With nearly one and a half centuries behind them, October 2016 marks The Dutchess County SPCA’s 145th anniversary.
Originally concerned with the treatment of horses that were harnessed to coal wagons in 1871, the founding members of the Dutchess County SPCA became familiar with the Hudson Valley area as many of them owned summer homes in Poughkeepsie. During the rest of the year, they spent time at the ASPCA in Manhattan.
Fast forwardto 2016 and the organization has grown to rescue over 50,000 animals, working to provide them with loving homes. The SPCA is recognized as the third oldest welfare agency in the country, with a goal to create healthy pet and human interactions where animals are loved, cared for, and respected.
Through its PAWS education program (Proper food, Attention, Water, and Shelter), the Dutchess SPCA visits schools, libraries, and other facilities with a four-legged friend to teach people of all ages about the proper care of companion pets, how to approach a new animal, and how to become a better animal advocate.
While the organization receives donations and help from generous community members, they do not receive any government funding on either the local or state levels. Some of their unique fundraising efforts include selling items at their Paws for a Cause Thrift Shoppe (for people), with proceeds directly benefitting care of the animals, as well as their Wedding Tails program, which allows newlywed couples to donate to the shelter in lieu of providing a wedding favor to their guests.
In celebration of the organization’s 145 birthday, the Dutchess County SPCA is hosting “The Animal Kingdom Ball” on Friday, October 28 at 7pm at the Poughkeepsie Grandview. A night of dinner, music, dancing, and fireworks will light up the night as the Mid-Hudson Bridge glows in the Dutchess County SPCA colors. A trip down Memory Lane is scheduled for the evening as well, as there will be a presentation of the organization’s history from its inception in 1871 to the current Adoption and Education Center that exists today.
Tickets are available for purchase at dcspca.org/animal-kingdom-ball. For further information, call 845-452-7722.