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The Animal Rights Movement

Working to Stop Cruelty & Homelessness

The animal rights movement dates back to 1824 with the creation of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Established in England to prevent the abuse of carriage horses, the SPCA helped protect the animals by establishing laws to regulate the industry. Once horses were protected, the SPCA expanded their efforts to include dogs and cats. This marked an important shift in public perspective; animals now deserved proper care and protection.

a smiling woman hugs her dogBy 1869, the SPCA had made its way to the U.S. and the country’s first official animal shelter opened. States also began establishing humane societies and developing anticruelty laws to protect animals. Fast-forward to the 1960s and 70s when activists sparked a new movement: ending homelessness. And as people started seeing stray animals as potential pets, more shelters opened devoted to rescuing animals. Today, thousands of private shelters and rescue groups are working tirelessly to help animals.

There are a wide variety of animal rescue organizations in Minnesota and the rest of the world. Some organizations focus on specific breeds, senior animals, or hard to place pets. Others help find homes for any animal in need – including farm and wild animals. Foster programs through rescue organizations allow homeless pets to be placed in supportive home environments. Removing animals from a stressful shelter environment not only aids personality and temperament assessment, it also helps reduce euthanasia within crowded facilities. Because these organizations are often not-for-profits, their efforts are typically supported by grants, charitable donations, and volunteers. In addition to housing animals and searching for homes, many organizations also offer services to help control the pet population and education on pet care and responsible ownership.

Wagging Tails is proud to offer three special events in partnership with organizations working to care for Minnesota’s pet population:

Underdog Adoption Day!
Sunday, October 16, from 12:30-2:30pm

underdog rescue logoOur Eagan location is hosting a special adoption event with Underdog Rescue! Underdog Rescue is a foster-based rescue organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and placing “underdogs” in the forever homes they deserve. Are you interested in fostering animals? Learn more about being a foster family.


MN SNAP Spay & Neuter Clinic!
Saturday, October 22, and Saturday, December 3

MN SNAP logoOur Bloomington location is hosting MN SNAP’s mobile clinic to provide low-cost, high-quality spay and neuter surgeries! Pre-scheduled sterilizations will be completed using the most current anesthesia medications, equipment, and surgical techniques. All pets will be discharged to their owners/caretakers or returned to their rescues or shelter the same day. Learn more about MN SNAP and their list of qualifications online:

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