The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies has established several awards to honor those who have made a difference in animal welfare. Recipients of the awards are recognized at the VFHS annual conference and honor the achievements of the prior year.

There is someone out there who deserves to be recognized and we want to give them the recognition they deserve!  The award categories are listed below.  We depend upon you to tell us about the great work your colleagues are doing.  You may download the award nomination form here to submit your nominees for consideration, or send your information via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  The deadline to Cast Your Ballot is February 15, 2015.

CONGRATULATIONS to our 2014 Award Winners! Read about them here


Former VFHS President Elizabeth Sills established the Bravo Award in 1992.  Liz became Vice President of the Federation in 1973 and a year later filled a vacated position becoming President.  She held that position until 1989.  Under the guidance and leadership of Liz, the Federation was able to accomplish many things.  This optional award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment of outstanding service to promote animal welfare, who has been instrumental in making an impact within an animal welfare organization, and who is a reflection of the values and standards set by the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies.

This award was named in memory of Pearl Twyne, who founded the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies in 1959.  This annual award is presented to an Active Member organization that has demonstrated strong leadership qualities and whose accomplishments reflect the VFHS Strategic Plan's goal of reducing the euthanisia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in the community.

The Humanitarian Award was named in memory of Jim Godwin, who was a driving force for new and expanded legislation in animal welfare.  He was dedicated and always willing to lend a hand or lead a fight to make life better for the animals.  He saved thousands of animals from the hands of cruelty and contributed tremendously to the advancement of animal welfare.  This annual award is presented to an animal control officer who has established a positive relationship and maintained the safety and health within the community, who has made a significant impact on improving the image of the animal control profession within the community, and who has demonstrated overall excellence in the performance of his or her job.

This award was established in honor of Sandy Lerner.  Sandy, the co-founder of Cisco Systems, philanthropist and animal rights advocate, has generously supported the goals and objectives of the Virginia Federation of Humane Society through funding from the Bosack & Kruger Foundation that she and her husband established.  This optional award is presented to an Active or Associate Member organization that has made a significant contribution to reducing pet overpopulation through spay/neuter services and resources within the community.

The Companion Award was established to honor an animal that has made a tremendous contribution within our lives.  The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies would like to honor those animals that exemplify the strength and value of the human/animal bond.  This optional award is presented to an animal that has provided a benefit to its human companion or community through saving or preserving human life.

The Veterinary Partnership Award was established to recognize a veterinarian dedicated to volunteering time and services to promote the welfare of animals in conjunction with an agency that provides direct care to animals.  This optional award is presented to a veterinarian whose donated services support a local animal care and control center or an animal shelter or rescue group, in its effort to provide veterinary care for homeless and abused animals.