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Arizona Animal Welfare League, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Services, Animals

Mission: 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.

Results: 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: Arizona

Programs: 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).

Community Stories

136 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Adopted 3 dogs from AAWL so far. It's so obvious they really care about the individual dogs, providing weekends away with volunteers as well as learning as much as possible about each dog as individuals (adopters get accurate info abt dog personality). Premises clean, caring staff, dogs regularly exercised. Post adoption services available. LOVE LOVE LOVE AAWL!!!

1 Mike153

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The animals are cared for by many volunteers and staff who really shower them with affection and concern. Problems are taken care of promptly. The animals are nurtured until they find wonderful furever homes. It is the best.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is run by caring, compassionate individuals who make sure that you are paired with the pet that's best for you!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

2 loving dogs-1 owner surrender & 1 E-list= inseparable .

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AAWL provides a loving, positive, enriching environment for the dogs waiting for their forever home by daily walks, enrichment activities such as reading to the dogs, bubbles, Find-it games and spending time with the dogs in the kennels. This care is especially evident when very shy dogs are turned around to outgoing happy dogs.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Arizona Animal Welfare League is an amazing no-kill shelter in Phoenix. When I adopted a dog from them and I saw how much they loved and cared for him, I knew I had to be a part of it and help care for dogs before they are adopted by other people as well, so I became a volunteer. I call it the "country club" of shelters since it is so clean and spacious, and the animals receive so much care and attention. The staff forms bonds with many of the dogs and cats and know their particular personalities well, so they are able to choose a good match for families who come to adopt. The goal is to adopted them out to forever homes and of course never see the animals have to return to the shelter again.

AAWL allows its volunteers to participate in numerous areas of the shelter, including direct animal contact right from the start. They invest a lot of time in training and explain the reasons behind the protocols required in interaction with the animals and our responsibilities as volunteers. We, as volunteers, are offered multiple areas to assist in. Socializing and spending time with the animals, taking dogs offsite for a couple of nights when the shelter is closed, participating in offsite adoption events, adoption counseling, administrative help, assisting in the vet clinic, just to name a few. I am MORE than proud to be a part of the volunteer team and I have exposed myself to almost every area offered.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From personal experience I can tell you this is the greatest no kill shelter in the state of Arizona. I have seen first hand how the dogs and cats are helped to thrive and get the best treatment possible to make sure these precious animals get a new loving home forever.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have volunteered for AAWL and meet many greats friends as humans and furry friends we will never forget.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Years ago I looked into volunteering at AAWL but family & medical issues put a halt after the orientation. About a year ago I came back & there were so many nice improvements how could I not join the team. I deal with MS so it is hard to live by a schedule, which is partly why I'm on disability. The flexibility at the shelter is so awesome. After leaving the shelter I feel so good inside. You might say it gave something back to me, a purpose?

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for several years now at AAWL-it is the HIGHLIGHT of my life. AAWL is dedicated to helping homeless animals in so many ways. The staff & volunteers heal sick/ injured animals and help dogs with behavioral issues. There are so many ways to participate as a volunteer. I am so addicted to the unconditional love that I receive from the shelter dogs, I consider myself extremely blessed to be a volunteer. Thank you AAWL!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with AAWL for more than 13 years, as a former Board Member and as a volunteer. I had to take a 10-year hiatus because of my career, but I always knew that I'd return to volunteer. I had many volunteer options from which to choose upon semi-retirement, but had no doubt about wanting to return to help the animals at AAWL. I have had the opportunity to see many shelters, and none can hold a candle to the dedication to the shelter's cause by administration, staff, veterinarians and volunteers. I love the time I spend with the animals and with fellow volunteers and staff!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am in love with this shelter. Its clean, organized and flowing with love and support for each and ever animal that is here. Being a volunteer here, I build relationships with animals that they can feel, and in turn that makes me feel so much better as a human being overall. I truely believe that sometimes I need these animals more then they need me. Their unconditional love for humans is overwhelming. All the the special and unique programs that they have for volunteers is awesome too. It helps the animals get some special love and help get them adopted. I love the AAWL!!!

2 Elaine B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at PetMatch, the Chandler Mall location of AAWL, since it opened in November of 2012, and consider it an essential part of my life now. The staff and other volunteers are amazing and each animal is treated like family for the time they are with us. It is such a joy to see an animal that I have created a special bond with adopted, because I know how caring the adoption counselors are, and that they make sure that each family adopts the right animal for them. I have said for some time that we do not make sales at PetMatch, we make families, and know that's how we all look at it.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at the Chandler location for over a year. The facilities are always clean and the employees are always friendly and willing to help. After a few months of volunteering I adopted my cat from the main location. It was a great experience and I was so pleased with the added benefits of adopting from AAWL. Recieving the temporary free pet insurance was a wonderful addition and made me feel at ease. I left the shelter with not only a new best friend but with peace of mind, a free bag of cat food, and a free bag of cat toys. The experience of adopting my amazing cat inspired me to keep volunteering and helping these animals. They have so much love to give to each and every one of us, no matter what they've been through in life. I would highly recommended adopting or volunteering at this organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To NativeNicole,

Thank you for being one of our amazing AAWL Volunteers! We couldn't continue to grow our mission of saving homeless without the help of volunteers like yourself. Thank you for the great suggestions on how we can improve the volunteer department! We are always looking for new ways to help volunteers navigate the shelter.

