our Mission: To create a world where there are no homeless dogs and cats Our Vision: To be the community’s leading source for pet adoptions, veterinary services, volunteer opportunities, humane education and expertise in animal welfare.


We continue to grow each year since 1971 and remain the first, oldest no-kill animal welfare organization in the state of Arizona.

Target demographics:

homeless Dogs & Cats and educate children

Direct beneficiaries per year:

over 4,000 Dogs & Cats and over 3,000 Children

Geographic areas served:



Our Mission: To create a world where there are no homeless dogs and cats Our Vision: To be the community’s leading source for pet adoptions, veterinary services, volunteer opportunities, humane education and expertise in animal welfare. The Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA (AAWL & SPCA) is the largest and oldest no-kill shelter in Arizona. We are a no-kill shelter in that we do not euthanize animals except for the rare occasions when it is in the best interest of the animal to do so, usually from untreatable medical conditions. AAWL & SPCA is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, tax ID 23-7149453. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. AAWL & SPCA rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes more than 5,000 dogs and cats that are abandoned or that have been surrendered by their owners. We do this primarily by rescuing them from other shelters in Maricopa County where they are likely to be euthanized due to the lack of time and resources to care for them. At any one time our shelter will hold 140 cats and 190 dogs. We also have a foster parent network of approximately 90 families who provide care and shelter in their homes for puppies and kittens that are too young to be adopted, and those animals that are recovering from medical procedures or that need socialization before adoption. All pets offered for adoption have been spayed or neutered; micro-chipped and are current on all vaccinations. Any medical treatments needed, including surgeries, are provided by our medical team and all animals are evaluated by our behavior department. Learn more about our Phoenix veterinary services and animal clinic. AAWL & SPCA not only adopts companion animals into loving homes, we also hold a leadership position in the community in education and animal welfare issues. Please review our Education section to learn about all of our programs (including our school holiday and summer camps) and don't miss our extensive dog and obedience training classes. Background The Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL) was founded in 1971 by a group of concerned animal lovers. This group was led by Amanda Blake, best known as "Miss Kitty" on the television program, Gunsmoke. Starting out on a small scale, concerned volunteers adopted rescued cats and dogs from foster homes. In the late 1970s, the organization built its first shelter. By the mid 1990s, the AAWL & SPCA began rescuing animals scheduled to be euthanized by the County, and, after rehabilitation, made them available for adoption to the community. Over the past 42 years the organization has grown from adopting a handful of animals each year to a full service animal welfare organization and leader in innovative behavior training, medical care, adoption, education and community outreach programs. Today our shelter has an onsite veterinary clinic, kennels with a separate cattery, a training center and a freestanding infirmary. In 2005, the Arizona Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) merged into AAWL. The new organization was renamed the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA (AAWL & SPCA).

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Arizona Animal Welfare League, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a member of the board for over 6 years. During that time I have seen tremendous changes, all for the good, but AAWL has never forgotten its mission of rescuing dogs and cats from being euthanized by the county. The best thing about AAWL is that it doesn't kill animals to "make space" just because an animal doesn't immediately find a home. AAWL will work with the animal to solve any underlying reason why the animal has been overlooked. Sometimes the animal just needs a little PR to get the public to consider it. AAWL has been really creative, especially under our new director, to find ways to interest the public in adopting rescue animals. For instance, this year, AAWL is having its first H'AAWL'-o-Ween event, a fun event for families with children to visit the Shelter. AAWL has a summer camp program with classes for children of all ages from introducing them to animals for the very youngest kids to developing interest in working in shelter or being a vet for teens. AAWL also has a "Gimme a Break" program to provide dogs who have been in the shelter for a while a break from the kennel environment by encouraging volunteers to take a dog home for a weekend. I can't say enough good things about AAWL. It keeps getting better every year.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I adopted one of our dogs from AAWL, participated in Gimme a Break, and have taken dog training classes from them.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like AAWL to help educate the public about why spaying and neutering is necessary.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?


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How did you learn about this organization?

from a friend

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

raising money to expand the shelter

What is its top priority in the long run?

reducing the euthanasia of dogs and cats in Maricopa County.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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