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The Animal Welfare Alliance (AWA)
of Southeast Missouri

is registered with state and federal authorities as a nonprofit organization under Section 501 (c) (3) of the U.S. tax code. The purpose of the Poplar Bluff-based organization is to foster a spirit of cooperation among all public and private animal care organizations and agencies in the area, to encourage and support the adoption, neutering and spaying of pets and to provide shelter for abandoned animals.

Our Mission

The Animal Welfare Alliance (AWA) of Southeast Missouri is a non-profit and no-kill organization. We work with the City of Poplar Bluff Animal Shelter to help provide humane shelter and animal care for neglected animals. We promote animal care education so the lives of pets can have a quality of life. We strive to find permanent and foster homes for adoptable stray, unwanted, abused and neglected pets.

Formed in September of 2008, the AWA has, in its first two years:

  • Begun issuing $50 vouchers to low-income pet owners to help with costs of spaying/neutering. (All veterinarians in Poplar Bluff, plus Dr. Fox in Fairdealing and Dr. Ouzts in Dexter, are participating.)
  • Bought beds for all 30 dog cages at the Poplar Bluff Animal Shelter.
  • Begun Saturday volunteer staffing of the Poplar Bluff Animal Shelter to process adoptions. (The city was unable to afford weekend adoption hours.)
  • Begun buying and administering 6-way shots (for distemper, parvovirus, corona virus and three strains of flu) to puppies at the Poplar Bluff Animal Shelter. (The effort has significantly reduced the number of puppies dying of parvo. With increased efforts to disinfect the pens, we hope eventually to almost eliminate the parvo/corona threat there.)
  • Obtained our federal 501(c)3 designation and registered with all appropriate state agencies as a nonprofit organization.
  • Established a Website to keep the public informed of our activities -- . A PayPal account for on-line donors is part of the site. AWA also is on Facebook.
  • Held several fund raising events to support our programs, which drain a minimum of $650 per month from our treasury.

      Our long-term goal (for which we set aside a portion of funds raised) is to establish a no-kill shelter to serve folks who rescue stray and abandoned pets in Butler, Ripley, Wayne and Carter Counties.

          We recently signed a lease for a quarter-acre parcel of land in Poplar Bluff where we intend to build our private shelter. A floor plan exists and soon will be converted into architectural drawings to be approved by city and state authorities.

The AWA will begin applying for grants this summer in the hope of finding financial help for construction and operation of the shelter.

The AWA already has started making connections with a network of animal welfare organizations that can help place homeless dogs and cats. While any AWA shelter soon would fill up, we believe we could maintain a steady flow of animals outbound to homes throughout the Midwest. Some of our more than 50 volunteer workers have experience in fostering and in networking; we also have access to advice from a number of outside experts.

Our board of directors is made up of 18 men and women, most of whom are either working or retired professionals.

President and co-founder of the AWA is Charlotte Wolpers Craig, a retired journalist now living in Fairdealing; Vice-president and co-founder is Dr. Dorothy Munch, a Poplar Bluff physician; Treasurer is Julita Michel, co-owner of Key Drug Store in Poplar Bluff; Secretary is Nancy Strack Abernathy, an investment counselor with Smith-Barney in Poplar Bluff.

Other members of the board of directors are:

          Attorney Grace Blaich, retired U.S. Navy Commander John Holland, teachers Joyanne Githens Cunningham and Carla Letassy, business owners Mary Ann Rathe and Donna Stott, social worker and business owner Holly Kingery,  caterer and former restaurant owner Jeff Walker, Three Rivers Community College instructor Carol Swain Lewis, police department administrative assistant Karen Coleman, fitness trainer Lori Hansbrough,  pharmaceutical sales representative Julie Hudson, graphics designer Jessica West and retired Three Rivers Community College instructor and licensed engineer Ron Rains. All are residents of Poplar Bluff.

Animal Welfare Alliance of SE Missouri is a Missouri Non-Profit Corporation.

Donations are Tax Deductible under section
501 (c) (3) of the IRS code


Become a Volunteer

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For Release form,
Click here (PDF File)

After completed, please mail the form to:
Animal Welfare Alliance of SE Missouri
PO Box 647,
Poplar Bluff, MO 63902

There are two ways to  help the animals!

or send a check or money order to:
Animal Welfare Alliance of SE Missouri
PO Box 647,
Poplar Bluff, MO 63902