Animal welfare is changing rapidly. The types and complexities of the problems we now face have less to do with sheltering and more to do with people, pets, and their communities. Many of the metrics and constructs that we have used in the past no longer reflect the work that is being done. The concept of social capital was developed to understand and measure complex social systems. Since then, the field has been expanded into economics, community development, and many social issues. In this session, we will re-examine animal welfare through a social capital perspective to understand how this framework might allow a more robust pathway and understanding for the future of animal welfare.