Our Mission

Animal Welfare Society exists to serve as the safety net for lost and homeless pets and to provide access to affordable services and resources necessary for long term well-being, so pets and their families stay together and thrive.

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How we support our community

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. The organization serves 18 municipalities in York County as the animal control impound facility for lost and abandoned pets. Furthermore, AWS works with rescue groups in other parts of the country to bring companion animals to Maine for adoption. By bringing together families through adoption and reuniting families whose pet has been lost, AWS is the community safety net for local pet families.

AWS’ suite of life-saving community programs help keep pets and their people together, especially in times of hardship. Resources include temporary boarding, pet food, supplies, veterinary care and assistance with behavior concerns. The on-site, full-service Community Veterinary Clinic supports the veterinary needs of resident pets and pets of local community members. 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.

A compassionate and professional staff, a team of 200+ dedicated volunteers and 300+ foster families support AWS’ programs and services.  AWS is able to fulfill its mission through the generosity of those who contribute through financial gifts, in-kind support and bequests.

We envision a community where pets and their families thrive together.

Our Values

Community Focused

We are dedicated to supporting people and pets in our community through creating progressive, innovative programs and services so that pets can get what they need to thrive. We believe healthy pets make healthy people and healthy people make a healthy community.


We demonstrate kindness, understanding, and concern for the animals and people in our community whatever their circumstances. We appreciate others’ perspectives, listen, acknowledge needs, and practice patience. We offer assistance and support in the absence of judgement


We acknowledge it takes all of us working together to successfully promote and protect the human-animal bond. We prioritize teamwork and partnerships in all that we do and commit to building positive relationships with individuals, groups, and organizations in order to further our mission and goals.

Inclusion and Equity

Diverse voices make us stronger. We strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and heard. We seek to build a fair, equitable, honest, and healthy place for our staff to work and for our community to seek support.

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AWS Community Veterinary Clinic is hosting a FREE microchip and rabies vaccine clinic for dogs and cats over 12 weeks of age at Waggerstown Pet Nutrition & Supplies Store in Wells, ME. 𝗛𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆!

This clinic is free to attend, but we ask that you please RSVP in advance. Head to our website today or check our stories to register. We strive to keep pets happy, healthy, and at home with their families!
Perhaps you’ve considered adding a new canine companion to your family, but haven’t quite decided if it’s a good time yet. Maybe you’ve been wanting a dog but the winter blues have had you feeling down and out. We totally understand; adopting a pet is a big decision! We feel right now in this season, however, is the perfect time to adopt a dog!

Check out our newest blog post online to learn why we think NOW is the perfect time to adopt your furry friend! And while you're there, make sure to browse our adoptable dogs and see all their adorable faces! 🐶
The weather might be misbehaving, but a few April showers won't stop our second annual Bunny Hop! Grab the kids and join us TODAY at 2:00 pm for fun crafts, stories, and time spent with real springtime animals, all happening inside AWS’ Behavior and Training room. It's going to be a hopping good time!