SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare

Let Love Live

aka Aiken SPCA   |   Aiken, SC   |


Established in 1935, the SPCA Albrecht Center has spent over 85 years saving lives. This success was achieved through the dedicated efforts of numerous SPCA employees and volunteers. We are a non-profit organization operating under IRS Section 501(c)(3). We receive no support from state or federal agencies or from the ASPCA. We depend upon local donations to support our efforts to save the lives of homeless dogs and cats in our community. Our Board of Directors has undertaken the long-term goal of reducing the pet overpopulation problem in the CSRA through education of the need to spay and neuter and by providing affordable and accessible spay/neuter and other veterinary services. We are a limited admission animal shelter.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Sybil Altman

Main address

199 Willow Run Road

Aiken, SC 29801 USA

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Formerly known as

Aiken County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals



NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

An overpopulation of Bully Breed dogs and an over population of cats

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Low cost spay and neuter and wellness clinic

The SPCA partners with individuals, rescues, and animal control agencies to provide accessible and low cost spay and neuter services. We offer transport to and from our surgery clinic and offer a variety of rates based on affordability. We work with local and county governments to encourage spaying and neutering through vouchers and ordinances that encourage owners to take advantage of our low cost services. We provide no cost surgeries when necessary. The SPCA participates in TNR efforts with several agencies and rescues.

Population(s) Served

We are a No-Kill shelter, with rare exceptions for temperament or medical conditions. Our Adoption Center is new and designed to be animal centric. All animals have views to the outside. Dogs live in large rooms with windows and are not crowded. Cats are in colonies that have free access to outside porches. All animal habitats have their own ventilation, drain, lighting, and fire sprinkler. All dog areas have sound proofing. The Adoption Center has piped in soothing music and aromatherapy for calming people and pets. We employ a Director of Enrichment and Training who works with the dogs to teach self calming behaviors and basic good manners. We have a large group of volunteers who are trained by the Director to work with our dogs in the Phideaux University Program that she developed to enrich and stabilize the dogs' lives while they are with us. We have a steady group of volunteers and others who spend time with our cats in their environments. In 2013 we adopted 832 animals; about evenly divided between dogs and cats and other small pets.

Population(s) Served

Our Humane and Character Education Program reaches at risk youth to help them learn compassion and responsibility and to better prepare themselves to be future pet owners, as well as to know how to act around animals they don't know.
Educating the public about how to responsibly care for animals, and to treat them with respect, kindness and empathy is a primary goal of the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare.
Traditionally, humane education has meant teaching the proper care and treatment of animals. Today, it involves much more. Humane education now includes topics that stress respect, compassion, and responsibility in the treatment of all animals and people. We believe that children taught to provide justice, kindness, and mercy to animals may become more just, kind, and considerate in their interaction with each other.

In September 2006, the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare in cooperation with the Aiken County School District began a Humane Education Pilot Program for K-3 classrooms at four Aiken County elementary schools. This program focuses on teaching life skills and developing positive character traits in the children of Aiken County. Our goals are to:

Staff the program with volunteers recruited from the community
Foster an understanding of the care of animals and what responsible pet ownership entails
Foster an understanding of compassion and empathy to encourage positive behavior
Foster an understanding of violence prevention and peaceful conflict resolution
Provide this program at no cost to the Aiken County Schools, and with no additional work for the classroom teachers
Augment the students’ existing reading, communication, and literacy skills through the use of lessons plans and materials that enhance these skills
The program has been entirely funded by the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare and local private donors.

Our continuing goal is to provide a quality program that has a lasting, positive effect on Aiken County students and their pets. Teams of two volunteers (at least one team member is a career educator) visit their designated classroom during the school year to present a total of seven lessons. The volunteers schedule the lesson presentation dates and times with their assigned classroom teacher. All lesson plans and teaching materials are provided for each volunteer team.

This program would not be possible without the volunteers who generously donate their time and skills.

Visit the volunteer page for more information. If you need help, contact us at Volunte[email protected] or call 803-648-6863.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Phideaux University is a comprehensive training program designed to increase adoption rate and dramatically improve the standard of living for our dogs. As a no-kill shelter, this is of constant concern. It is not enough to offer these animals life; it is our responsibility to see that they have a life worth living while inside the shelter and have every opportunity for success in a permanent home.

At Phideaux University, YOU are the academic advisor, schooling your selected resident in basic training, and readying this furry friend for “real life” outside the shelter walls.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Certified Animal Welfare Administrator 2013

Society of Animal Welfare Administrators

Emergency Placement Partner 2014

Humane Society of the United States

Innovation Grant Phideaux University 2012

Pedigree Foundation

Emergency Placement Partner 2017

Humane Society of the United States

Emergency Placement Partner 2019

Humane Society of the United States

Emergency Placement Partner 2022


Affiliations & memberships

Society of Animal Welfare Administrators 2012

Society of Animal Welfare Administrators 2014

Society of Animal Welfare Administrators 2015

Society of Animal Welfare Administrators 2016

Association for Animal Welfare Advancement 2020

Association for Animal Welfare Advancement 2021

Association for Animal Welfare Advancement 2022

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We are determined to reduce the homeless dog and cat populations that plague the Central Savannah River Area of South Carolina. Unwanted births and the subsequent animal control issues that they create can be diminished through education and the opportunity to access affordable spay and neuter services and through common sense ordinances that are acceptable to the general public and are not onerous to those who are not at fault for the problem.

Convinced governments to enact TNR programs for cats and pass ordinances that charge a significant fee for fertile dogs.

We employ many strategies for accomplishing our goal of ending the homeless and unwanted pet problem here in the CSRA.
Number one is to operate our Regional High Volume, Low cost Spay and Neuter Clinic with high quality care, performance,and follow up.
Number two is to educate the general public in such a way that visiting an animal shelter to acquire a pet is a first choice and that visiting a shelter is pleasant experience and in our case, a destination that they want to go to and bring their friends and relatives.
Number three.....educate children about humane and character values, so as they grow into adults they treat animals well and with respect.
Number with elected officials to understand the health and societal problems that accompany out of control homeless dog and cat populations and offer reasonable solutions and cooperation to solve the problem.
Number five...enrich the lives and through reward based training teach our adoption dogs good citizenship so that they are ambassadors for shelter animals and have a greater chance of being a successfully rehomed pet.
Number six...through our Pet Therapy program help the community with its needs and foster the human -animal bond.

Compared to most we are a small organization, but committed to excellence.
The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare was built with our animal and program needs in mind.
Architecture, engineering, and construction were purposed to provide an animal centric, healthy, pleasant, enduring, attractive, environmentally friendly(solar hot water, geothermal wells, low E glass), and hygienic facility.
Our Spay/Neuter Clinic has four operating tables and is a Humane Alliance Model. We employ the very best of surgeons and technicians for surgery, the medical well being of our animals, and services such as vaccinations, testing, and product sales to the general public.
Our Education Center is equipped with audio and visual media, internet access, soft floors, and a capacity for education of classrooms and large groups.
Our Adoption Centers and temporary holding areas for our small animals, cats, and dogs includes windows to the outside, 100% outside air, sound proofing, MP3 Rescue music, aromatherapy, indoor/outdoor free access colonies for the cats, and large rooms with windows, furniture, toys, and enrichment activities for our dogs. There is no over crowding.
We employ a Director of Enrichment and Training who works with a set of trained volunteers in our Pedigree Foundation Innovation Award winning Phideaux University Program that teaches our dogs self calming skills and basic good citizenship.
We reach out to rescues and animal control agencies within our area if they need help and we work closely with them to offer our services, facilities if need be, and input on animal control issues. We believe in partnerships and customer service
We employ a Volunteer Coordinator who does a great job matching volunteers to tasks, tracking their hours, and encouraging and rewarding their contributions to our organization.
We operate a Dog Park with a pool that encourages camaraderie among animal owners, traffic to the Center, and opportunities for our dogs to interact and be seen by potential adopters.
We have a very strong, diverse Board Of Directors.
We offer a Planned Giving Legacy Program to care for pets when owners pass on or are incapacitated.
We have an energetic, committed staff and friendly working atmosphere.
We undergo annual audits to insure accountability and we routinely have job performance evaluations for staff and administrative personnel.
We operate a network of Thrift Shops that provide revenue and offer opportunities to spread our message.

How much progress are we making??? Alot!
The SPCA in Aiken was founded in 1935. In 1981 the organization built the first Spay/Neuter Clinic and a small adoption area.
In 2005 the Board Of Directors re-energized and focused on solving the homeless pet population, rather than just reacting to it.
Community leaders from all walks of life spent a few years working and implementing a new strategic plan, creating awareness of animal control issues, and creating partnerships. In 2008 the organization began the process of working toward new facilities that would meet the community's needs and the organization's goals.
By 2012 the SPCA had completed and built its 22,000 sq ft Center for Animal Welfare on 13 acres with a 2 acre Dog Park.
The city of Aiken has 29,000 residents and the county has about 150,000 residents. The project in total was about $6million dollars. Private individuals contributed $5 million and the city contributed another $1m so that its Environmental Control Department would have a home with the SPCA.
This project would not have been possible or subsequently successful in this relatively short period of time unless the public and ultimately the donors had a great deal of confidence that the SPCA would do as it said it would.
We are committed to excellence and to the welfare of the animals and public we serve.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare

Board of directors
as of 03/09/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Russ Richardson

No Affiliation

Term: 2021 - 2022

Board co-chair

Mrs. Lisa Handy

Carolina Equine

Term: 2017 - 2022

Steve Young

No affiliation

Mary Guynn

No affiliation

Jack Roth

Pam Gleason

Sharon Brown

Al Sorensen

Sharer Dale

Michael Sullivan

Ted Cummings

Jill Thomas

Lisa Handy, VMD

Russ Richardson

Robert Fine

Owen Bramlett

Nancy Goldmark

Jacquelyn Kane

Marilyn Brady

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes