The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, better known as the ASPCA, has been fighting animal cruelty since its founding in 1866. From rescuing pets after natural disasters to lobbying Congress to improve laws regulating animal treatment, the ASPCA is truly one of America’s greatest organizations and an invaluable partner in the fight against cruelty toward animals. Here are just three ways why this remarkable organization is so great.
The ASPCA was Founded by Henry Bergh
Henry Bergh was born on February 9, 1813, in Stockholm, Sweden. He immigrated to the United States in 1849 and settled in New York City. In October 1869, he attended a local cattle show where he was appalled by what he saw: animals had no food or water, and there were numerous instances of acts that showed man’s inhumanity to man – people would mistreat or abuse animals for laughs, and entertainment. That night he met with a group of like-minded individuals who would soon become his compatriots on an extraordinary journey—saving thousands upon thousands of animals across the country from a life of misery and abuse.
The Animal Rescue Team Was Established in 1866
America’s roots in animal protection can be traced back to 1866 with the founding of an organization called the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The ASPCA was founded by Henry Bergh and met as a result of concerns that animals were being needlessly abused and that there was not a single agency on behalf of all animals.
The ASPCA served two purposes: to provide humane treatment for any animal, providing food, water, shelter, transportation, or necessary medical attention, and helping animals out in a time of need with law enforcement services when needed. Since then it has grown exponentially into one of America’s most notable organizations in support and protection of animals.
The First Shelter Opened In 1867
The world’s first animal shelter was established in Rome in 1867, with a large number of other societies being formed in Europe throughout the late 19th century. The first American humane society, later renamed the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), was founded on April 10, 1866, by a group including Henry Bergh and social reformer Elizabeth Hughes.
An important date in history because it marks when animal cruelty laws were created and enforced. Today, there are over 1 million members that support their cause to end animal cruelty in towns all over America. Your tax-deductible donation will help fight cruelty and make a life-changing difference for animals across America.
Frances Oldham Kelsey Stopped Thalidomide From Coming to America
In October 1957, Frank Youngdahl, a representative for the American drug company Richardson-Merrell contacted Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey at the FDA requesting that she approve thalidomide as a sleeping aid.
A true innovator and pioneer, Dr. Kelsey boldly questioned why anyone would take this medication when there was not one shred of evidence that it was safe or effective for treating insomnia, considering that another usage for this drug was as an anti-nausea treatment for morning sickness in pregnant women.
As she predicted, thalidomide never made it to American shores; however, her crucial work during this time period led to more stringent safeguards surrounding clinical trials on humans and continues to have profound implications on people all over the world today.
Why the ASPCA is One of America’s Greatest Organizations? (Reviews 2022)
Since 1866, when the ASPCA was founded, our mission has been to relieve animal suffering and promote their protection. Our early efforts centered on providing New York City with a reliable source of food for its increasing population of stray animals. As we grew and evolved over time, so did our role in addressing broader issues such as pet overpopulation, cruelty to animals, and wildlife conservation.
The first No-Kill Policy in North America was launched by the ASPCA in 1994. What began as a visionary goal to significantly reduce euthanasia rates among cats and dogs nationwide has become a national movement in which shelters from across the country partner with each other toward this noble shared goal.
Annette King Is Leading New York City’s Anti-Cruelty Efforts
Annette King, Esq., Senior Counsel and Co-Chair of the New York City Anti-Cruelty Committee at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), has been in law enforcement for 20 years. In that time, she has helped various departments with several cases that involved dogs and other animals.
Recently, she helped lead an investigation into a puppy mill where police found 100+ dogs cruelly living in filth. She was also one of two officers who were tasked with gathering all the stray cats in a neighborhood with over 3,000 feral felines after residents complained about safety concerns. Being an animal rescuer is often more difficult than being an animal control officer, said King.
Cruelty Prevention Program Helps Animals and People in Communities Nationwide
Many people are not aware that we fight cruelty and neglect not only to help animals but also to improve lives in our communities. From major disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy to widespread health issues like obesity and diabetes, people need all the help they can get. And while they may not realize it, animals are a significant part of their community too. In fact, their physical health and emotional well-being improve when they have caring connections with pets in the home.
The ASPCA tackles cruelty prevention on both fronts: sheltering abused animals and building healthy communities for humans and animals alike.
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