The ASPCA was the organization that got animal rescue started in the United States. Since the ASPCA began, thousands of rescue groups have been able to affect the lives of millions of cats (and those who love them). My very own kitties have been blessed by animal rescue. Both of my angel kitties (Obi-Wan and Cinco) were adopted from rescues and Manna was an abandoned kitten found by my dad.
150 Years of ASPCA History
The ASPCA was founded on April 10, 1866, by Henry Bergh in New York City. Bergh was a diplomat appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to represent the United States in Russia. While he was in Russia, he was struck by how terribly horses were being treated. This experience, combined with a visit to the RSPCA in London, England, made Bergh determined to use his position in society to end animal cruelty in the United States.
When Bergh returned to New York, he began lobbying with the politically influential people of the day. He was able to get the approval of the state of New York to begin the ASPCA, the first humane society in North America. Only 9 days after the ASPCA was founded, the first anti-cruelty law in the Unites States was passed. It gave the ASPCA the legal power to investigate animal cruelty cases and make arrests.
Bergh was not the kind of leader that gave speeches and then hid behind-the-scenes in his organization. He had a hands-on approach to rescuing animals from abuse. The people of New York City would often see him in the streets of the city working for his cause.
Bergh’s approach to animal rescue was so effective, that it not only helped animals, but also human children. The way he rescued horses in the street inspired new methods for rescuing abused children. He helped to establish the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1874 and served as the organization’s vice president.
Today, the ASPCA has become one of the largest humane societies in the world. Still headquartered in New York City, they have programs for helping homeless pets and preventing cruelty to animals all across the United States. They are a non-profit organization supported by over 2 million donors nationwide.
An Anniversary Gift to the Animals
What gift does the ASPCA really want for their 150th Anniversary? For everyone to chip in and commit to doing something to help animals. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the commitment is. Try one of these action ideas:
Volunteer at your local animal shelter or animal rescue.
- Adopt a pet.
- Foster a pet.
- Donate to your favorite animal shelter or animal rescue.
- Write a local government official about adopting better animal cruelty laws in your area.
Once you’ve chosen an action to commit to, visit the 150 of Rescue website and let the ASPCA know what you are doing. You can share multiple commitments! The goal is to get a total 150,000 commitments to action over 150 days (from April 10, 2016, to September 7, 2016). For each action you commit to, you will be given the opportunity to nominate your favorite animal shelter for an ASPCA grant of $150,000!
Personally, I will be committing to a few different actions. I will be helping my local animal rescue group (and nominating them) multiple times between now and September 7th. Over that time, it is likely that I will likely be writing and promoting a few different blog posts that will be helpful for homeless cats too. Don’t quote me yet, but I also have a feeling that sometime in that time frame I will be adopting a new kitty!
To get you excited to help the animals, the ASPCA is allowing me to give away a prize pack! This prize pack will be great for humans who plan to visit the beach this summer. Here is what the winner will receive:
- An ASPCA 150th Beach Ball
- An ASPCA 150th Towel
- An ASPCA 150th Luggage Tag
- An ASPCA Frisbee
- An ASPCA Tote
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Entries for this giveaway can be received until May 9, 2016, at 11:59 PM EST. You must be a US resident, at least 18 years of age to win. The winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway. If the winner does not respond to the email withing 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. No purchase, donation, or commitment is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited.