The latter part of the book was particularly interesting to me, describing the passage of the world’s first animal cruelty legislation in 1822. Two years later, our British ancestor, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was created. (“Royal” was added to the name in 1840 when Queen Victoria granted them a Charter) What particularly interested me was that the new group secured 149 convictions under the new Act in there very first year alone, “...a surprisingly high figure bearing in mind that this was not only the first animal welfare organisation in the world, but also Britain’s first law-enforcement agency of any kind, preceding even the Metropolitan police force by five years.”
Aspects of the book reminded me of our own Ottawa Humane Society history that was captured in the wonderful, “Helping Hands” published by the OHS in 1988 in honour of our 100th anniversary. Our OHS history is pretty amazing too.
Our history includes many ‘firsts’ and outstanding contributions to the Humane movement.
Our Humane Education Program has encouraged a compassionate community and has been in continuous operation since 1905!
In 1962, the OHS convinced the City to pass a bylaw banning the sale of baby chicks as pets – the first such law in Canada. In 1981, the OHS convinced the City to ban all live animal sales in Byward Market.
The OHS took a leading role and was the initial ‘host’ of the first national humane association, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies in 1956.
The OHS established the first companion animals program in Canada in 1980. The now much-expanded program continues to bring pet visitors to senior’s residences, hospitals and other institutions.
~ Bruce Roney