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132nd Anniversary Nears for American Humane Association

Conditions Much Improved Since It Began Oct. 9, 1877

DENVER, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One-hundred thirty-two years ago this coming Friday (on Oct. 9, 1877), children were often toiling at hard labor in filthy sweatshops instead of going to school, and when they could play, they were forced into the bustling streets or garbage-strewn alleys instead of onto safe playgrounds. Work horses - often beaten mercilessly and nearly starved or dehydrated - were forced to work 20-hour days. "Pet" dogs and cats didn't fare much better, and livestock handling was brutal.


There was little or no protection for children and animals those days. That situation stirred a group of representatives from 27 different local humane organizations (some for animals and some for children), including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), to band together in Cleveland, Ohio, to form the American Humane Association as a national voice for the voiceless.

Now, 132 years later, American Humane remains that national voice of compassion and care, with an unmatched legacy of success in advancing humanity and society's view and care of both children and animals. Headquartered in Denver since 1954, American Humane proudly continues its mission of protecting children and animals, as well as being the leading mainstream, reasoned organization in the field.

Since its founding on Oct. 9, 1877, American Humane (called the International Humane Society until 1884) has led many improvements for the greater good. Here are just a few of hundreds:

1877 - First on its agenda was addressing the humane treatment of working animals and livestock in transit.

1879 - American Humane passed a resolution to promote humane education in public schools.

1883 - Concerned about child abuse and abandoned babies, American Humane promoted passage of the first Cruelty to Children Act.

1890 - American Humane outspokenly opposed corporal punishment of children in schools.

1893 - American Humane's member societies prosecuted 5,520 cases of cruelty to children.

1894 - The Link(R) between violence to animals and violence to people was first noted at American Humane's annual convention.

1914 - American Humane called for safe, off-street playgrounds to keep children from being arrested for playing in the streets and being dubbed delinquents.

1916 - American Humane formed "American Red Star Animal Relief" to aid horses on the battlefront of World War I. Now known as Red Star Animal Emergency Services(TM), it continues rescuing animals after disasters and from puppy mills, hoarding cases and dogfighting operations.

1940 - In response to an incident during the 1939 filming of Jesse James, in which a terrified horse was forced off a cliff to its death, American Humane began to oversee the use of animals in film and later issued the exclusive "No Animals Were Harmed"(R) end-credit disclaimer.

1958 - The Humane Slaughter Act, long advocated for by American Humane, was signed into law.

1963 - American Humane proposed that all 50 states pass laws requiring doctors who suspect child abuse to inform their local child protective services.

1969 - American Humane lobbied for and supported the passage of the Endangered Species Conservation Act.

1995 - American Humane propelled legislation requiring convicted animal abusers to receive mandatory counseling and psychological testing.

1997 - American Humane launched a groundbreaking initiative called The Front Porch Project(R) to directly involve community members in child protection.

2000 - American Humane launched the nation's first farm animal welfare program under the label "Free Farmed." It is now the American Humane Certified(R) program which oversees the humane treatment and handling of more than 60 million farm animals in the United States.

2005 - American Humane's Red Star Animal Emergency Services deployed to Louisiana to help animal victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, logging 18,000 man-hours by staff and volunteers.

2008 - American Humane formed the Pets and Women's Shelters (PAWS(R)) program and wrote a manual for domestic violence shelters to also house pets.

2009 - In an effort to promote the human-animal bond, American Humane established the Therapy Animals Supporting Kids (TASK(TM)) program.

American Humane continues to work tirelessly to improve the lives of children and animals. In recent years, American Humane has added new programs and divisions, such as the Human-Animal Bond Division with more than 200 animal-assisted therapy teams, a growing national humane education effort, and expanded efforts to educate about The Link.

Donations, grants and other support from generous humane philanthropists - individuals and organizations alike - have helped make American Humane's historic work possible, and the continued support of many more generations of compassionate and caring people will ensure even more significant accomplishments in the future.

For more information about American Humane, visit Follow us on Twitter (, MySpace ( or Facebook ( The information contained in this release can be reused and posted with proper credit given to the American Humane Association.

About American Humane

Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the only national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, American Humane develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link(R) between violence to people and violence to animals, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humane's office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the "No Animals Were Harmed"(R) end-credit disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humane's office in Washington, D.C., is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. The American Humane® Certified farm animal program is the nation's original independent certification and labeling program for humanely raised food. American Humane meets the strong, comprehensive standards of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, has been awarded the Independent Charities of America's "Best in America" Seal of Approval, has met the stringent standards for financial efficiency and accountability required by the American Institute of Philanthropy to qualify as a Top-Rated Charity, and has received a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator. Visit to learn more.

SOURCE American Humane Association

SOURCE American Humane Association
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