Most of our communication to volunteers goes out through our E-Newsletter and the AAWL Volunteer Facebook page (in terms of office projects or other shelter needs). That goes out every Friday afternoon. The newsletter is also available in print format at Volunteer check-in (in the white binder on the counter). We have found that with a large number of volunteers these are the easiest ways to get the message out to the majority of the volunteers of our shelter needs. Of course, you can always ask any staff member where help is needed and we would be happy to give you direction on what needs to be done!

Great idea about the codes on the white board! We will make something up this week and post it next to the white board so everyone knows what our abbreviations stand for.

If you have any other questions or suggestions for the volunteer department please don't hesitate to contact us, volunteer@aawl.org.

Thank you!
Whitney Fletcher
Director of Volunteers & Special Events

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I tried to volunteer at another rescue and had a bad experience that they never wanted to meet with me to show me the ropes. At AAWL, I had my Buddy Day to show me the ropes - he was very knowledgable, and answered all my questions. Since then, all the volunteers are friendly and the staff is so helpful! I'm happy to say I volunteer at AAWL. It makes me happy when I hear of dogs I've interacted with were adopted! Happy tears. I would recommend this organization to adopt from and volunteer at! I've never had a bad experience.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 3

The work done here is amazing and I am proud to be an active contributor to their success. A lot goes in to the daily operations of this animal rescue and the staff is appreciative. When I'm there I truly feel that "every bit helps." As a volunteer I feel valued and respected for the time I put in, the work I do, and the opinions and input I share.

3 Kim_142

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so happy and honored to be able to volunteer my time to this organization. I have never seen any animal rescue organization that does such an amazing job. They take great care of the animals, have an outstanding facility and have many measures in place to ensure the animals remain safe and healthy. I am proud to say I'm a volunteer.

Another thing AAWL does is create training programs to proactively tackle common issues with animals (particularly dogs) and to foster knowledge and respect in the youth.

I also adopted a kitten from them recently, and was impressed by the adoption counselor. They really go all out to make sure each animal goes to their FOREVER home. They ask all the right questions and help you understand what you're getting into. They didn't give me a free pass because I'm a volunteer, and they shouldn't. I respect them eve more for that.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at the AAWL at the Chandler Mall has been one of the best things I've done. There is nothing like a wet nose or a lick on the face to make your day! The staff and volunteers are great to work with and everyone has a mission to get all the dogs and cats in forever homes. There are lots of things to get done so the time goes by so quickly. I love it and would recommend it to everyone that can spare a couple of hours helping out...you won't regret it!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a newbie volunteer at AAWL, and I love this place. I am in my first month working in the cattery and laundry room helping to socialize kittens and all the other awesome cats. This place is incredible and you can tell the love they have for all their animals. It is clean and they really take care of all their animals. To me it is like an animal haven for all those waiting for their furrever homes. There are so many opportunities for these animals. They offer slumber parties and weekend getaways for time out from the shelter and tons of activities for them as well. Everyone is nice here, and I am amazed how the staff interact with the volunteers. I work a full time job and a part time job and still manage to get my hours in at the shelter. It is the highlight of my week. :)

2 John251

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've just started volunteering at AAWL but so far so good! The place is large and clean with lots of areas to interact with the animals. The people are friendly!

3 mistyblue21

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been volunteering with AAWL since 2003, there is no better way to distress from a hectic full time corporate job than cuddling cats and kittens. If you have a spare room in your house I would also recommend fostering. People say oh, I can't foster I'd never give them up. But there is no better reward than knowing you prepared that animal for a forever home. Yes you will probably cry when they leave, but they are happy tears.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After I retired I wanted to give back and tried a couple things and nothing felt right. People suggested I try something with animals since I am a huge animal lover but I thought it would be to sad like the awful commercial you see on TV with the sad music and faces. One day after going through the kennel with my granddaughter after her day of camp I felt totally different. The dogs were happy and well cared for the kennels were clean and cool so I signed right up. It is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done and I look forward to it every week. The staff and other volunteers are great and truly care about the animals. I love helping out at the events and seeing the animals get loving homes. Sandy B

