Planned Giving – The Impact

For decades, bequests have been an integral part of AWA’s success in saving thousands of our community’s pets.  Read about some of the individuals whose compassion and generosity have left a Legacy of Love.

AWA was founded in 1947

AWA was founded in 1947 by a small group of animal lovers. These founders raised awareness plus rescued and adopted out animals from their own homes.  Their dream was to build a shelter so that they could make a greater impact on their mission to save more lives.  In 1964, Mr. Ranken left his estate to AWA, allowing AWA to purchase his land in Voorhees for $1. Two years later, AWA founders were able to build a facility on the land, making their dream of creating a humane shelter a reality.

Two decades ago, AWA was faced with a significant financial crisis.  We were almost forced to scale back services and close our doors a few days a week in order to survive…a difficult decision considering that for many years, we had been open to the community 7 days a week.  Thanks to a bequest made by Mrs. Miller, AWA was put back on the right track and we were able to resume as usual.

Mrs. Deloris A. La Rue

Mrs. Deloris A. La Rue was a former AWA volunteer.  When she passed away in 2010, she left AWA substantial funds to help our shelter animals.  Mrs. La Rue was survived by her beloved dog “Bobby” who was left with a living stipend to help her new caretaker provide for her dog until she passes away.  We were fortunate to know Mrs. La Rue.  Many of AWA’s bequests come from people we’ve never met, without knowing how we (AWA and our mission) touched their lives.

Mrs. Carmella Winter

Mrs. Carmella Winter listed AWA in her will. “I wanted to leave a legacy of care for the animals and trusted AWA to be there for the animals because of what I know about the good work they do.”  “I give what I can to make sure the dogs are cared for, but I know that I can make a meaningful contribution (from my estate) that will allow AWA to take care of its needs.”  Ms. Winter visualizes AWA using the funds to make facility upgrades because with “a modest annual budget adding (space) on isn’t do-able.”  As a dog-lover the mission weighs on her heart. “No dog should ever go hungry.  All animals should be spayed or neutered” and the fact that AWA does these two things matters to her.

Robert Kolman

Robert Kolman was a night watchman at RCA.  Although he lived a simple life, he had a significant pension and left part of it to AWA upon his passing.  Because of Robert’s thoughtfulness, we were able to build a new and larger on-site spay/neuter and wellness clinic.  Because of Robert, we will be able to control animal overpopulation for years to come.

Doris DeDomenico

Doris DeDomenico loved AWA and for years, proudly wore AWA shirts she acquired in the 80’s. In 2010, she revised her will and left all her belongings to AWA because she believed in how we lived our mission.

Anne Rausche

Anne Rausche was a career woman who devoted herself to her pet cats and was a endless advocate for them. Anne left her pension to AWA so that we can continue to help cats in our community by finding them loving homes and saving their lives for generations by controlling overpopulation.

For more information, you can contact Laura Houston, our Executive Director, at 856-424-2288, ext.109 or email

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