Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County, WV  © 2009-2016 All Rights Reserved     

AWS History - Compassion and Caring

The Animal Welfare Society has a proud tradition of serving our community and domestic pets in need.  We have served continuously since 1952. AWS was formed to provide care and protection for suffering homeless and unwanted animals; to educate the public in respect to humane treatment of animals and to encourage and assist in the enforcement of laws against mistreatment of and cruelty to animals.

During two decades from 1958-1978, the Society passed through a period in which there was little growth and in which rising costs and limited membership income hampered the Society’s activities.  Yet, the founders persevered in their vision and mission.  The 72 member AWS was the only organization in the county trying to solve the problem of acute unwanted stray pet explosion.


Among the projects undertaken was a spay/neuter program in cooperation with Friends of Animals and local veterinarians, a cooperative effort with the county on low-cost rabies vaccinations, a program to increase knowledge of children in proper pet care.  All of these programs continue today!


Proper housing for abandoned cats, kittens, dogs and puppies didn’t exist. The county only housed adult dogs.  So in 1985, AWS completed construction of the current animal shelter on Old Leetown Pike Road. The shelter accommodates 20 dog/puppies and roughly 30 cats/kittens. As a no-kill shelter, we are normally overflowing with pets seeking a second chance for a loving home.  Each year, over 500 pets pass through our doors. We do all of this with an annual budget of only $160,000.


AWS is governed by an all volunteer Board of Directors - all of whom are residents of the county.

Mission -

AWS is all about compassion for animals and their suffering. We have the willingness to do “whatever it takes” to provide our wards with the second chance at the life they so deserve.

Jeremiah, a 7 month old Black Lab mix, had been abandoned. He was brought to us severely injured after having been struck by a car. He received medical care and while being nursed back to health, shelter staff worked to bring him out of being withdrawn from humans.  Fourteen months passed with no forever home for Jeremiah even though he was well adjusted.  He became our shelter mascot.. Then it happened! Jeremiah received his second chance - a forever home!  That’s the meaning of compassion. Never giving up.

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Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County, WV  © 2012 All Rights Reserved