Maya Richmond

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Location: Voorhees, NJ
Founded: 1948
Industry: Nonprofit

Maya Richmond
Executive Director

Animal Welfare Association

The Animal Welfare Association (AWA) provides a variety of programs and services, including pet sheltering and adoptions of unwanted dogs, cats and rabbits. “Each year, through our adoption program, we place 2,600 pets into new, loving homes,” says executive director Maya Richmond. “Many of the animals that come to us are in need of extra care.”

Fun Fact: AWA was founded in 1948 by four Camden women who wanted to improve life for animals.

“We believe we make the world a better place … by creating a community that values pets,” says Richmond. “The city of Camden has the largest pet impoundment problem for our county, with over 40 percent of the pets going into the municipal shelter coming from the city itself.” AWA decided to work on tackling that problem with a Vets on Wheels program. Rather than handing out fliers with information on pet care, AWA goes door-to-door to meet city residents.

AWA was the founding member of the Camden County Animal Alliance. Prior to the alliance’s founding, there was little communication between shelters, and programs were disjointed. “So we formed an informal partnership [to] come out once a month as leaders of those organizations and talk about what we’re doing to overcome our differences,” says Richmond. That partnership morphed into the formal alliance, which features shared programming.