Sybil Altman, Shelter Manager at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, recently earned her Certified Animal Welfare Administrator certification through The Association 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. She is now one of several hundred individuals to hold this prestigious designation, including the SPCA Albrecht Center’s Operations Manager, Sarah Neikam.

Sybil Altman joined the SPCA Albrecht Center in 2006 as a Kennel Tech but was quickly promoted in 2008 to Adoption Counselor: finding the ideal loving, forever home for each of the shelter’s animals. Sybil’s deep understanding of & compassion for the shelter animals was noticeable. And, in 2011, she was promoted to her current role as the Shelter Manager. In this role, Sybil oversees shelter staff, manages the daily operations of the shelter & the wellbeing of the SPCA’s adoptable animals.

Her family includes Kim and their many companions – Henrietta Beans (Boston Terrier), Sadie (Mixed Breed), Midge (Dachshund), Mimi (Chihuahua), Cheerios (Sphynx), Neighbor Sam (Domestic Shorthair) & Rainbow Unicorn (Russian Tortoise). Many SPCA visitors likely recognize Henrietta, who spends her days lounging around the shelter and begging for treats (she is not allowed to have) as the SPCA’s mascot.

After weeks of grueling studies, Sybil recently took on the challenge of completing the CAWA exam through The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. This association 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, Sybil 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 Sybil’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.

Jim Tedford, The Association’s CEO noted, “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.”

On behalf of all of us at the SPCA Albrecht Center, we are so proud of Sybil’s accomplishments and can’t wait to see how she uses her advanced knowledge to continue building a brighter future for our area’s homeless & neglected animals!

The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is a private, nonprofit, no kill animal shelter in Aiken, SC. The SPCA also operates a local Thrift Store (“Where Shopping Saves Lives”), a public, affordable Veterinary Care Center & a Dog Park. It is our mission to improve the lives of companion animals by rehoming abused, abandoned, and neglected pets while fighting for their well-being through vigorous legislative efforts, humane education, and by offering affordable veterinary care for all.