Animal Welfare Society Kennebunk, ME

This week, the Animal Welfare Society of Kennebunk, Maine is featured on PetravelR’s™ Adopt a Friend.

AWS Maine Logo_

The Animal Welfare Society, incorporated in 1967, is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit humane society. The society was formed in the early 1960s by a group of caring individuals including the late Mrs. Elmina B. Sewall and the late Mr. Donald Shepard. Today, AWS is an open-admission No Kill* shelter serving York County, Maine.  In 2014 AWS cared for 3,341 cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals in need and achieved a live outcome rate of 97.5%.  The Animal Welfare Society’s activities are supported by a staff of 38 full and part time employees and more than 350 volunteers providing in excess of 14,000 hours of service annually.

AWS Maine success_peggyrodney

AWS operates an animal shelter and adoption center in West Kennebunk and offers life saving community programs, including Pets and Women to Safety, Paws in Stripes, Paws Across America, Humane Education, Behavior and Training classes and the Shelter Spay/Neuter Clinic. AWS is home to the Cleo Fund providing spay/neuter assistance to individuals and feral cat colony advocates statewide, and serves as the animal control impound facility for 21 municipalities in York County.

AWS Maine obedience

If you would like add a pet to your family, the Animal Welfare Society has many dogs, cats, and small animals in need of forever homes.  You can see the available animals on the AWS website and then come meet them at the shelter or satellite adoption facility. You can also review the Adoption Guidelines and other information online.


At the Animal Welfare Society, their work extends beyond the walls of the shelter. They also collaborate with a number of local and national organizations to provide humane education, outreach, and cooperative solutions to save the lives of animals in need. On a local level, this means reaching out to schools, groups, and businesses with educational programs, partnering with the Maine State Prison for their unique Paws in Stripes campaign, and giving pets from homes where there is violence a safe haven through PAWS. The AWS Linkage Coalition presents to educators, students, clubs and professional organizations about The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence.

AWS maine_captainawesome

On a national level, AWS helps shelters throughout the country find loving homes for pets through PAWS Across Americaa national animal transport program that AWS began in 2002. Due to pet overpopulation, many shelters — particularly in mid-western and southern states — are faced with euthanizing healthy and highly adoptable animals. To prevent this devastating outcome, PAWS Across America program works to transport animals from high-supply/low-demand areas to AWS, where they can find loving homes. To date, nearly 5,000 dogs, cats and other small animals have found new homes through the transport program.

AWS Maine success_elliebella

Interested in volunteering with AWS? To get started, fill out an application and AWS will contact you to schedule an orientation. Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older and are asked to commit to at least two hours per week or eight hours per month. This commitment runs for a six-month period, at which time it is reviewed. Mainers who fly south for the winter can usually be accommodated.  There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available at the shelter. Volunteers are also needed for the mobile adoption team (MAT), a dedicated group of volunteers who work with shelter dogs on a one-to-one basis and take them into the community for socialization and a chance to be seen by potential adopters.  You can also become an AWS foster caregiver and foster cats/kittens, animals recuperating after surgery or other medical treatment, or animals in need of a temporary home due to a domestic violence situation.

AWS Maine dog_redrover

Please support help the animals of AWS by with a donation.  With the help of caring individuals, organizations, and businesses, the Animal Welfare Society is able to provide more than 3,600 homeless animals each year with medication, food, and expert care from their loving and professional staff.  Each gift to AWS is fully tax-deductible and goes directly toward the care of animals in need.  Supporters can also indicate if they would like their gift to benefit a specific cause at AWS:

  • Sadie Fund ~ covers the cost of major medical treatments, including surgeries, for sick or injured shelter pets.
  • Comfort Fund ~ buys items to make a pet’s shelter stay more physically comfortable, such as wheelchairs, ramps, special bedding, and anti-anxiety medications.
  • Spay/Neuter Fund ~ provides spay/neuter surgeries for shelter pets and supports low-cost surgeries at the Shelter Spay/Neuter Clinic for income-qualified members of the community.

You can also help the animals by donating much-needed items from the shelter’s wish list.  And if you’re not local, you can purchase items online from the AWS Amazon Wish List and have them delivered right to the shelter door.

PetravelR™ urges you to support your local shelters and rescues by adopting, volunteering, and donating. And remember that spaying and neutering helps reduce overpopulation and makes your pets better family member!




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