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Celebrating 150 Years of Compassion and Innovation

Jan 25, 2024

It’s hard to believe that we’re celebrating our 150th anniversary this year! Our organization, founded by a group of Oakland residents concerned about the treatment of horses and oxen, has evolved into one that envisions a more compassionate world for both people and companion animals. 

black and white photo of horse and carriage

Throughout this year, we will celebrate the innovative spirit of our organization and you, our community, that continues to support us along our journey. We’re More Than a Shelter, we’re a leader in animal welfare and we look forward to continuing our legacy in the years to come.

As far back as 1912 we were leading the pack, hosting tours and programs for community members to learn about the humane treatment of animals. This past year, over 6,200 area children took part in our camps, scout, and other Humane Education programs at our Oakland and Dublin campuses.

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Did you know? In 1962, we were the first animal shelter in the Bay Area to require adopted animals to be spayed or neutered.  

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black and white image of shelter circa 1950
The original shelter, built in 1922, before moving to its current location on Baldwin Street.
black and white image of children with dog and cat
Our Humane Education programs promote compassion, empathy, and respect for all living things. 
newspaper article about spay and neuter
A 1962 article about the spay/neuter mandate with some interesting (and outdated) language about the potential effects of spaying a dog.
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Did you know? Our annual budget in 1907 was $1,363 – that included $40 for a typewriter! 

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historical document

In 1961, we opened one of the nation’s first veterinary departments to treat shelter animals. Now, we also provide vaccines, spay/neuter surgeries, and other veterinary services to the public at both our Theodore B. Travers Family Veterinary Clinic and our Oakland Spay/Neuter Surgery Center. In fact, our Spay/Neuter Surgery Center was the largest of its kind in the United States when it opened in 1997! 

Since the beginning, we have dedicated ourselves to serving the needs of our community in creative ways. From providing services for pets to training future veterinarians, we have always been deeply committed to members of our community, furry and otherwise.

As we celebrate 150 years of lifesaving, we’re so proud of our history as a leader in transforming the care of shelter animals. We are committed to continuing this legacy and finding new ways to save lives, keep pets and people together, and serve our community.

Did you know? As far back as 1967, we were educating future veterinarians!

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historical newspaper article

The early days of shaping passionate young veterinarians who continue to make a difference.

black and white image of letter

A 1965 letter from one of our younger community members.

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One response to “Celebrating 150 Years of Compassion and Innovation”

  1. test Avatar
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    Happy 150th

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