On April 10, 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh.
Bergh goes on to become a very vocal supporter of animal rights and pioneer of the humane movement, incorporating the ASPCA and securing the power to arrest and prosecute violators of the law.
The ASPCA will become the model for more than 25 other humane organizations in the US and Canada. By Bergh’s death in 1888, 37 out of 38 states have passed anti-cruelty laws.
Bergh was inspired to create the ASPCA by his travels as a diplomat. He witnessed severe beatings of horses in czarist Russia and visited the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in London. Bergh became determined to vocalize the rights of animals who are voiceless and defenceless against their human aggressors.