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 funded by any 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 reference tool to more effectively investigate animal cruelty.
- Workshops on Cruelty Laws – NYSHA holds animal cruelty investigation workshops, co-sponsored by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and has been hosted by the New York State Police, numerous police agencies across the state and local SPCAs. NYSHA’s presenters are experts in their field – cruelty investigation, the connection between animal cruelty and human abuse, the role of the veterinarian in cruelty investigations, and the role of the district attorney.
- Rewards – NYSHA offers rewards in cruelty cases to assist police agencies in their efforts to apprehend the perpetrators of animal abuse and neglect.
- Referral Service to Citizens and Agencies Throughout NYS
NYSHA responds to 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, we provide educational materials to those who request them.
NYSHA presents awards to recognize those individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to help animals. 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, conducted a workshop for wildlife rehabilitators. NYSHA held a workshop on the humane handling of dangerous dogs with experts teaching police and others how to deal with dangerous dogs in a humane way so as to avoid having to shoot them.
- Major Conference on Pet Overpopulation
NYSHA sponsored a major two-day conference in NYC focusing on the problem of pet overpopulation throughout the country. It 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. A review appearing in an HSUS publication 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 book is still pertinent today, as the same issues, unfortunately, still persist. (Overpopulation of Cats and Dogs – Causes, Effects, and Prevention – Fordham University Press)
- Materials for Educators and the Humane Community
NYSHA produces some materials that can be downloaded from its website, nyshumane.org, such as 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. On NYSHA’s website, an educator can find links to additional excellent outside resources.
- Humane Review, NYSHA’s newsletter, is published regularly and features articles on topics of interest to those involved with animal welfare, as well as the general public. 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 staff, 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 not-for-profit organization, NYSHA depends on donations from individuals, bequests, and foundation grants.
Board of Directors, Staff, and Volunteers
NYSHA’s Board of Directors, Staff, and Volunteers consists of a dedicated group of professionals who are committed to the goals of the organization.