American College of Animal Welfare


Notices/Important Dates:

November 01, 2016 is the deadline for submitting materials for the 2017 certification examination. On the afternoon of June 9th an orientation session will be held in preparation for the 2017 exam which is scheduled for June 10th at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

The 2017 ACAW Short Course will be held June 7-9 at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Additional information will be available soon.

The annual business meeting of ACAW will be July 25th in Indianapolis, IN to coincide with the Annual AVMA convention.


The American College of Animal Welfare "ACAW" is an AVMA recognized veterinary speciality organization. ACAW is incorporated in the State of Illinois as a not for profit corporation and has received federal income tax exemption under section 501(c)6 of the Internal Revenue Code.

The mission of the American College of Animal Welfare is to advance animal welfare through education, certification, and scientific investigation. Diplomates of the American College of Animal Welfare are veterinarians with specialized training and experience to carry out the ACAW mission. This mission is fulfilled through the application of specific knowledge listed in the Role Delineation Document.

Ensuring good animal welfare has been intuitively recognized as a critical goal of veterinary medical practice since its inception. However, during the past twenty years, animal welfare has expanded exponentially as a distinct discipline of veterinary medicine. In recognition of this expansion of knowledge, ACAW believes it is time to offer advanced animal welfare training, education, and board certification to ensure the veterinary profession continues to lead in advancing animal welfare knowledge for the benefit of the public and the profession.

Veterinarians educated to an advanced level in all aspects of animal welfare science and ethics are uniquely positioned to step forward to provide the public, general veterinary practitioners, and other stakeholders with accurate information, advice, and advanced expertise concerning animal welfare questions and challenges.

Recent Awards to ACAW Diplomates:

Dr John Herbold - National Academies of Practice Nicholas A. Cummings Award (April 2016)

Dr. Melissa Bain - AVMA Leo Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award (January 2016)

Dr Gail Golab - University of Illinois Dr Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award (September 2015)

Dr. Jan Shearer – DeLaval Dairy Extension Award (July 2015)

Dr. Stacy Pritt - Laboratory Animal Welfare Training Exchange Founders Award (June 2015)

Dr. Txema Peralta – AVMA Animal Welfare Award (2015)

Dr. John Madigan – AAEP Milne Lecture Lifetime Achievement Award (2014)