What Is the History of the American Humane Society?

The American Humane Society is a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to protecting the welfare of animals for more than 143 years. The society was founded in 1877 by a group of animal advocates who were concerned about the inhumane treatment of animals in the United States.

The Early Years

The American Humane Society was initially established as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The organization was responsible for enforcing animal cruelty laws and providing education on animal welfare. However, it soon became apparent that there was a need for a separate organization dedicated solely to the protection of children and animals.

In 1877, a group of concerned citizens led by journalist and social reformer George T. Angell founded the American Humane Society. The organization’s primary goal was to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect, and cruelty.

The Early Achievements

One of the earliest achievements of the American Humane Society was its successful campaign to eliminate dogfighting in America. The society also campaigned against cockfighting, bull-baiting, and other forms of animal cruelty.

During World War I, the American Humane Society played a vital role in providing care and protection to military horses and mules. The society established an animal ambulance service that transported injured animals from battlefields to veterinary hospitals.

The Modern Era

In recent years, the American Humane Society has continued its work on behalf of animals by promoting responsible pet ownership, supporting spay/neuter programs, and fighting against animal testing.

The society has also been actively involved in disaster relief efforts. In response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the society deployed rescue teams to help save thousands of stranded pets. More recently, they have provided assistance during wildfires in California and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.

Mission Statement

The mission statement of the American Humane Society is “to ensure the welfare, wellness, and well-being of children and animals and to unleash the full potential of the bond between humans and animals to the mutual benefit of both.” The society’s work is guided by the belief that all animals, regardless of their species or circumstances, deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.

  • Animal Welfare Program: This program focuses on promoting responsible pet ownership and preventing animal cruelty.
  • Humane Hollywood: This program ensures that animals used in film and television productions are treated with respect and dignity.
  • Children’s Programs: These programs are designed to teach children about animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.
  • Emergency Services: This program provides assistance to animals in times of disaster or crisis.

The Future

The American Humane Society has a long history of advocating for animal welfare. As we move forward, it is clear that their work is more important than ever. With continued support from individuals and organizations across the country, they will continue to make a difference in the lives of animals everywhere.