Nonprofit Profile: Voorhees Animal Orphanage, caring for animals in 21 South Jersey towns


Voorhees Animal Orphanage is a nonprofit community animal shelter and 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1988.


To provide compassionate shelter and adoption services for the animals entrusted to our care, with a goal of safely reuniting them with their owners or finding them suitable and permanent new homes. We strive to meet or exceed a 90% live release rate (no-kill).

As part of our role in the community at large, we support pet owners, animal lovers and companion animals through humane education and outreach.


To be an exemplary shelter and adoption center. Also, to raise $1.6 million for our Capital Campaign.


Our main job is to provide food, shelter and care for animals in 21 municipalities in southern New Jersey. We provide medical treatment through our VAO Medical Fund, manage adoption services, reconnect lost animals with their owners and provide ongoing socialization and obedience training. We are also an adoption center, rescuing cats and dogs from overcrowded, high-kill shelters on a local, regional and national levels.


Saved more than 30,000 cats and dogs; held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for our new building; kicked off our Capital Campaign, “Building for a Pawsitive Future,” through which we’ve raised more than $1 million. Anyone interested in making a donation can visit


As we do not receive any county, state or federal funding, we rely heavily on grants and generous contributions of individuals and corporations. Approximately 70% of operating costs are paid for through donations. Donations can be made through our website or through our Facebook page.

Our biggest annual fundraiser is the Woofstock Festival. Our 23rd Annual festival is currently scheduled for Sept. 28. For more details, please visit our website at


We’re supported by past and present volunteers, families that have adopted from us and owners that we have helped reunite with their pets. We recently received a generous $100,000 donation from one of our volunteers, Barbara Patrizzi, for the naming rights to our new lobby — the Joseph J. and Jacqueline R. Patrizzi Atrium.

We also have received numerous grants from Petco Foundation, PetSmart Charities, Holman Enterprises and Shreiber Animal Foundation Enterprise.


Some refer to VAO as the “underdog,” and we take that with pride. We’ve had the odds stacked against us almost from our inception in 1988. We serve 16 towns in Camden County which is almost half of the county. We share a passion for animal welfare. We never turn away an animal — stray, abandoned or lost. We do everything we possibly can to give our animals a second chance at life and help them find their forever home. 

Conversation Starter

Reach Jennifer Bailey of Voorhees Animal Orphanage at or 856-627-9111.

In brief

  • Location: Cooper Road, Voorhees, next to Voorhees Township Fire Station.
  • Serving: 21 municipalities in southern New Jersey, 16 of which are in Camden County.
  • Key members: David Semless, president, VAO board of directors; Dawn Mason, operations director; Jennifer Bailey, marketing director; Laurie Ballard, kennel manager; Rafael Santos, canine conduct coordinator; Bill Romaine, feline care manager; Joanne Collier, transportation coordinator; Traci Aromando, volunteer and outreach coordinator; and Olivia Ripca, rescue coordinator.