The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is an organization established in 1866 by Henry Bergh, who believed animals were "entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law." The ASPCA was the first humane society established in North America and is now one of the largest in the world. ASPCA is privately funded and is a not-for-profit organization.
What's the difference between local SPCA centers and ASPCA? Many states and communities have local SPCA institutions, and although they share the goal of providing humane treatment to animals, the organizations are not necessarily interconnected. If you want to be involved in local animal rights issues, contact your local SPCA organization. If you wish to get involved on a national level, contact ASPCA.
What is the purpose of the ASPCA? Henry Bergh stated the organization's mission in 1866 when it was founded: "to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States." It was the first animal organization authorized to investigate crimes and make arrests for cruelty to animals. The organization and its members are dedicated to animal protection through non-violent means. Their three keys for accomplishing this goal include "caring for pet parents and pets, providing positive outcomes for at-risk animals and serving victims of animal cruelty."
What does the ASPCA do? The ASPCA is involved in community outreach, animal health services and the prevention of cruelty to animals. Community outreach experts include animal welfare professionals, veterinarians, animal behaviorists, dog trainers, animal care technicians, adoption specialists and humane educators. Animal health services include an animal poison control center, animal hospitals, spay and neuter clinics, grief counseling and veterinary outreach. Anti-cruelty efforts involve field service, government relations and humane law enforcement.
How can you get involved in the ASPCA or a local SPCA center? ASPCA, as well as most local organizations, rely on private funding. Your donation can help the organization fund SPCA initiatives and establish animal treatment and animal parent educational centers. Other ways of participating include adopting a pet or volunteering at an animal shelter. Contact your local SPCA or ASPCA to discover more ways you can help animals receive humane treatment.