The Hudson Valley Humane Society announced today its 120th anniversary of its incorporation, its birthday. HVHS [originally incorporated as the Rockland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] has successfully promoted the welfare of Rockland’s animal population continuously since 1891. Few of its contemporaries are around to share the milestone.
We who have inherited this long and proud tradition of public service are grateful to the founders for their compassion and foresight. We will pursue the mission of our founders and pass the responsibility to our descendents. On February 9, 2111, the HVHS president will repeat this message to our friends a hundred years hence.
Happy Birthday HVHS!
The history of human concern for the welfare and humane treatment of animals traces its origins to the Zoroastrians of ancient Persia. Modern notions of society’s obligation to treat animals humanely originated in London in 1849 with the creation of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The RSPCA focused on two primary objectives: establishing and enforcing laws against cruelty to or abuse of animals and educating the public in the proper care and treatment of animals.
Henry Berg incorporated The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City 1867. Berg was appalled by the treatment of draft animals in New York City. In 1888, New York established a structure for promoting the goal of humane treatment of all animals throughout the state. The legislation, relatively unchanged since 1888, provided that an SPCA would have the authority to enforce state anti-cruelty laws in each county. Incorporated under the 1888 statute, we are the only animal welfare organization in Rockland that New York has authorized to enforce its anti-cruelty laws.
In the 1890s, the founders were primarily concerned with the welfare of farm animals. Rockland did not have an animal shelter; animals were housed and maintained on the founders own farms. Even into the early 1940s, when household pets were becoming more common, if you wanted to surrender or adopt an animal, you took it to a private farm on Viola Road. We built Rockland’s first dedicated animal shelter on McNamara Road in the Town of Ramapo in 1943. In 1995, we adopted a “no-kill” philosophy with respect to animal population control. After successfully operating this facility for some 60 years we acquired Pomona Park Kennel in the Village of Pomona and moved in 2003.
Since 2003, we have consolidated all of our activities, law enforcement, education, adoption etc., at Pomona Park. In October 2010, All Creatures Great and Small built a modern veterinary hospital at Pomona Park. The Village has approved our constructing a dog and cat adoption center. Construction will begin in the spring as weather permits. We plan to open a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in the near future. We recently increased and enhanced our animal law enforcement capability. Over 100 pets have found new homes through our pet adoption center at PETCO in Nanuet. Our pet food pantry has been providing food for 200 pets.
We accomplish all this thanks to our friends and volunteers and without public funding, much as our founders did. With the encouragement and support of our friends, we continue the traditions established in 1891 and will pass HVHS to the next generation a strong and vibrant animal welfare society.
Thanks for your kind and thoughtful support.
Raymond T. Mundy, President