ASPCA Celebrates 150 Years as Nation’s Leading Voice for Animals

‘ASPCA 150: Come to Their Rescue’ nationwide campaign and call-to-action honors America’s longest-standing animal welfare organization and its dedication to protecting animals in crisis
April 8, 2016

Public urged to take 150,000 actions for animals during ‘150 Days of Rescue’ and help their local shelters win a $150,000 ASPCA grant

NEW YORK, NY—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the start of a months-long celebration of its 150th anniversary this April with ASPCA 150: Come to Their Rescue – a national campaign honoring the ASPCA’s 150 years of animal rescue by inspiring public acts of compassion that will help save and protect dogs, cats, horses and farm animals from cruelty. The Come to Their Rescue campaign will feature multiple large-scale animal welfare programs and events, including a public action campaign and nationwide contest, a video featuring celebrity supporters, and the premiere of the ASPCA’s first-ever documentary.

“When Henry Bergh founded the ASPCA in April 1866, he was driven by a fierce dedication to stop animal abuse and suffering. That drive continues in our work, now supported by modern technologies and an increased awareness and respect for the true value of animals,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “But significant challenges to animal lives still remain, which is why this commemoration is as much about the present and the future as it is about the past. We encourage everyone to play a part in advancing Henry Bergh’s legacy by committing to helping vulnerable animals survive, thrive, and find safety in loving homes.”

Animal welfare advocates and supporters will have several opportunities to join the celebration of the ASPCA’s milestone anniversary over the next several months, including:

The “150 Days of Rescue” Action Campaign and Contest (April 10-September 7, 2016)
For 150 days beginning on the ASPCA’s April 10 birthday, the ASPCA will encourage animal lovers to visit and pledge at least 15 minutes of their time to helping animals in need, toward an ultimate goal of 150,000 acts of compassion through September 7, 2016. Possible actions include volunteering at a local shelter, fostering and/or adopting homeless animals, and advocating for stronger animal welfare laws. Those who log their actions on the campaign website will be encouraged to enter their favorite shelters or rescue groups in a grant contest in which one of these organizations will receive a $150,000 grant from the ASPCA.

The “150 Days of Rescue” campaign will be supported by a short celebrity video conceived and directed by photographer and filmmaker Dewey Nicks, featuring a notable entertainers speaking up for animals in need and encouraging the public to do the same. Celebrity participants include Jason Schwartzman, George Lopez, Adrienne Moore, Julie Bowen, Krysten Ritter, Miles Brown, Beth Behrs, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Jennifer Coolidge, Kesha, Martha Stewart, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, and Keith Stanfield. The soundtrack for the short film is provided by composer and musician Owen Pallett.

“Adoptapalooza” NYC Adoption Events (April 10, 2016)
In partnership with the Alliance for NYC’s Animals, the ASPCA will hold two public Adoptapalooza events on Sunday, April 10. Taking place in two different boroughs – one in Union Square and another at the House of Vans in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – the mega adoption events will showcase more than 300 adoptable dogs, cats and rabbits – all spayed or neutered and vaccinated – from local shelters and rescue organizations across the city. Adoption fees for all adoptions will be covered by Animal Planet, a generous partner to the ASPCA. In addition to facilitating adoptions, each Adoptapalooza event will feature activities, giveaways, and celebrity pet appearances. Leading up the event in Union Square, the first-ever “NYC Paws Parade” will honor the united efforts of the dedicated groups working to protect the city’s most vulnerable residents as representatives from the ASPCA, the Alliance for NYC’s Animals, NYPD, Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), FDNY and more march down Broadway from 26th to 17th Streets in Manhattan. The parade will include New Yorker and Broadway legend Bernadette Peters serving as Grand Marshal, as well as “Dog Marshal” (and her adopted parents) – canine cruelty victim Charlotte/Pip and Special Guest Marnie the Dog, a social media dog “celebrity” and advocate for senior dog adoption.

“Second Chance Dogs” Premiere on Animal Planet (April 16, 2016 at 9 a.m.)
The ASPCA’s first-ever documentary, “Second Chance Dogs,” tells the story of six fearful dogs rescued from cruel conditions and delivered to the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, N.J., the first-ever facility dedicated to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty and hoarding. Through innovative techniques, patience, and commitment, the staff at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center moves these animals from rescue to rehabilitation, and ultimately into safe and loving homes. The goal of this film is to educate the public about the long-term effects of cruelty and neglect, and to promote the adoption of shelter dogs. The documentary will premiere at 9 a.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet. More information about the film and the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center can be found at