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ASPCA Announces 140th Anniversary Milestone

Year Long Celebration Will Underscore Achievements of Oldest Animal Welfare Organization in the Country
January 25, 2006

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced today that it will formally recognize its landmark 140th anniversary in 2006, commemorating its role as the oldest animal welfare organization in the western hemisphere. The organization will undertake a number of dedicated celebration events for its anniversary and will also significantly advance a number of initiatives, most notably its mission to further humane communities across America.

The year-long celebration will be ‘highlighted’ on April 10th of this year when buildings across the country will be illuminated in “ASPCA Orange” celebrating the accomplishments of the organization and recognizing its new corporate color launched in the 4th quarter of 2005. New York City buildings will include The Empire State Building, Nasdaq Times Square Tower, The "Balto" Sled Dog sculpture in Central Park, The Woolworth Building, and many towers around Union Square Park, including the Con Ed Building and Zeckendorf Towers.

“In commemorating 140 years, we are pleased with the progress we have made in fighting animal cruelty and educating generations of Americans about the rights of companion animals,” said Ed Sayres, president & CEO, the ASPCA. “While our 140th year is gearing up to be one of unprecedented growth and expansion for its programs and educational outreach, it is our sincerest hope that the further we get from our date of inception, the closer we come to being an organization that is no longer needed that our work will have permeated society to the point that the rights of companion animals will be second nature to everyone.”

In this, its 140th year, the ASPCA is proud to announce some exciting new initiatives including:

Expanding Programs and Services: With the completion of the ASPCA’s state-of-the-art New York adoption facility in the spring of 2006, goals are in place to significantly increase the number of animals that are placed in permanent homes. Supported by its Meet-Your-Match program, designed to effectively pair the expectations of new pet owners with the behavior characteristics of available shelter dogs and cats and create the perfect fit between adopter and pet, the ASPCA will up its commitment to helping shelters around the country increase the number of successful adoptions. The ASPCA will also continue to address the needs of cat and dog overpopulation by bringing low-cost spay/neuter surgery directly to communities in need.

In 2006, the ASPCA will expand its Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Department, allowing for more investigations and arrests for animals cruelty in the New York metropolitan area, while also increasing the scope and number of training seminars given by this agency to law enforcement and animal protection agencies across the country.

Becoming a Humane Community…As it turns 140 years old, the ASPCA is launching its most aggressive campaign to date to make the United States a Humane Community. More aptly described, the nature of the movement is community organizations working together in a humane spirit to ensure that no adoptable companion animal is euthanized. Throughout 2006, Mr. Sayres will be reaching out to communities across the country, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts and significant public/private cooperation and communication among dozens of facilities, stressing that this movement cannot exist solely in any one facility.

The ASPCA’s goal is to help develop Humane Communities throughout the entire country through replicable model, similar to that developed by Sayres when he was the executive director of the San Francisco SPCA. This model includes increasing the demand for adoptable shelter dogs and cats and a simultaneous reduction in unwanted litters. With the help of groups such as the Maddie's Fund® that are financially supporting collaborative community projects that build the programs and infrastructure for Humane Communities, and the Mayor’s Alliance which is spearheading the New York City efforts, the ASPCA is helping to lead the charge. Throughout its own facility and its departments, the ASPCA has strengthened its programs in adoption outreach, low-cost spay/neuter, and aggressively marketing and advertising those events and promotions that put the animals directly in front of the adopting public.

Enlighten for Animals: As part of this Enlighten for Animals initiative, the ASPCA will also engage its broad membership and animal lovers nationwide to participate. The organization is encouraging the public to enlighten their own doorways or display orange in their own way on April 10th and then upload an image to the ASPCA website.

A Brief History of the ASPCA
Prompted by the severe beating of a work horse on the streets of New York City, on February 8, 1866 Henry Bergh, a socialite and the son of a wealthy New York shipbuilder, gave an impassioned speech at New York City’s Clinton Hall calling for the rights of animals everywhere and the establishment of an organization to enforce and preserve these rights. On April 10th, 1866, the society signed its founding docume
nt with such prominent New Yorker signatures as, Horace Greeley, members of the Rockefeller family and the mayor of New York. Just nine days after the charter was granted by the New York State Legislature, Bergh convinced the Legislature to pass an anti-cruelty law that granted the new Society the authority to enforce it. For more information about the organization’s history, visit www. ASPCA.org.