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I retired 1 year ago from Maricopa County as an HR Specialist. I can't tell you how rewarding and refreshing it is to volunteer with AAWL and work with the dogs. I love to sit with them, talk to them and give them love and hugs which they crave and love you for. I especially enjoy working with the shy/scared dogs...to see them become confident and return their thanks with a great big kiss and tale wag just can not be described, its a feeling between you and the dog. I have leared lots from the staff and other volunteers but mostly from the dogs. I am impressed with the love and attention AAWL provides to all of the animals and the fact that AAWL is a no-kill shelter is the icing on the cake. If you are looking for something to do, a place to volunteer and receive unconditional love then AAWL is the place for you...so come on down and enjoy this happy place. Bobbie

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer at AAWL is such a rewarding experience. To be able to see a dog or cat the day they come into the shelter and then see how far they've come the day they get adopted is gratifying. I love being able to be part of the process that finds these amazing animals FURever homes! Going to the shelter is my favorite part of the week! Makes being away from my pets at home while being at school in another state a little less lonely.
The shelter is very clean, the animals are well cared for, and the staff/volunteers are amazing and friendly people. Stop by to check us out, volunteer, donate, or adopt one of our adorable pets. Our rescued pets will be FURever grateful.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's great volunteering for AAWL. The care and compassion they have for animals is amazing. It's a joy to volunteer and see so many animals find their perfect homes.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is amazing!!!! I volunteered for two years and did a college internship here. I am obsessed with dogs, so I was in heaven. I walked dogs, cleaned kennels, played with them in the yards, and talked to people who were interested in adopting them. Staff and volunteers here are true animal lovers. Their AALW walk every year is cool too. This place is a class act and a great place to volunteer and get an amazing animal.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA is the largest and oldest no-kill animal shelter. This shelter is a special organization because, to me, they take the ultimate care to understand the animals that come through the shelter system each and every day. The shelter does this by doing a careful evaluation about the cat or dog's behavior, and take detailed notes about their behavior, i.e. is the cat/dog resource guarding. Then, the veterinary technicians and veterinarian perform a detail examination and keep the animal in a separate area for a couple of weeks if the animal is new/injured/ill. The shelter is also where I learned compassion for both people and animals. I am a special needs person, so the shelter really helps me socially and has a lot of structure, which I need. I love this shelter since the people really do try to find these loving animals a forever home. I also have noticed that the people there are so friendly towards me and all.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with AAWL and I love it because AAWL actually accomplishs their mission! They rescue and adopt so many animals each and every year and they are constantly working to increase that number. Such an impressive group of animal lovers! I have to drive a long way to work with them but it is totally worth it. Some of the dogs and cats that are rescued are so frightened and miserable when they arrive and within a week they are happy and secure because of the treatment they receive at AAWL. It is an amazing transformation and all brought about by staff and volunteers that love animals. When we went through our volunteer training, the Volunteer Coordinator said the first piece of luck these animals have is that they are now at AAWL and that is so true. The staff and volunteers will make sure that that animal gets adopted and that they have a good life in the meantime! Awsome place!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I adopted my 1st dog from AAWL in 2005. He is perfect in every way. :) A few years ago, I returned and became a canine foster parent. It has been an amazing experience. Gaby, the foster coordinator, is a pleasure to work with! They allow me to select which pups I foster and they are flexible with appointments for vaccinations and medical care. When I have to travel they take the foster pups back until I return. I have successfully fostered 13 dogs and recently adopted the last one. As a puppy she needed training. Shen recently attended Fast-Trak obedience training with Dianne Decker and her behavior has improved exponentially. I recommend AAWL to everyone i know and volunteer setting up the silent auction events at their annual fund raiser. Everyone is great at their jobs and they save a lot of lives. Keep up the excelllent work.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Patti,

With all do respect, I don't know you and had never had contact with you, therefore, I hardly feel that you have any idea of the level of my anger. Yes I was upset. I adopted an animal, became attached and just spent over $600 in 2 weeks. Who wouldn't be upset? I'm sure you yourself would be as well! I was far from out of hand in any way to your staff so I would like to clarify that first and foremost. I would also like to add that we were not offered a free vet appointment. We were offered an appointment but I was specifically told that the visit would be $50 so we took the cat to our vet. As far as your provider being low cost, I find it funny that $50 is the same price that my normal vet charged. I would also like to bring your attention to the plethora of negative reviews that I have seen on other sites. (i.e. Yelp) It does not appear that I am the only person in the valley that has had a negative experience through your organization. I would like to apologize for the delay in response to your rebuttal but it was just brought to my attention that you responded. As you might tell, I am still disheartened about the whole situation . I'm sorry if you feel that I did not act in a way that you would have felt appropriate, but I do not feel that your organization did half as much as it could have to resolve the situation so we all could have come out winners. For me, it was not about receiving a refund, it was about helping an innocent cat that was ill and needed to be taken care of so it could have stayed placed with a more than loving and providing family. Regardless, I'm sure this might fall on deaf ears so I wish you well and I hope that you all do a better job in the future when it comes to the WELFARE of the animals in your custody. Thank you.

