EAST BROOKFIELD — Sheryl Blancato, CEO and founder of Second Chance Animal Services, recently earned her certified animal-welfare administrator certification through the Assoc. for Animal Welfare Advancement, an independent agency whose mission is to help develop strong leaders and promote standards of practice in the animal-welfare profession. Blancato is now one of several hundred individuals to hold this prestigious designation.
The Assoc. for Animal Welfare Advancement administers the certified animal-welfare administrator (CAWA) program, which distinguishes top-level executives and managers working in both nonprofit and municipal animal-welfare agencies. In addition to meeting strict eligibility requirements for leadership and management in the animal-welfare field, Blancato needed to pass a rigorous exam to earn her CAWA designation.
The CAWA exam covers best practices in animal welfare, with questions reviewing leadership, human resources, finance, fundraising, marketing, administration, and animal care. Obtaining her CAWA status validates Blancato’s work in the animal-welfare field and illustrates her competency to contribute to broader animal-welfare conversations as they pertain to her community and across the country.
“We hold ourselves to the highest standards. Our donors entrust us with the resources to help pets, and this certification ensures we are doing the most we can with their support,” Blancato said, adding that she will pursue continuing-education classes to maintain the certification.
Jim Tedford, the association’s CEO, noted that “certified animal-welfare administrators have demonstrated that they hold specialized qualifications and a commitment to high standards and ethical practices in our industry. We respect their dedication to their own professional development and their pursuit of leadership excellence.”