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Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA)

Congratulations to our newest CAWA's - Click here to see the list

The Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) program independently validates and recognizes those who can demonstrate that they possess the experience and competencies required for practice as a high-level manager working in animal sheltering and field services. In 2014, a diverse group of subject-matter experts in animal welfare, care and control performed an extensive job analysis of the knowledge and skills needed for competent practice in today's environment.

Any questions about certification can be directed to

  • Why CAWA?
  • 2017 Testing Dates
         June 15– August 31, 2017  (Deadline of July 1 to test during this time period)
         Sept 15 – Dec 15, 2017 (Deadline of October 1 to test during this time period)
  • Apply for CAWA Certification
  • 2017 CAWA Program Applicant Guide
  • Already a CAWA? Make sure you maintain your certification: CAWA
  • Submit educational programs for advance approval of Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) continuing education (CE) credits

Certification Department
Society of Animal Welfare Administrators
7926 Jones Branch Drive
Suite 610
McLean, Virginia 22102 USA
Telephone: +1.202.568.6364
Fax: +1.202.568.6364

Current CAWAs Share the Benefits of Professional Certification:

“I first received my CAWA certification while I was the Development Director for my agency. Preparation for the exam was valuable in my career development; assessing what areas I had strengths and opportunities for knowledge growth. Obtaining certification and maintaining it has enabled me to understand emerging trends within the animal welfare industry and has increased the foundation of my skills and knowledge.”
- Lisa Pedersen, CAWA, CEO, Humane Society of Boulder Valley

"CAWA certification has become the 'Rolls Royce' of credentials in the animal welfare industry. Maintaining this credential sets me apart from others and is a very important factor when renegotiating compensation or could help others when contemplating job offers. CAWA further demonstrates my dedication toward improving animal welfare. Maintaining my CAWA certification has definitely been helpful to me when meeting with foundations, corporations and other entities involved with providing financial resources to my animal welfare organization."
- Don Jordan, CAWA, Director, Seattle Animal Shelter

SAWA would like to thank the following Charter Sponsor for their support.


  • 15508 W. Bell Rd

  • Suite 101-613, Surprise, AZ 85374

  • Phone: (888) 600-3648

  • Fax: (866) 299-1311