San Francisco SPCA Celebrates 150 years

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The special bond between people and animals is the focus of the celebration, and the entire community is encouraged to get involved

April 16, 2018 – The San Francisco SPCA is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and it is inviting the entire community to get involved. Thanks to San Francisco’s unwavering support, the lives of millions of animals have been changed for the better since the organization was founded in 1868. From introducing the first horse ambulance in 1884 to founding the No-Kill movement in 1994, San Francisco has always been at the forefront of animal welfare. To celebrate this special year, the SF SPCA has planned a full calendar of special events, from cocktail parties to historical exhibits to cat movie nights.

The SF SPCA was founded on April 18, 1868, when San Francisco banker James Sloan Hutchinson caught sight of two men dragging a terrified hog along the rough cobblestone street. Appalled, Hutchinson stepped in to stop the cruelty and rescued the hog. The incident crystallized Hutchinson’s concern over widespread animal abuse, and he soon rallied 15 like-minded citizens to found the SF SPCA.

In honor of the 150th anniversary, San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell has proclaimed April 18, 2018, as SF SPCA Day in San Francisco! The proclamation will be announced during a special 150thAnniversary Gala Celebration at City Hall on April 18.

“The SF SPCA’s slogan for its anniversary celebrations is ‘the animal organization for people,’ which speaks to our 150-year connection with the community of San Francisco,” explained Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA President. “Not only are we celebrating 150 years of advocating for animals, but we’re also celebrating the bond between people and the animals in their lives.”

One way of celebrating that special bond is through the Companion Chronicles, the SF SPCA’s new storytelling project. Modeled on StoryCorps and other oral history projects, the Companion Chronicles captures people’s candid, unscripted memories, anecdotes, and revelations about the animals who have inspired them. New stories will be added daily and those with the most appeal will be featured on the site and in other third-party media. To learn more or submit a story, recording, photos, and videos, visit sfspca.org/stories or call (415) 360-0202.

Starting in mid-April the SF SPCA will launch a special anniversary advertising campaign, which is slated to run for 150 days. Advertisements celebrating the power of the human-animal bond will be on TV and placed throughout the city – on pole banners, MUNI transit shelters, bus sides, and more.

The SF SPCA’s special events calendar is jam-packed with activities and ways for the community to get involved during 2018. Here’s a preview of the upcoming spring events:

  • April 13: Spring scavenger hunt for kids at the Mission Campus Adoption Center
  • April 18: Anniversary Gala at City Hall
  • May 18 – 20: Bay to Barkers, a Bay to Breakers-themed cocktail party and adoptathon
  • Through June 17: SF SPCA historical exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street

There are many more events planned for the rest of the year, and the SF SPCA wants to encourage the entire San Francisco community to get involved in the celebrations.

To view the full calendar of special events or learn more about the SF SPCA’s anniversary, visit sfspca.org/150

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