The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is a large non-profit organization dedicated to fight for the rights of animals and preventing animal cruelty. With a vast amount of organizations protecting animals from cruelty, it’s important to understand the many differences between organizations, shelters and adoption services. As the first humane society established in the United States, here are some things the ASPCA wants you to know.

There’s a Difference

If you know of the ASPCA, you may have also heard of the SPCA or even know of some in your area. The SPCA is a humane society, originally established in England to prevent cruelty to carriage horses. Although there are many non-profit organizations combating animal cruelty with similar names, the ASPCA and SPCA are in no way connected. While the SPCA is a generic term, it stands for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and is widely known as locally based organizations.

Animal Shelters and Declining Euthanization 

No-kill shelters may not always be able to prevent animals from euthanization. Although the numbers of euthanized animals are declining, there are approximately 1.5 million shelter animals euthanized each year (which was around 2.6 million in 2011). With an increase of animal shelters being adopted, it’s the most influential way to keep euthanization in decline.

Adoption of animal shelters is a great way for families to give a forever home to dogs and cats. While pet adoption plays a large role in declining euthanization, the return of stray pets to their owners is also a factor. Pets that are lost with a chip or collar are easily identifiable to their owners, making it easier for the return. Without a collar or chip, shelters have no way of knowing who the stray animals belong to.

The ASPCA History

In 1866, the ASPCA became the first humane society to combat animal cruelty. Henry Burgh devoted his life in New York to preventing animal cruelty with the dream of making a difference in the world. Burgh was inspired to start this society after seeing a fallen horse in Europe almost beaten by the driver.

Throughout decades and in this current century, the ASPCA has become widely known in the face of natural disasters, animal raids and even with police departments. The headquarters is based in New York to this day, where the New York City Police Department (NYPD) partnership has immensely increased the number of arrests for animal cruelty.

Today and the Future

The ASPCA has big dreams and goals to continue success against animal cruelty. Some ways this organization does that is through spay and neuter clinics to help control overpopulation, veterinary clinics to treat animals that fall victims to cruelty, and by spreading awareness of the importance of adopting shelter animals.

With millions of supporters all around the country, we know that we are closer than ever to achieving our ultimate goal: a nation free from cruelty to animals.” – The ASPCA