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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Animal Welfare Friends

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Our mission is to rescue and care for animals in need while educating the humans on whom these animals rely to bring them a peaceful, safe and healthy life.

Target demographics: homeless animals

Geographic areas served: Monticello, IA

Programs: adopting dogs and cats out to forever homes.

Community Stories

44 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The wonderful folks running this shelter are tireless when it comes to working for the welfare of animals--they truly are friends of the animals, and are willing to love and nurture fur babies of all ages and abilities. They go above and beyond to take in pets from kill shelters elsewhere, animals who have been injured, and strays who have never known a loving home. They are so deserving of support!

Dawn S.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AWF is a great shelter! I am a teacher and I volunteered there for 2 summers. It was so much fun caring for the animals! All of the volunteers really want the best for the animals. I also took my class to volunteer there twice and my students thought they were a fabulous experiences!

More importantly, however, is I adopted my cat, Sylvia, from AWF. I met her volunteering when she was just a small kitten. She is the love of my life. I can't thank AWF enough for introducing us!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

This place is awesome! I volunteered at the shelter for 2 summers and loved it! The animals are well cared for and loved each day! I also adopted a kitten from there last summer. She is the love of my life!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I applied to adopt a beautiful puppy three years ago. I was six hours away and they called me at 10am on a Saturday and told me they would stay late for me. They were an amazing shelter to deal with! Our 70lb pooch is our three year old baby! We love him!!

Jennimom

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am proud to be a volunteer and former board member of Animal Welfare Friends in Monticello, Iowa. We have come a long way since the days we began as a small group of animal lovers finding foster homes for lost or abandoned dogs and cats until we could find them their forever homes, saving as many as we could from euthanization simply because they had no place to go. Now we have our small but mighty shelter after many years of fundraising. We continue our work of saving as many animals as we can. Our building is small and our budget is tight. We wish we could do more than our limited resources allow. One of the things I like best is that we are a no-kill shelter; our animals stay with us as long as it takes to find them their best forever home. Some of them have been with us two years, three years, but it is all worth it on that joyful day when they finally connect with the right family and get to "go home".
We work to make our shelter to be a happy, hopeful place. All of us love the animals here. We get to know them as individuals and want the best for each of them. We are the only animal shelter in Jones County, and the homeless dogs and cats who end up here are actually the lucky ones. I support this shelter whole-heartedly with my time and donations. Come visit us!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a board member, long-time volunteer, and repeat "foster failure". I am so proud and grateful that after ten long years of hard work we finally made our dream come true- an animal shelter in Jones County. We love the animals who come to us for help in finding their forever homes. We get to know them as individuals and each one is precious. It's always a bittersweet moment when one of our furry friends "goes home". We take pride in making our shelter a clean, happy place. Most of our cats live in free-roaming rooms where they can sunbathe in the big picture windows or play with each other. Thanks to a very generous donor the dogs can run to their hearts' content in a fenced-in grassy play area part of the day. Come visit us- we'll be happy to see you!

Client Served

Rating: 4

We were devastated when our beloved chocolate lab Sammy Hershey came down with cancer in June of 2017. Life without him was not the same. We grieved his loss for almost 3 years when we reached out to a volunteer at AWF asking if they ever came across another chocolate we would be interested. Not much longer in April of 2020, 3 lab puppies were dumped in a ditch on Easter weekend. Two were black and one was chocolate. We visited AWF to meet the little guy who was then 6 weeks old. We loved him instantly and took him home.
We still miss our Sam but this (not so little anymore) puppy has stolen our hearts and brought so much love and joy to our home and lives. Thank you AWF for all you do for these wonderful little creatures insuring that they find good, loving and forever homes. No kill pet shelters are the best!

Elisabeth T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We got our dog almost 3 years ago now and she is our best friend. We were looking for a new dog because our beloved dog of 14 years had recently passed. Our boys were excited because they didn't choose our old dog she was already a part of our family. We did research online (looking at pictures, etc.) before visiting the shelter. Our youngest saw the picture of Allie (formerly Millie) online and said, " That's the dog I want!" I wasn't so sure because she was quite a bit larger than our old dog but she won us all over when we met her. The shelter had a wonderful play area where we were able to get to know her before making our final decision. We bought a larger kennel (our old one was too small) for our drive home and when we brought it inside the shelter she just walked right in. She was all smiles and the smiles have continued ever since.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our black cat, Loki, from the Animal Welfare League in 2016. What really impressed us was how well the cats were socialized. Loki likes people and isn't afraid of new people he meets. The staff at the shelter were great and the adoption process went smoothly. We would definitely recommend them and would adopt from there again.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Adopted 2 dogs from AWF over the last 3 years. Staff is very friendly and they care deeply about the animals. Shelter is always clean! Would highly recommend AWF to anyone who is thinking about adopting a cat/ dog.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Adopted 2 dogs from AWF over the last couple years. Staff is always friendly and they truly care for the animals. Facility is nice and clean. Would recommend to anyone who is interested in adopting a cat or dog.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful facility with great volunteers that love the animals and are passionate about finding the right homes for the dogs and cats. Clean, well managed.

