In Henry Bergh’s lifetime,it was not unusual fordogs to be used to turn treadmills or pull small carts . . . For sporting men to put down their money on a $1,000 championship dogfight . . . for strays to be rounded up from the streets of Manhattan, thrown into a cage and then swung into the East River to drown.
What was unusual was for a wealthy, socially prominent man to notice and say, “Enough!”
That man was Henry Bergh, the son and heir of a successful shipyard owner. His leadership and commitment to the protection of animals led to the incorporation of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) on April 10, 1866, by the New York State Legislature. Nine days later, an anticruelty law was passed and the ASPCA was given the right to enforce it. Badge: