About APAW

History and Mission

Amelia Patrons for Animal Welfare, Inc. (APAW) was formed in 1995 by a group of concerned citizens who were dismayed by the archaic animal shelter operated by Amelia County. APAWs first order of business was to have the county build a new animal shelter which was accomplished in 1996 with much assistance (& insistence!) from APAW. Meanwhile APAW filed paperwork with the State Corporation Commission and the Internal Revenue Service and became an official nonprofit, 501(c) 3 organization. This designation is important and allows anyone donating money, materials or services to APAW to deduct the donation from their taxes. As part of this process, APAW developed a set of bylaws which governs the group and calls for a Board of Directors of 5-15 members. We currently have a Board numbering 5 and are governed by a standard slate of officers. The purpose of APAW as stated in our bylaws is the prevention of cruelty to animals, the relief of suffering among animals, and the extension of humane education. APAWs primary mission is to provide spay and neuter assistance to area pet owners to help end the overpopulation of dogs and cats in our county. Research has proven that this is the most effective way to improve the lives of companion animals because when there are more pets than there are homes, the pets end up homeless, with a bleak future.

What Does APAW Do?

Soon after we formed our group in 1995, we forged a partnership with our local veterinarians to provide low cost spay and neuter services to area pet owners. With an APAW spay or neuter voucher, pet owners pay a reduced fee for spay/neuter surgery. APAW subsidizes each surgery. Pet owners must fill out an APAW spay/neuter assistance application form.  The application forms are available here on our website, at the Amelia County Animal Shelter, the James L. Hamner Public Library in Amelia County, the Amelia County Treasurer’s office (where residents buy their annual dog licenses), and the Amelia County Administrator’s office. Applications are also available by writing to APAW at P.O. Box 725, Amelia, VA 23002, or by requesting one from any APAW member. Residents must fill out the application form and return it to APAW with a self-addressed, stamped return envelope or email it to apawinc@gmail.com. APAW then sends the pet owner an official spay/neuter voucher which the resident presents to the participating veterinarian performing the surgery. The veterinarian completes the certificate and returns it to APAW. APAW then sends the veterinarian a subsidy for each surgery. In 2021 APAW paid out $42,254.00 to our local veterinarians for spay and neuter surgeries for over 300 pets. Since APAW has been providing this assistance for almost 30 years, we believe this program has had a real impact on our pet overpopulation problem in Amelia County.

APAW also works to improve the lives of homeless animals by supporting the Amelia County Animal Shelter. APAW buys equipment and supplies for the shelter to improve the conditions for the animals housed there. Volunteers from APAW also assist the shelter in care and adoption of the animals that end up at the shelter. These volunteers walk the dogs and pet the cats and prepare them for new homes. Volunteers also take pictures of the animals and post them in the newspaper and on the Internet to encourage their adoption.

APAW originally took in homeless animals, provided them with medical care, spayed and neutered them, fostered them, and adopted them to new homes. This endeavor became extremely burdensome, requiring more money and volunteer hours than APAW could sustain. Therefore, in 2002 APAW voted to indefinitely suspend this program and concentrate on our mission of spaying and neutering as many area pets as possible.

There are still opportunities to foster animals if a member desires. For more information on fostering puppies or dogs, contact the Amelia County Animal Shelter at 561-3878. However, please note that no animals are accepted or adopted through APAW.

Public education and outreach is another APAW endeavor. Through newspaper articles, displays at Amelia Day and the Amelia County Fair, and APAW’s Facebook page we attempt to educate the public on the benefits of spaying and neutering their pets, as well as encouraging people to adopt their next animal from a shelter. These efforts can be expanded to include presentations at schools and community groups with willing volunteers.

You can contact APAW at apawinc@gmail.com.