Today in History, April 10, 1866:
Philanthropist Henry Bergh begins the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City.
While a diplomat in Russia, Bergh had been horrified by the mistreatment of horses by their Russian owners.
On his way back home, he spent time in London, and learned of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Inspired, he lobbied for the creation of a similar group at home.
New York gave the ASPCA authority to investigate and arrest for cruelty to animals, including horses and dog and rat fighting.
Eight years later Bergh and others would create the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
By 1888 thirty-seven of thirty-eight states had created versions of the ASPCA.