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I recently adopted an cat from the AZ AWL through Petco and I must say, It was the worst experience I have ever had adopting an animal. The cat was so sweet. She had diarehea at Petco but we were told she was healthy. We brought her home and she immediately fit right in. 2 days later we had to take her to the vet because she was so sick she wouldn't eat. Her temperatire reached 105.7 and she spent the next 2 and a half days in the hospital on IV and meds to reduce the fever. We contacted AZ AWL and were pretty much told that we were on our own. We adopted, it is our problem. They offered for us to bring the cat in and exchange for a new one as if she was a malfunctioning TV. Karen in the catery was somewhat helpful and caring but her hands were tied due to supervision. The cat started to feel better but then a few days later she got an eye infection. Back to the vet!! Then the same night she got an infection on her ears and due to the fact that I had just spent over $600 dollars in less than 2 weeks, we had no choice but to return her. The cat should have never been up for adoption. She was sick from the get go. Janna the head of the catery lied to us on a few ocassions stating that we could return the cat and they would get her healthy and we could re adopt. Not true. What we were really told was that we could relinquish rights and then someone would call and let us know what store she was at and when so we could go re-adpot. Wow! Why would I pay another adoption fee. Luckily, they refunded my adoption fee but i was sad to have to return the cat. If they care so much about the welfare of animals, they should really pay attention to their health a little better. I will never adopt another animal now and I strongly urge people to consider the outcomes should an incident like this ever occur again.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

To sjenks06 - I am so sorry that you found your experience with us unacceptable. It is unfortunate that we weren’t informed about the diarrhea the cat experienced at the off-site location. It is our policy when informed by the stores, that the animal comes back to us and gets looked at by our veterinarian. We stand behind our animals even though their health cannot always be predicted.
I researched your case after reading your complaint. It sounds like my team had difficulty with the level of anger you were exhibiting. They did everything they could to find a resolution; offering you an appointment at our low cost public clinic, for the cat to be seen by our shelter vet at no cost, assistance in filing a medical insurance claim, and to return the cat so we could care for it. We offered you another cat because many times people request that option rather than taking the cat back after treatment. None of these options worked for you, so we refunded the adoption fee.
I wish that we could predict the health of all our animals. These animals are exposed to so much stress by being moved and shown in public places. The cat was with us for quite some time, was one of our foster kittens, and the only issue it ever had was a cold for a short period of time.
I hope, with all sincerity, that you find a cat that brings you happiness.
Patti DuBois, Director of Shelter Operations

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a very professionaly-run animal rescue organization with so many different services - they are so much more than an animal "shelter". They have a wonderful new low-cost vet center where anyone can take their animals for treatments or vaccines or whatever they need. They have a great dog training program which I used with great success. They have a whole education department with kids programs and summer camps. They have hundreds of volunteers and I looked into fostering some puppies which I hope to do next year when I get settled in my new home. I can't say enough good things about them and the people that work there. They also get great ratings from charity rating groups which is very important to my husband and me. They have a beautiful new building and the animals look so happy and well cared for - they have toys and soft bedding and I love the way everyone knows their names and all about them. They really get to know the animals - they don't just "hand them out" like some groups do. I can't say enough good things about them.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

AAWL is a unique organization in that it devotes the time and resources necessary to find a perfect home for each animal it takes in - and that's more than 3,000 animals a year. Now, with a new adoption center and other off-site locations that are in the works, they will save almost double that number in the future. There is no better animal welfare organization in Arizona and deserves support from everyone who cares for homeless animals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Many cat and dog lovers think "It would be a good thing for me to volunteer at a shelter." But they think it will be emotionally draining. When people find out I volunteer at AAWL, they ask "How do you do it?" The fact that AAWL is a no-kill shelter was a large factor in my decision. I now train volunteers and I tell them "When you leave at the end of a shift, you will feel good!" Even on long days when I am driving home tired and dirty, I feel I've done something worthwhile. I have made a difference in fighting Maricopa County's disgraceful statistic as the second largest area in the country for unwanted and euthanized pets. At AAWL I have worked a lot with the dogs; many of whom are right off the truck from "the pound". I talk to them and I say "I know you are scared and confused. You may have lived on the streets, you may have been abused, you may have been abandoned by your owners. But don't worry. Everyone here will treat you well. You just have to wait for your people to come for you." So that is how I look at it. We are just taking care of these animals until their forever families come for them. And that is rewarding work. While offering the expected activites caring for cats and dogs, AAWL offers volunteers many other activities. I have enjoyed working with the cats, dogs, reception, clerical, the clinic, off-site events, adoption counseling, training other volunteers, special events, and working with the various critters in the Education Department. As a designer and former teacher, I especially like taking on "odd jobs" such as researching a dog walking program for cardiac patients, working on AAWL training materials, reviewing plans for the new shelter, or painting a mural. AAWL can probably find a way to use any skills,interests, or talents that volunteers bring with them. And that feels good.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We heard about the shelter from a friend. Our dog passed away in October and have been wanting another. It is so much better to adopt a dog in need than to purchase one so we decided to keep looking at the shelter. We visited the shelter a few times for volunteer training and to look at dogs. Each time was a pleasant experience. My friend told us about these puppies and when we saw them were in love. They are brother and sister and we wanted to keep them together. The adoption was easy and everyone involved was very professional and helpful. There is plenty of information and a surprise insurance plan for a month. We will try to be more involved with the shelter through volunteering in the future.

