Cherokee County Animal Shelter Director Becomes Georgia’s First Certified Animal Welfare Administrator Cherokee County Animal Shelter Director Susan Garcia recently became Georgia’s first and only Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) through the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. She is one of only 207 CAWAs nationwide. The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is an independent agency with a mission to help develop strong leaders and promote standards of practice in the animal welfare profession. “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,” said Jim Tedford, the Association’s CEO. The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement administers the 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, Garcia passed a rigorous exam in order to earn her designation. The exam covers best practices in animal welfare with questions reviewing leadership, human resources, finance, fundraising, marketing, administration, and animal care.