Images of cats and dogs with the text The Humane Society of New York Since 1904

Our Mission

cute fluffy kitten sitting on floor

For over 100 years, the Humane Society of New York has been a presence in New York City, caring for animals in need when illness, injury or homelessness strikes. In 1904 we were founded to protect the city's horses against abuse. Members fought for laws to punish negligent owners and place watering troughs in streets and parks. As funds allowed the Society expanded to include a free medical clinic and a small adoption center for cats and dogs. Today our hospital and our Vladimir Horowitz and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz Adoption Center help more than 38,000 dogs and cats annually, and their numbers continue to grow.

View historic photos of our early years providing aid to the city's working horses and our free clinic.

At the Society, the quality of each animal's life is paramount. Long before it was popular to think of animals as individuals - to consider their physical and emotional needs when taking responsibility for their care - we were doing just that. That means every day, every dog gets exercise time in the rooftop run, and the chance to walk outdoors with staff and volunteers. Cats enjoy daily play sessions outside their kennels. This very personal care is fully as important to a pet's well being as the inoculations, spay/neuter and other veterinary care provided during its stay in the adoption center. "This doesn't feel like a shelter" remark many visitors to the Society. "It feels like a home."

On any given day the Humane Society of New York is responsible for hundreds of animals with diverse needs. For many, the Society is the only place they will find help:

The Humane Society of New York has long been noted for its innovative, highly individualized approach to animal care; its pioneer attitude is now reflected in programs coming to the fore nationwide. Each year finds us reaching for a higher level of care. As new technologies and medical advances such as digital radiography and ultrasound-guided biopsy become available, the Humane Society of New York evolves as well. Developing programs offer exciting opportunities for support and sponsorship.

"Can my gift make a difference?"

Supporters should know that efficient management by a superior staff of professionals working with a non-salaried President, Board of Directors, and volunteers allows an impressive 97% of all monies raised to go directly into program activities. Every gift is important. Forms of support include:

  • Private donations
  • Corporate gifts
  • Foundation grants
  • Appeals
  • Bequests
  • Matching gifts
  • Benefits
  • Securities
  • Non-cash contributions (eg, property, art objects)
cute scruffy rescue dog poses for a photo

Historic Photos

Click the image below to see more of our history serving New York City's animals.
Two men fit non-skid horse shoes on a working horse in 1928