If you care about animals and making an impact in your local communities, the SPCA is a great place to start. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was begun in 1824 in England, but each SPCA is an independent charity, and the SFSPCA has a particularly long and rich history.
The San Francisco SPCA was opened in 1868, the first animal welfare group in the West. Its founder started the organization after he witnessed men cruelly dragging a pig along a cobblestone street.
The group has been an active participant in animal welfare ever since; after the 1906 earthquake they built water troughs for horses working in the search and rescue teams, and in 1994 they became the first no-kill shelter in the country.
The SFSPCA does a lot of work in the city: just last year they completed 4,919 adoptions, and spayed 1,024 feral cats. They recently were found to have the highest live release rate for any major American city, at 93%.
Among their many programs, they have a therapy animal group that travels to schools and hospitals, and a mobile vet clinic that spays and neuters stray cats and dogs.
There are many ways to get involved with the SFSPCA. If you love animals and have the time and space, you might consider fostering a puppy or kitten in your home, until it’s old enough to be adopted. Or, if you can’t foster yourself, you can help to sponsor a foster puppy or kitten on our website.