Natalie N.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took a stray dog I found to this shelter to see if anyone was looking for her. When no one came looking for her, I adopted her! The staff was very friendly and supportive and got my girl the help she needed to be healthy again!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We got our dog Enzo from this great organization before they had their shelter built. He has since crossed the rainbow bridge, but he was such an awesome dog and is truly missed. These people really care about their animals and making sure the pet is a good fit for the family and that the family is ready for a pet. His foster dad was great and brought along his favorite bone, his collar, and some of his food the night we officially adopted him. The process was smooth, but thorough, which gave me confidence that this really was the right dog for us. We loved Enzo and he really was a great family dog.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We got King as a kitten from Animal Welfare Friends as a Christmas gift for our daughter 5 years ago. She couldn’t take him with her to college and he got used to our home where he can go in and outside so he is a family cat. His favorite place to get some sun is on our deck, preferably on a lap. I believe he was found by an Animal Welfare volunteer at an abandoned barn, with no momma in sight. He has been a great companion to us and our other cat.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love Animal Welfare Friends. The staff/volunteers are wonderful and the facility is clean and the animals are happily waiting for their forever home. They truly want their animals to find the perfect home and will do anything to do so. We got our girl from them and it has been wonderful!

Lena G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In February 2019 I adopted Little China. For ten days after the passing of my elderly doggie, I spent hours looking online at dog photos on various shelter websites, it felt a little bit like internet dating. The online photo of Little China I must admit did not appeal to me but when I finally ventured out to the Monticello shelter and saw all the doggies, the look in Little China's eyes caught my attention. We spent some time together in the meet and greet room, and as soon as I heard her story I knew she was coming home with me, that day. The first couple of weeks were a little rough as we figured out each other's schedules but she is now the love of my life and I cherish every moment we share together. Thank you Monticello AWF. I love my Little China!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This small town animal shelter/critter advocate creates some fun fund raising events, helps lost and found animals alike, finds homes for the homeless and hope for those appearing hopeless. Good job gang!!

Karla M.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a beautiful black lab from this rescue. He’s a sweetheart and I love him dearly.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In January 2018, I loved my beloved cat, Sassy, to a rare disease. I was 7 months pregnant. My husband traveled on the road and was gone. I was lonely and depressed. I found AWF and looked at their online gallery and found a kitten i was interested in. I went down and met this kitten and fell in love with his timid little, big ego self. I adopted him in January 2018. He has helped me overcome my loneliness. He still brings joy to my little families lives. We are forever grateful for AWF. We tell everyone about them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was involved in helping the shelter with one of their fund raisers last October. I was extremely impressed with the dedication and determination for good the Board of Directors showed as well as all the many hours their volunteers gave. This shelter does amazing work and is deserving of the highest praise for the service they provide for the many animals in need in Jones County.

Jen M.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nice facility with dedicated volunteers making a difference in the lives of animals.

Nikki H.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Animal welfare friends do a great job of bringing in animals and taking care of them and training them until they are adopted!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome experience!! We got our Bella girl (formally Blossom) this summer and they made it so easy! We live out of state but they worked with us and allowed my mom who lives in Iowa to pick her up and then we went and got her a few days later! I would highly recommend this nonprofit animal shelter!! Thank you!!!

Sam P.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family adopted a kitten from there and he was healthy and happy!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Every single one of the workers here are amazing. Jones County is a rough place for a lot of dogs. Animal welfare friends also serve in an animal control role for a lot of the cities here. I've personally had them meet me at 11 pm at night to pick up a found dog on the highway, no questions or hesitation. They care for every single animal that walks through that day. They were also essential in ending BSL in a small town here. They attended and spoke at city council meetings. These guys definetly deserve recognition as one of the best places around!!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We decided to add another addition to our family! My daughter picked out an adorable baby brother for our cat. Very happy with our service, the girls are awesome!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Animal welfare friends is a great place that loves animals. Their workers show great care and people should know every animal in the shelter is cared for.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last October, I apodoted a 13 year old Chihuahua . King Jack came from a kill shelter in Chicago to Animal Welfare Friends Shelter. I feel in love the moment, I seen him. He just had his 14 birthday and we celebrated w a cupcakes and lots if treats and love.
Please when looking for a new best friend, don't overlook the seniors.
They still have plenty of love togive.The staff is amazing and caring. Have told people to visit them if needing a new pet

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We had lost our dog in December 2018. We started looking at shelters in March. We randomly walked in to Animal Welfare and started looking. Everyone was more than helpful! We picked out 3 possible dogs, came back a second time to have a meet and greet with our other dog. We were picky and accidentally stayed past closing, trying to make a decision. They were understanding and patient and we found the perfect fit. They do such amazing things for these animals in need and we will forever be thankful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted three dogs through AWF and they have all been wonderful! My most recent, Gatsby, was well cared for while at the shelter (the others were in foster care prior to me adopting them). The staff and shelter volunteers made the adoption process run smoothly and were willing to answer any questions I had. Facility was clean and well-maintained.

