Written by 09:05 Pet Care

How Humane Society of New York Elevates Quality of Life for Every Animal?

Improving the Quality Life of Animals

In New York City at the turn of the 20th century, most carriage horses and workhorses lived short, miserable lives marked by pain and abuse. Most didn’t have healthy food, enough water, or blankets to keep away the chill of the city streets. Many lacked proper horseshoes to keep their feet healthy and maintain their normal gait.

Often harnessed and worked from daylight to sunset or longer, they were completely subject to the whims of their owners. Sometimes, this involved careless neglect. Active cruelty also occurred, with drivers whipping and beating the horses until they collapsed and died and then abandoning their bodies on the streets.


A small group of New Yorkers dedicated themselves to ending these horrific practices. They fought for the rights of horses to receive adequate care during their working day, protection from abuse, and appropriate care when they could no longer work. The Humane Society of New York (HSNY) developed out of their advocacy. Its members saw horses for what they are: fellow living beings capable of feeling pain that thrive under kindness and deserve respect.

These early advocates founded HSNY in 1904. Long before, most of the public understood that animals are sentient creatures with personalities, feelings, and needs, just as humans are. They put their principles into action.

Practical Help for Desperate Needs

HSNY’s founding members worked on placing water troughs around the city and keeping them filled to support the needs of working horses. They ensured that working horses would have the horseshoes needed for safe movement, as well as blankets to keep them warm. Additionally, they sought to establish regulations penalizing owners for negligent treatment. During the winter holiday season, New Yorkers traversing the city streets would run into HSNY awareness campaigns designed to encourage ethical standards for treating working horses.

Expansive Care at the Humane Society of New York

Source: Humane Society of New York

The growing HSNY later expanded its reach to include dogs and cats. The society’s first small adoption facility became what is now the Vladimir Horowitz and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz Adoption Center. Today, close to 40,000 animals every year receive support in finding new homes through the center.

Every stray animal entering HSNY’s shelter is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped in preparation for life in a new home. A qualified animal behaviorist assesses all dogs in the shelter and provides any necessary interventions. Every animal in the shelter receives plenty of exercise and playtime, interacting with caring staff and volunteers.


HSNY’s initial small free veterinary clinic is now a thriving medical center offering treatment for a variety of concerns. Lower-income New Yorkers have the option of bringing their pets to society for treatment at little to no cost. And it’s Animal Mukti Free Spay/Neuter Program offers these services free by appointment. In addition, the society pioneered the first program focused on spaying/neutering and providing basic medical care for New York City’s feral cats.

The mission of the Humane Society of New York is the same today as it was 120 years ago: to support the quality of life for cats, dogs, and every animal and to advocate strenuously for their physical, medical, and emotional well-being.

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