NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative

The NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative is a project of The Scranton Area Community Foundation. Established in 2019, the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative is a collective of animal shelters, rescues, advocates, and sanctuaries in the region that are interested in coming together to advance various causes in animal welfare and to increase the collective resources available to these agencies. Activities of the collaborative include education, professional development, fundraising and other practices that move the goals of the collaborative forward. The Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as the convener of the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative.

Scranton Area Community Foundation

The NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative is a project of The Scranton Area Community Foundation. Founded in 1954, the Foundation is a steward and grant-maker that manages over 200 charitable funds established by philanthropic individuals in our community and has granted over $18 to assist the educational, human service, environmental, civic, animal welfare and arts and cultural organizations in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It also manage assets of more than $31 million through two private foundations, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation and the Robert H. Spitz Foundation.

As a catalyst for change, the Scranton Area Community Foundation leads numerous initiatives, including Women in Philanthropy, which empowers and transforms the lives of women and girls throughout the region; NEPA Moves, which brings together a council of community leaders who are focused on solving the transportation challenges across the region; the Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, which serves the capacity building needs of the nonprofit community through seminars and training programs facilitated by highly-skilled, nationally-recognized professionals; and most recently,  the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative. For more information visit

Strategic Plan

Strategic priorities of the Collaborative include:

Increase Available, Quality Foster Homes for Homeless Animals: find homes for animals with specific challenges; increasing the number of appropriate foster homes and related foster volunteers; manage expectations about the patience and related aspects required; Develop a foster registry.

Increase Spay/Neuter- Support Trap Neuter Release (TNR): Create awareness of areas where TNR is needed and find support for those locations; Add or support resources for no cost spay/neuter services and make them available at various locations in the region; Educate the public and municipal, local government about the value of supporting TNR programs.

Promote/Develop Collaborative Resources, Programs, and Trainings- Streamline collaborative communications and ways organizations can support each other; Provide professional and technical trainings for members of the Collaborative; Establish Veterinary Coalition and/or supportive veterinary services for rescues, shelters and sanctuaries; Host an Animal Care Summit.

Establish Best Practices: Develop a Code of Ethics and Standardized set of Best Practices for the Animal Welfare Collaborative.

Professionalize Advocacy Efforts towards effective legislation that advances the mission of the Animal Welfare Collaborative.


Committees of the Animal Welfare Collaborative

Steering Committee
– Designs Collaborative structure (Governance)
– Develops the standards for the Collaborative
– Develops scope of overall work plan and budget

Programs Committee/ Animal Care Summit Committee
– Combined committee that works on developing all potential programs
– Evaluates other programs and initiatives listed in the final work plan and creates steps to implementation as needed.

Communications/Marketing/Advocacy Committee
– Makes recommendations, develops web page, administers Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and other media
– Identifies issues for public education programming/training and prepares corresponding releases, brochures, posts and events
– Participates in advocacy events and shares materials in a professional development session with all members
– Helps to plan educational events for the Collaborative as well as group trips to conferences
– Works to inform legislators about animal welfare issues and priorities

Animal Welfare Collaborative Steering Committee

  • Scott Babinski – President, Quigley’s Shelter Pets
  • Rosemary Bohenek – Fundraising and Event Coordinator, the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA
  • Shannon Ceccoli – Director, Northeast PA Pet Fund and Rescue
  • Jennifer Critchley – Director, In Pursuit of GRACE
  • Laura Ducceschi – President and CEO, Scranton Area Community Foundation
  • Jess Farrell – Facility Director, Endless Mountains Extended Care, LLC
  • Indra Lahiri – Founder, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary
  • Tracie Morgan-Chopick – Coordinator, Luzerne County Animal Response Team
  • Katrina Sonnenberg –  Rescue Advocate
  • Ashley Wolo – Executive Director, Griffin Pond Animal Shelter