NYSHA – Fostering a Humane Ethic and a Compassionate Attitude Toward Animals Since 1900
The New York State Humane Association (NYSHA) was organized in 1900 and incorporated in 1925. It is a 501(c)(3) organization and is not a department nor funded by New York State or any other government agency. NYSHA’s guiding philosophy is to reduce animal suffering, to prevent animal cruelty, and to encourage compassion to all creatures. To achieve these ends, NYSHA’s ongoing activities and programs include the following:
- Fighting cruelty to animals
NYSHA is involved in several activities that are focused on assisting law enforcement and cruelty investigators in fighting animal cruelty, Cruelty Investigation Manual – NYSHA has produced a comprehensive manual entitled, “How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in New York State.” It is available on our website in PDF and HTML format. This manual is used by police and humane agencies throughout New York State and beyond as a primer and reference tool to more effectively investigate animal cruelty. This project received support from the William and Charlotte Parks Foundation for Animal Welfare and the Two Mauds Foundation. Workshops on Cruelty Laws – NYSHA has hosted and co-hosted cruelty investigation workshops with the New York State Animal Control Association, SPCA’s, and local police agencies. In addition, NYSHA’s past President, who was also a retired investigator for the NY State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), has appeared many times as a guest speaker at various humane workshops and presented information on investigating animal cruelty to various police agencies and animal organizations around the state.
- Referral service to citizens and agencies throughout NYS
NYSHA’s Administrator responds to phone inquiries from individuals and shelters throughout NYS about issues that include where to report a cruelty complaint, how to locate good policies and procedures for an animal shelter, and whom to call to rescue a kitten from a tree. In addition, the Administrator provides educational materials to those who request them and helps coordinate NYSHA’s workshops. NYSHA’s Administrator attended a workshop on Disaster Preparedness sponsored by the HSUS at the Red Cross Disaster Institute. NYSHA plans to be an integral part of an emergency response system that addresses the needs of animals during disasters.
- Award Ceremonies
NYSHA conducts awards ceremonies to honor those individuals and organizations that have gone out of their way to help the animals of New York State. NYSHA is very proud of its role in honoring these wonderful, compassionate people – who would otherwise remain unsung heroes.
- Educational Conferences and Workshops
NYSHA periodically conducts educational seminars and workshops on topics of interest to the humane community at large as well as to animal shelter and animal control professionals. NYSHA, in conjunction with Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Network, has conducted a workshop for wildlife rehabilitators. In the past, NYSHA conducted a workshop on the humane handling of dangerous dogs. The objective of this workshop was to teach police and others how to deal with dangerous dogs in a humane way so as to avoid having to shoot them. The topic was so needed that the workshop was quickly filled, and unfortunately, people had to be turned away. In 1987, NYSHA sponsored a major event focusing on the problem of pet overpopulation throughout the country: a two-day conference in New York City that featured speakers with expertise in the fields of animal sheltering and control, veterinary medicine, education, law, and philosophy. Fordham University Press published the proceedings as a hard-cover book in the fall of 1990. A March, 1991, a review appearing in HSUS Shelter Sense stated: “This valuable educational reference should be within arm’s reach of any individual who faces the consequences of uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats. The text can also enlighten legislators, educators, veterinarians, and members of the general public.” The William and Charlotte Parks Foundation generously provided a grant to support the conference and matching funds to publish the proceedings. The book is still pertinent in the 2000’s, as the same issues, unfortunately, still persist.
- Educational Materials for Educators and the Humane Community
NYSHA produces brochures on spay/neuter, bookmarks for children depicting humane treatment of animals, and fact sheets explaining phenomena such as animal hoarders. These materials are held in high regard by members of the animal welfare community and have been included in informational packets distributed by other organizations such as The Humane Society of the United States. (See education material.) NYSHA publishes a regular newsletter, Humane Review, which features articles on topics of interest to those involved with animal welfare. In addition, it includes information on bills in the NYS legislature. The newsletter is distributed as an educational piece at all events in which NYSHA is involved.
- Animal Rescue Coordination
At various times, NYSHA has served as a coordinating agency that oversees the disposition of large numbers of animals rescued from unacceptable living conditions, usually brought about by “hoarders.” An animal hoarder amasses large numbers of cats, dogs, or other species, and then fails to care for them, either through ignorance or intentional neglect. As a result, the animals die slowly from starvation and disease. A notorious animal hoarder case — the Animals Farm Home, Ellenville, New York — occurred in Ulster County, NYSHA’s home base, and received nationwide attention. NYSHA coordinated the efforts to resolve that situation, which took over a year. NYSHA’s involvement in the case caused NYSHA’s expertise on the hoarder phenomenon to be recognized and sought out by law enforcement officials in various communities in New York and other states as well. NYSHA’s board and administrators, in turn, have been made aware of the great need on the part of law enforcement agencies, for guidance in correctly handling a wide variety of situations involving animal abuse.
Sources of Funding
As a private, not-for-profit organization, NYSHA depends on donations from individuals and foundations. The regular sources of operating funds are: interest on a small investment, membership dues, an annual appeal, and donations from our newsletter.
Board of Directors and Staff
NYSHA’s Board of Directors consists of a dedicated group of professionals who are committed to the goals of the organization.