Saturday, May 21, 2016

Celebrating a century of compassion: 100 years of animal rescue

For 100 years, one name has been synonymous with animal rescue in this country and around the world: American Humane Association.

This year, America's first national humane organization is celebrating a century of rescuing animals from war, hurricanes, floods, wild fires and other disasters. To commemorate the occasion, they have released a historic timeline with remarkable photos capturing 100 years of American Humane Association's animal rescue work.

American Humane Association's animal rescue program was born on the battlefields of World War I Europe in 1916 when the U.S. Secretary of War asked the organization to save war horses. During that time, they rescued and cared for 68,000 wounded horses a month and since the Great War they have been part of virtually every major disaster response. Over just the past ten years American Humane Association has saved, helped and sheltered more than 80,000 animals.

"From World War I to the worst terror attack on U.S. soil and some of the deadliest, most destructive hurricanes, floods and tornadoes ever, American Humane Association's animal rescue program has been there wherever and whenever animals are in need," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, the organization's president and CEO. "We are proud to commemorate 100 years of animal rescue, but we know that there is still so much to do, which is why our program is working to expand its lifesaving reach."

This month American Humane Association is commemorating the 100th anniversary of their rescue efforts with a gift to – and investment in – America's animals. The organization unveiled a giant, 50-foot rescue vehicle at the New York Stock Exchange on May 9. The vehicle, which carries lifesaving supplies and equipment to shelter 100 animals, will be stationed in Oklahoma's Tornado Alley, debuting on May 20th – the anniversary of the EF-5 tornado that devastated the city of Moore in 2013.

Now entering its second century of rescuing animals in crisis, American Humane Association is preparing to meet new and growing challenges. While the organization has giant rescue trucks stationed in the Northeast, the Southeast, the Rocky Mountain area, and the Plains States, more of these trucks are needed for other disaster-prone regions of the country so that they may respond quickly when time is critical. The organization's hope is to eventually have one rescue vehicle in each of the 10 FEMA regions across the country. Then they can be there whenever, wherever animals are in need.

And even when the skies are calm, American Humane Association intervenes in cruelty cases, helps prepare communities for the worst, educates schoolchildren on the vital role that animals play in our lives, and provides second chances to animal victims of abuse and neglect.

To see a historic timeline with photos capturing 100 years of American Humane Association's animal rescue work, click here. To learn more or and to help American Humane Association's rescue services expand its vital work saving animals, please visit

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