Courtney B.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted three animals from Animal Welfare Friends and I would never go anywhere else! The staff is super friendly and you can tell they take care of and love their animals. I recommend them to anyone I know that is looking to adopt. I'm so thankful for my pets. Spyro, Opie, and Roman.

Client Served

Rating: 5

They saved our little Bugsy from an other shelter that was over crowded. We also helped foster some from an other kill shelter till they had room open.

Deb W.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I want to give up and update on Jasper. I renamed him its Olaf aka baby boy. He is a bundle of energy, and a lover. I'm so happy to have him in my life. He try's to play with my other cat but she doesn't want to play. She is getting use to Olaf.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known about the Animal Welfare Friends for sometime but hadn't visited until our sweet Dodger passed in September this year. We took some of her things out to share with the shelter. What a wonderful place. I also volunteered to take photos for their calendar this year which was so much fun. This place was very clean and many animal loving volunteers/ employees of the shelter.
Thank you Friends for what you do for the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at AWF and I love it! Everything is always so well taken care of and clean. They truly only want the best for their animals and will do anything to find great homes for them all. Everyone works together, volunteers, staff, and community all come together and make this shelter so special and full of love.

Erin D.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have followed AWF happenings since their start - back when there was no shelter and relied only on fosters to give adoptable pets homes. We adopted our sweet border collie from AWF in 2006. I have nothing but good to say about this wonderful organization.

Jane Knoll H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our 1st adoption from Animal Welfare Friends was Sept. 15, 2003. Duke was a wonderful dog who loved everyone. We lost Duke in Dec. 2016, He was able to attend the open house of the shelter.
We fostered many dogs for Animal Welfare Friends and had 4 foster failures that lived out their lives with us. Our last foster failure will be 11 years old this January. DJ was found tied to a tree the end of June with no food or water. He was 6 months old. DJ has a perfect personality.
Animal Welfare Foundation is a great service to Jones County. Many pets have found loving homes through AWF.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son kept asking me to stop in at the cat shelter when they were located in Olin. I put him off because it breaks my heart when I see cats caged up. He would not let it go so I caved and stopped.
I was quite surprised when entering the cat room that they were free roaming! It was a tremendous relief to me. This organization definitely does its best to have the animals best interests at heart. The consistent hard work and dedication of caring for the animals coming through the shelter on their journey to their final home is literally blood, sweat and tears. Members and volunteers alike devote their homes as foster homes when needed and spend numerous hours to ensure proper care and time is spent with the animals.
I signed up that first day to be a volunteer. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this organization and experience.

Caspien Z.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my cat from AWF and he's the best thing to ever happen to me.

1 Kerrie R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The AWF has done so much for the community for years, but now that they have a permanent shelter, they are able to work on a much bigger scale! From transferring pets from overfull, out of state shelters, to working with local police departments on strays, they've come so far this past year.

I started volunteering a few months ago, and am getting to know all of these warm hearted people who do what they do soley because they want to help animals. I can't wait to be in the position to foster animals myself! They're also teaching volunteers to do MORE - signs of illness to look for, proper cross contamination practices, etc.

This is a place where volunteers cry happy tears when animals are adopted, then dig back in and find the next animal to start helping. I'm so glad to have them in Jones County!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with AWF for several years and it has been a fantastic experience. They are helpful and willing to share their knowledge and my girls and I learned so much about raising bottle fed kittens. My children now volunteer for them and one of them has gone onto being an employee. She LOVES her job!!!! I have also adopted animals through them and so has my Dad. They go out of their way to make sure the animal you adopt is the right animal for you and your family. I would suggest AWF be your first stop if you are looking for a pet or if you really want to make a difference by volunteering!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Adopted our cat here! A great facility and friendly volunteers made this a memorable experience for our family.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I’ve been a volunteer with Animal Welfare Foundation of Iowa for 9 years. In addition, to being a volunteer, I was also a board member for several years. During that time, the financial information provided was not very specific and how it was reported made one question how well the financials were being handled.

During my time on the board, a change in officers took place. A few members that were involved from the organization’s inception stepped down. After this occurred, an audit was conducted on the past two years financials. The new board members were saddened and upset about what was found. Personally, I was always proud to be a volunteer for this organization, but after learning the findings of the audit I was sickened and felt betrayed. I really trusted and admired the previous leaders. In addition, all of us true hardily believe this organization really did put 100% of the money raised towards AWFs pets it rescued.

In the end, the shakeup in officers has truly turned this organization around for the better. The organization now has a Board of Directors who performs random audits and the financials are taken care of in a professional manner. They also have a professional bookkeeper and a chain of command which prevents shady spending, lost records, etc. This has in turn, created a more trusting organization. One you can count that when they say 100% of the money raised goes only towards the animals, it goes for only Animal Welfare Foundation of Iowa’s animals it rescues and not for someone else’s personal gain or to take care of their irresponsibly large group of personal pets. This is a good organization who is working to better their community and change things for the better. I have no doubt when I donate money now that I’m really donating to the animals they are saving. Animal Welfare Foundation of Iowa is now truly a GREAT NONPROFIT!

Review from Guidestar