1 Gordon W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a volunteer at AAWL in September 2011 and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute so far. Working with these dogs has truly become a passion for me and I can't imagine doing anything else. Volunteering at AAWL has literally become "what I do" and "who I am". My favorite thing to do is work with a new dog at the shelter who is very shy and nervous about being in this new strange place. I love spending time with them, watching them grow on a daily basis and helping them find a new family to spend the rest of their lives with. Gordon W., Chandler, AZ

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Exceptional, outstanding, caring, wonderful, much needed, priceless, hardworking, committed and irreplaceable are just a few words to describe the Arizona Animal Welfare Leage & SPCA, Arizona's Oldest & Largest No-Kill Shelter. The AAWL's entire staff, board of directors & volunteers go above and beyond to assist, care for, help and nurture dogs & cats. On a daily basis, 365 days a year, their goal is to save the lives of dogs & cats. This is no simple endeavor, yet they do it with extreme care, excellent organization, proactive communication, tenacity, kindness, integrity, smiles & joy. The AAWL excels at saving the lives of animals who would otherwise be euthanized, assisting with care & control of over population of animals by spaying & neutering all animals that come through the shelter/are up for adoption, education programs for the community & their genuine concern and love of animals which is exemplified each day through great care of the animals which includes feeding, observations, cleaning, assessment of the animals during intake, medication/health/medical treatment if needed, training, fostering programs, fundraising, events and lots of tender loving care. What the AAWL has been able to achieve & hopes to achieve in the future is awe inspiring & a true example of an outstanding non-profit. Sincerely, Melissa A.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am part of an email rescue network. Three years ago there was a dog featured at the County Animal Shelter that needed medical help. My husband and I literally fell in love with the picture. AAWL, an organization that rescues dogs and cats off the e-lists at County and Arizona Humane Society, rescued that dog. He underwent numerous surgeries to reconnect his ear and reduce the infected areas. My husband and I decided on the spot that since AAWL was giving this boy a chance, we would do what we could to "pay them back" so of course we adopted him and started our volunteer career there. I have been astounded by the numerous services and the caring people that work and volunteer there. They not only rescue animals from the e-lists from the above organizations; they will take medically needy animals because of the full-time Veterinary support. In another vein, AAWL has camps for children, starting with the very young and up through teenagers, that promote love and respect for all animals. The intent is to help break the cycle of abuse as early as possible. The children have interaction with exotic rescued animals, as well as dogs and puppies and cats and kittens. AAWL also offers low-cost veterinary service for the community, which is sorely needed. They promote programs ie “The Last Litter” program which will take the momma dog and the puppies, spay and neuter them all for free, give mama back to the family and adopt out the puppies. This has been very successful. The animals that are under the care of AAWL, get clean kennels and bedding, medical care, social interaction with staff and volunteers, walks and exercise (biking), lots of love and attention, and start learning behavioral expectations. This is all in preparation for finding them the perfect loving fur-ever home. AAWL promotes adopt, foster, spay/neuter and donate! Those are words to live by in our world. I can’t tell you how proud I am that I can be a small part of this wonderful organization. I highly recommend it to everyone. This organization saves numerous lives! There were over 3000 adoptions last year alone. AAWL is a winner all around for animals!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been volunteering at AAWL for over 2 years. They do a great job at the events given how much organization is required. Everyone at the AAWL is very dedicated to helping the animals. Other volunteers have been there for many years so that tells me they have been acknowledged and feel valued. I love the place so much that I hope to be employed there some day soon and make my own contribution to this wonderful place. Sure, sometimes communication isn't as good as it might be but the logistics involved in,say, an offsite adoption event can be very difficult and things can change but everyone just takes a deep breath and gets on with it for the animals sake and this is everyone's priority. We love AAWL!

