About Us

As friends in the animal welfare community with similar ideas for promoting adoption and education, the founding members of CARMAA, Inc., form a cooperative effort in which multiple animal groups could come together to educate the public and promote animal adoption.

Dismissing politics and competition, celebrating diversity and a common goal, and focusing on finding unique ways for shelters and rescue organizations to support each other, CARMAA was formed to celebrate one common unified cause in the animal community — finding homeless pets their forever homes.

Our Mission Statement

To promote the welfare of companion animals through adoption-driven events and education.

Our Vision

CARMAA — Coalition to Adopt, Rehome and Match Abandoned Animals — a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, works to reduce the number of homeless animals by supporting adoption, spay/neuter programs and hosting events for educating both the shelter community and the public on animal welfare issues. CARMAA’s goal is to serve as an umbrella organization supporting a collective community of compassionate people, advocating every day for homeless animals.

Focusing on finding unique ways for shelters and rescue organizations to support each other, CARMAA celebrates a unified cause in the animal community — finding homeless pets their forever homes. CARMAA believes everyone can take part in making a difference, and that people are willing to do the right thing, once they know what it is. Be a part of the solution.

Our Board Members

April Minech, Vice President

An artist and interior designer, April’s true passion was volunteering with several animal shelters, as well as Boston Terrier and French Bulldog rescue groups. As she became more involved with abandoned and abused dogs, she discovered the need for behavioral rehabilitation through training. She became interested in positive reinforcement methods of dog training while working with the large and difficult-to-handle shelter dogs and backward puppy mill rescues. Recognizing that both the shyest and strongest of dogs needed the same gentle approach, April sought a non-forceful way to work with them and a method of training that they would both enjoy. This inspired her to travel around the country for the past 10 years studying accomplished animal behaviorists and develop training methods that worked on the most problematic of dogs. April shares her home with four behaviorally challenged rescued dogs, several foster dogs, a ball python, and an understanding husband.

Deb Hartman

After decades of working in the nonprofit sector, primarily in fund development and executive leadership positions, as well as teaching and serving on nonprofit Boards; Deb was fortunate enough to spend a year and a half at the Western PA Humane Society where she quickly realized the magnitude of the animal sheltering world, as well as the challenges and incredible rewards of working with abandoned and abused companion animals.  Under her previous tenure as interim director at WPHS, the organization’s amazing staff and volunteers – like many others across the country – illustrated that it’s quite possible to remain an open-door shelter welcoming any companion animal despite its age, breed or health and maintain respect for that animal’s right to a quality life, provided it wasn’t a safety risk to staff or the community.  Deb has rescued and rehomed dogs her entire adult life and currently lives with a Beagle Coon Hound rescue that went from hiding in terror near a doorway to eventually knowing and loving sleeping on a bed, preferably momma’s!  As CARMAA’s newest Board member, Deb is looking forward to sharing her fundraising, strategic planning, and leadership skills on behalf of helping homeless pets find their forever homes.