About Us

Founded in 1967, Animal Welfare Society (AWS) is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization located in Kennebunk, Maine. The organization provides shelter, veterinary care, training and resources to more than 10,000 pets and community members annually.

AWS operates a progressive animal shelter and adoption center on a 40 acre campus in Kennebunk and serves 18 municipalities in York County as the animal control impound facility for lost and abandoned pets. AWS works with rescue groups in other parts of the country to bring companion animals to Maine for adoption. AWS’ suite of life-saving community programs are designed to help keep pets and their people together by providing support and resources including temporary boarding, pet food, supplies, veterinary care and assistance with behavior concerns. Additionally, AWS works in collaboration with funding partners and veterinary professionals to deliver accessible spay/neuter and wellness services statewide, especially in remote, underserved areas of Maine.

AWS’ adoption center, programs, services and operations are supported by a compassionate and professional staff and a team of 200+ dedicated volunteers and foster families.  AWS is able to fulfill its mission through the generosity of those who contribute through financial gifts, in-kind support and bequests.


AWS is pleased to announce that in 2023, for the twelfth consecutive year, it has been awarded the highest ranking (✭✭✭✭) by CharityNavigator. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates AWS demonstrates strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency while executing its mission with responsible governance and commitment to best practices.

AWS is pleased to announce that in 2023, it is has again achieved the Platinum Seal of Transparency, as designated by Candid (formerly Guidestar), a nonprofit information service. To reach the Platinum level – the highest offered by Candid – AWS has added extensive information to its Nonprofit Profile: basic contact and organizational information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission. By taking the time to provide this information, AWS has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate nonprofit performance.