1 Joe_4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While I am just starting out with the AAWL, I have experienced a dedication of the staff and volunteers to the animals. Each person I have come in contact with has the animals at the center of their attention. During this same period, I have adopted a small mixed breed puppy, that arrived in excellent health and has brought much joy to our home and lives. The one event that I worked was Unleashed and the entire organization worked well together to provide the patrons and clients an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I look forward to expanding my involvement with the AAWL and learning significantly more than I know today as well as meeting many many great people who I could call friends.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with AAWL in October of 2010 and I knew right away that this place was special. I started out just walking and socializing dogs but it wasn't long before I was helping out with events and going through the dog adoption counselor training! They have all kinds of great programs in place that help the animals with socialization and assist animals that are hard to adopt and are dealing with stress cope with their issues and help them get adopted. Dogs are walked several times a day, have access to the best veterinary care, cats live in the lap of luxury - they are all just waiting for their forever homes. I spend ALL of my free time at the Shelter doing whatever I can to help the animals. We take the dogs to off site adoption events, hiking to local Phoenix trails, we try to give them as much exposure as possible. The staff is friendly from the Animal Care Techs up to the CEO - it feels like one big family. To date I have close to 1,000 hours in just a little over 1 year. I would do anything for AAWL and the animals that it serves.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering in Oct. of 2010 and have been hooked ever since. I started just walking and socializing dogs then started particpating in off site events then went through the adoption counselor training and can now help out with adoptions at both the shelter and at off site events, as well as train new volunteers. This place is amazing from the Animal Care Techs to upper management, everyone is so involved with the animals. I continually ask myself "What else can I do?"

1 Summer D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before I became a mama to my first dog, I was the furthest thing from an animal lover. In fact, I was a pretty awful person. Growing up, my parents kept our family dog in a back room, where he was neglected and ignored for years. Later on in my teens, I aggressively scolded a 6 week old puppy for simply chewing a pair of my shoes. In my twenties, I wore fur. In a nutshell, I was young and had zero training on the proper treatment of animals. But when my pug, King was placed in my arms in November of 2005, my entire world changed. Everything I did from then on involved filling his life with comfort and love. I felt it was my DUTY to extend that same love to other animals, especially the ones who've never experienced it. Volunteering with AAWL was the next step, where I became a dog walker. Even just spending that small amount of time with an animal is valuable. The look in their eyes when you take the time to pet them and talk to them is in a word, PRICELESS. The staff and volunteers are passionate about what they do, providing each animal with the care and compassion it deserves. The education department is phenomenal, providing kids with the knowledge they need in order to make a difference in our animal communities-(something I wish I had experienced early on in life). The fund raising events are fun and well orchestrated, with long time supporters and friends coming together with one common goal: Making the life of an animal a GOOD one. My experience at AAWL has been rewarding as well as healing. I've learned It's never too late to do right by an animal and the first step is supporting this organization!

2 Hallie H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to several animal shelters and visited before I arrived at AAWL. At the time I was looking to adopt maybe. In the end I decided it would be best to volunteer to get my "puppy fix" and I couldn't have picked a better place! Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. All the animals are so well taken care of and they do everything in their power to adopt the cats and dogs out to the right families. As a volunteer I am able to play with dogs and cats whenever I want. I can also take dogs home on a "Gimme A Break" weekend program so that they can enjoy some peace and quite for a few days. There are all kinds of jobs you can do as a volunteer, from laundry to walking to fostering animals. All activities are carefully watched over, with information relayed back to the adoptions counselors for better matchmaking during adoptions. The best ever!

2 Rebecca25

Donor

Rating: 5

Aawl of Phoenix saves animal lives in Phoenix. The rescue dogs from the euthanasia list, get them into foster homes, take care of medical needs. Many animals are alive today and happily in their forever homes because of Aawl.

1 Sid P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have just recently started volunteering at AAWL and already I have been extremely impressed with the impact they have on the community and the dedicated team who runs the show. Every individual I have worked with is extremely compassionate and very helpful. This is an organization that is in a major growth stage and is doing all of the right things. I will continue to volunteer and donate as long as I am able and I encourage others to check it out!

