Grab your party hats! Friday, April 10, marks the ASPCA’s birthday and we’re thrilled to be celebrating 149 years of lifesaving work for animals across the country.
When ASPCA founder Henry Bergh first spoke up for animals, America was not a very animal-friendly place. But Bergh, a gifted orator with influential friends, rallied people to the cause and succeeded in getting the New York State Legislature to pass a charter officially incorporating the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) on April 10, 1866. Just nine days later, the first effective anti-cruelty law was passed and, with a team of three, the ASPCA went to work to enforce it. By the time Bergh died in 1888, 37 of the 38 states in the Union had passed anti-cruelty laws.
We’ve accomplished a great deal since then. From operating New York City’s first equine ambulance (two years before the City’s first ambulance for people) to our veterinary advancements during the 1920s to our recent accomplishments in Los Angeles, we have a proud history that continues today.
We’re honored to work every day to assist animals nationwide and we are proud of you, our supporters, for trusting and enabling us to do this important job. Thank you for fighting alongside us these 149 years!
Wednesday, April 8, marks the ASPCA’s second annual National Dog Fighting Awareness Day (NDFAD), and this year we are working harder than ever to spread awareness about this brutal form of animal cruelty. Read on to see how ASPCA staffers and supporters are lending their voice to this important cause, and find out how you can get involved, too!
At the ASPCA offices in New York City, staff members vowed to “Get Tough” on dog fighting by posing for photos with pit bulls and sharing them on social media using the hashtag #GetTough.
Luckily, you don’t have to be an ASPCA staffer or a professional wrestler to take part in National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. Here are three ways you can support NDFAD:
Get Tough. To join our #GetTough movement, simply take a selfie with one of our free, downloadable #GetTough posters and sharables, then post it to social media using the hashtag #GetTough.
Take Action. Sign our petition to tell the Department of Justice (DoJ) that you want to see more federal dog fighting prosecutions.
Donate. Support our work to defeat dog fighting by making a gift to the ASPCA today.
Animals around the country are counting on your compassion, your outrage and your willingness to stop their suffering. By taking one (or more!) of the actions listed above, you’ll be joining a growing group of animal-lovers who are dedicated to putting an end to this nightmare. Thank you for your voice!
"Growing up, my family and I lived in very poor, very dangerous areas and dog fighting was prevalent,” AJ says. “My dad, who has the biggest heart in the world, would open our home to pit bulls that had been rescued from fighting. We fostered four, and kept them until we could find new homes for them."
The fifth dog AJ’s family rescued was a puppy who was being bred for fighting. "We ended up keeping him, named him Mugsy, and he was a part of our family for an amazing 16 years,” she says. Mugsy’s sweet nature inspired AJ’s lifelong commitment to rescue dogs as well as her love of pit bulls. “I've never been more in love with a dog, he was so sweet and kind, loved small dogs, and cuddled like he was Chihuahua."
Alongside passionate animal supporters like AJ, we’re working to eradicate dog fighting by advocating for stronger laws and harsher sentencing for those who fight dogs and by assisting with raids and rescues. But we can’t do it alone.
Even though we work to prevent cruelty to animals all year long, April is special at the ASPCA because it is officially Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month! Every year, we ask supporters to celebrate this month by helping us raise awareness about important issues facing animals—and we hope that you’ll join in! We’ve come up with some exciting ways you can get involved and make a difference all month long:
Start a Fundraising Campaign Create a personal ASPCA fundraising page for an important event in your life and share it with your friends and family. Whether you donate your birthday, honor the memory of a beloved pet or decide to run a 5k with Team ASPCA, the money you raise can make a big difference for animals in need nationwide.
Commemorate Dog Fighting Awareness Tuesday, April 8, marks our second annual National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. The ASPCA designated this day to advance the conversation about dog fighting and to encourage animal-lovers across the country to take action against this brutal form of cruelty. This year, you can add your voice to the cause by joining our Get Tough campaign.
Make Adoption Your First Option Bringing a four-legged friend into your family? Shelters have lovable dogs and cats of all shapes, sizes and ages who are looking for a good home, so please make adoption your first choice. Check out our nationwide database of dogs and cats who are looking for good homes.
Show Your Support Online During April, use Your Facebook page, Twitter account or blog to spread the word about Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month—and be sure to tag us at @ASPCA in your posts! If you don’t already, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Do you want to share your love of animals with the world? Vans has released a new collection of shoes, shirts, hats and bags featuring dog and cat patterns. The collection was designed in support of the ASPCA’s life-saving work for animals, and the shoes and apparel are available in sizes for adults, kids and toddlers.
The shoes are available for purchase now at vans.com or in-store at Vans locations. Select styles will also be offered at Journeys and other footwear retailers.