Humane treatment of animals is evidenced in writings and drawings as far back as the time of the Egyptians, who showed an appreciation of the psychological qualities of animals. At the time, cats represented activity, whereas cattle represented patience and usefulness. The Jewish code of laws also call for the humane treatment of animals, indicating that working cattle should receive a day of rest once weekly and oxen should be allowed to work unmuzzled so that they may chew straw and be content. There are also references to the humane treatment of animals in the Bible, various religious tomes, historical writings (including authors such as St. Thomas Aquinas), and the legislation of many countries (such as, England, Germany, and Scandinavia.

The humane movement in America got its start in the mid 1800s. Prior to this time, kindness to animals was not a common consideration, as animals were believed to be put on earth to be useful to humans, most often in the form of hard physical work and transportation. The first animal control duties involved clearing cities of stray dogs and the most common ways to do so were by drowning or shooting the animals. As many as 300 dogs per day were killed in New York City during the 1850s and ’60s.

Concerned with overworked and underfed draft horses, Henry Bergh founded the first protection agency for animals in 1866, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The inception of the ASPCA sparked the formation of many other organizations across the United States whose purpose was to protect animals. Surprisingly, many animal cruelty organizations also included child cruelty issues in their missions, as there were few child welfare organizations in existence during the late nineteenth century.

In the late 1800s, several societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals had been established throughout the United States. Although these organizations met great successes throughout their existence, they lacked a unified voice in promoting the humane movement. So, four years later, delegates from 27 humane organizations from 10 states joined together in the first forum where they could combine their strength and unite their missions. It was at this meeting that American Humane was founded, and it immediately began to address one of its first tasks — to put an end to the inhumane treatment of farm animals and the deplorable conditions in which they were kept.

Fast forward to 1980 when the Flagler Humane Society was founded, beginning our mission of providing shelter and nourishment for lost and homeless animals while finding them life-long matches in forever homes  and coordinating regionally with like minded partners to be your resource for all animals.

Check out our latest initiatives at

Come visit us at 1 Shelter Drive, Palm Coast, FL 32137

Volunteer positions are available in all areas of the cause!