1 Tracy23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at AAWL for almost one year. Most frequently, I "potty break" the dogs in the evening, play with, groom, and scoop litter in the cattery, and do ALOT of laundry. I call the time I spend at the shelter my "Zen". I want to help these animals as much as I possibly can and AAWL is the perfect venue for me to make that happen. This organization does amazing work. They never lose sight of the fact that the care and careful placing of these animals is their number one goal. The staff are wonderful and the volunteers are top notch. It is very obvious that all are passionate about this cause and love the animals as their own. Their success has opened the door for them to receive a very large donation which has allowed AAWL to break ground on a new, bigger, more modern facility. I am absolutely thrilled to see this happen and am so proud that my small contributions add to the success of the shelter. As well, they offer great training programs for staff & volunteers dealing with subjects such as basic training, behavioral training, and adoption counseling. They also offer a number of camps and volunteer programs for kids. Other programs include fostering, maintaining adoption facilities in a number of different pet stores, running a discount medical clinic and vaccination clinic, fundraising events, volunteer appreciation and so much more. I love being a part of AAWL and I believe they are one of the premier not-for-profit organizations in the city, state and country.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I stumbled upon AAWL by asking my local pet store where I could donate dog dishes and toys. I'd recently had to put my cocker Clyde down and I wasn't ready for a new pet yet. When I dropped off the items I was greeted by a volunteer who was so kind even though the shelter wasn't open yet. I saw her shirt and asked her how I could get involved. I went through training and eventually was placed in the infirmary. This is where the really sick animals come to be treated before they are ready for adoption. I saw the meticulous care that each animal got and the true care and concern of Austin and his staff. I eventually found Pickle and Farley my new dogs through the infirmary. The care that AAWL takes in finding and rehabilitate animals to become the most adoptable pets is amazing. I'm currently not volunteering but I still refer as many people as I can who are looking for a new furry addition to their family. AAWL will always be near and dear to me and my furry family. Thank you AAWL and all it's staff and volunteers for the dedication you have. It definitely shows thorough in the animals and everything you do.

1 Alyssa R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AAWL is an incredible organization; they never cease to impress me with their compassionate staff and their challenging mission. The genuine concern they feel for the animals there is apparent within the first few minutes of meeting them -- and is truly inspiring.

I have adopted 2 dogs from them so far and I am absolutely positive that when I am ready to add another member to my family, I will be coming back to AAWL. I have the utmost confidence in this organization that they will help me to find the perfect addition to my family.

The adoptions counselors are extremely educated when it comes to animals and their vast mix of behaviors -- and they are very patient as well!! It took me a good couple of months to find the perfect companion for my 1st dog, but AAWL never complained or gave up on our search. They truly wanted to find JUST THE RIGHT companion for my 1st dog and I.

I have been so thankful beyond words for everything that AAWL has done for my family and I. I could not be happier with the 2 dogs I have now that came from this wonderful organization. AAWL has enriched my life with these dogs...my babies. I feel so blessed.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

It is a terrific organization to volunteer for! I also foster & act as an adoptions councilor. I have adopted 2 pets from there & so you can say I have a great all around view! Their mission is so worthwhile & AAWL does a great job at working towards their goals. I recently had the opportunity to help with a large adoption event. It was so heartwarming! One of the adopters I worked with hugged me after her adoption was over. Please consider this terrific organization to donate to, volunteer with, foster for and adopt from!

paul courteau

Volunteer

Rating: 5

my wife and i both take great pleasure in volunteering with the cats and also adopted one. the aawl is a great organization that we are proud to be a part of.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In the 90s, a new concept hit the animal shelter community – the ‘No Kill’ movement. Shelters such as the San Francisco SPCA worked to change the status quo in their community. Little did the country know, but the Arizona Animal Welfare League was already operating a No Kill shelter. The AAWL has always advocated for animal welfare and has developed programs and services designed educate the public, bring awareness of the pet overpopulation problem and provide needed public services to the community they serve. Combined, these efforts are contributing to ending the needless euthanasia of animals.

This advocacy is seen every day with the dedicated staff and army of volunteers who work tirelessly to save animals. They don’t say the dog or cat is too old or unhealthily but rather, they work to save every life they can. The shelter is a partner with the Maddie’s project as well as having strong collaborative relationships with other Valley rescue groups and pet affiliations.

I have seen this personally as a volunteer, donor and adopter of four dogs from the AAWL. As a volunteer, I work with the medical staff. The vet and vets techs are all professional and compassionate. Emergencies are addressed with the utmost professionalism and with the animals’ comfort and safety in mind. The adoption counselors take the extra time to work with potential adopters so they understand the animal’s history. The education and volunteer departments have a monumental task but are always willing to answer questions. The management team has a vision for the shelter and works to solicit donations as well as being the front face of the shelter. The training department has developed programs that differentiate AAWL from other Valley shelters.

These actions don’t go unnoticed because with the help of an anonymous donation, the shelter is embarking on building a new adoption center in order to increase the life saving potential. That is also why your help is needed. If you are considering an organization to make a donation, volunteer your time, looking for a companion animal or just want to get involved in the animal welfare community, please consider the AAWL.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at Arizona Znimzl Welfare League/SPCA. I have also adoped 2 cats from them. The care and kindness AAWL/SPCA gives all of the animals in their care is outstanding. The cats are well cared for, socialized, and taught things to help them get adopted. I am a "foster failure" as I took my Willie Tiger home as a behavioral foster, and could not give him up. The cats are grouped as to their personality type to help them get the best home.

Janet W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This past year we adopted a beautiful spunky cocker spaniel. The staff at AAWL was amazing and supportive. We took the puppy classes and the instructors were great and we learned valuable tips. I just wish we would have taken this class when we got our first dog. The staff and volunteers at the AAWL are fantastic and keep the animals well cared. The adoption counselors take the time to make sure that the animals adopted are the right fit and will be adopted into loving homes. The Education Department is dedicated to teaching children about animals and offer great programs.

Donor

Rating: 5

For over 30 years, I have donated to many animal agencies. Arizona Animal Welfare League is one of my favorites. As a no-kill shelter, AAWL allows the animals in their care the time they need to recover from poor treatment or abandonment, or to "unlearn" behaviors that may prevent them from being adopted.

I adopted my dog Griffin from AAWL about 5 years ago. He is a lovely boy but exhibited signs early on that he may have been mistreated by his former owner. It's not pleasant to think what might have happened to him if AAWL had not stepped in and given him a new chance. I know my life would be diminished without him!

AAWL's emphasis is always on helping animals find their forever homes. Such a pure focus allows them to reach out to the community to constantly uncover loving homes for animals.

I feel my donations to AAWL are well-spent. This is a quality animal agency serving the metro Phoenix area. I am proud to support them.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My husband and I adopted our first baby (dog) from the AAWL in 1997 and I've been a financial donor ever since. We now have two more dogs from the AAWL, and we also volunteer. I like the fact that the shelter is no-kill and has been in existence a long time in our area. The staff is great, and the volunteer staff is huge in number, and fantastic at what they do! Everyone pitches in quickly when there is a need.

Josh H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This shelter is awesome. It's across the street from a community college and has many opportunities to adopt and volunteer. Everyone is very kind and takes the time to ensure the right fit for you.

Jade J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I was attending the community college across the street, I would often here dogs barking and was curious to find out what all the commotion was. I visited both the shelter and the website www.aawl.org, and found so many opportunities to volunteer and help save the lives of animals. Each and every day, a pet finds a forever home and brings joy to a loving family, thanks to AAWL. With the start of construction on the new adoption center, any funds they can get would be most helpful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I initially went there to donate old towels and blankets and asked if I could walk around, they were very friendly and said sure. When my daughter and I 1st entered the outdoor kennel area there was a box of dog treats there for visitors to feed treats to the dogs, to help the dogs become socialized and know that people are a good thing. I said to my daughter " do you hear that?" she said hear what? and I said " exactly! you dont hear the dogs barking " they were relaxed and happy and napping in nice clean surroundings. It was at that moment i decided to volunteer and AAWL. It was a happy, clean place for the animals, and since I started, the people I have met are some of the nicest and most dedicated animal lovers I have met anywhere. I see 1st hand the love and care the dogs recieve, and cats too.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The AAWL is a rewarding volunteer organization! Once I finally signed up for orientation and found out how educational & friendly everyone was, I wish I had made the decision to do it sooner. At the AAWL, there are nice big yards to play with the dogs and canals nearby for quiet and refreshing walks - the dogs love it! It is just amazing how well the AAWL does their job - from the layout of the kennels to the efficiency of the cattery to the ease of tracking daily potty breaks. Not to mention volunteer communication and adoption programs. Every day the AAWL saves an animal and that's a beautiful thing. I LOVE VOLUNTEERING and aspire to help even more!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering with the Arizona Animal Welfare League. They have an amazing training program for volunteers and the tenured volunteers and staff are incredibly helpful at assisting you. Everyone there makes you feel appreciated and welcome. The work they do every day is amazing and I was SO proud to be a part of the 2011 Empty the Shelter event.

Review from CharityNavigator

Meher Kaur K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The staff at AAWL is super supportive and appreciative of its volunteers.
This organization gets most of its animals from the euthanasia lists of other shelters. Since AAWL is a no-kill shelter there is a real commitment to these animals to find them a forever home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We foster puppies for AAWL and volunteer at some of the events. The organization is well organized and makes sure every volunteer is well educated to deal with the animals or whatever assignment they have. The staff is friendly and cares very much about the animals.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at AAWL for over a year and have really enjoyed my experience there. I love the fact that it's no-kill shelter, so they keep a dog or cat at the shelter for as long as it takes to find them a forever home. Their staff and volunteers work with the animals that need more socialization or training to become more adoptable. If a dog is very scared and shy, the staff and volunteers work with the dog to get him/her used to being around lots of people, etc, or whatever the dog needs. They also work with special needs animals, providing the appropriate medical care. I like how the staff get to know each animal and provide that animal with whatever it needs medically, socially, physically and emotionally.