History of the BC SPCA
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History of the BC SPCA

It all started with people concerned about animal welfare.

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) has been operating on behalf of the province’s most vulnerable animals for more than 120 years.


  • 1895 – Construction boom in B.C.

    A small group of merchants, journalists and clergy who were deeply concerned about the abuse of horses being used as beasts of burden as B.C. entered a construction boom dedicated themselves to making life better for animals

  • 1895: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act

    The dedication of these compassionate individuals resulted in the passing of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act by the Government of British Columbia and the creation of the BC SPCA.

  • 1896: BC SPCA begins

    A committee of individuals concerned with animal protection was formed to create the BC SPCA bylaws and a constitution; the first meeting of the BC SPCA was held in New Westminster in 1896.

  • 1898: BC SPCA elections

    The society held an election for the Board and the BC SPCA Vancouver Branch was formed

  • 1901: Branching out

    By 1901 there were SPCA branches in New Westminster, Victoria, Vancouver, Vernon, Kamloops, Ashcroft, Okanagan, Kaslo, Nelson, Revelstoke and Rossland. These branches enabled the society to investigate cases of animal cruelty on a larger scale throughout the province.

  • 1955: Give me shelter

    The first shelter was built for the BC SPCA Vancouver Branch.

  • Present day: Creating a more humane B.C.

    The BC SPCA is now one of the largest animal welfare organizations of its kind in North America, providing a wide range of services including the enforcement of animal cruelty laws through investigations into cases of animal cruelty and neglect; sheltering and adoption of homeless, surrendered and abandoned animals; low-cost spay/neuter programs; youth programs, advocacy on animal-related issues including higher welfare standards for farm animals; wildlife rescue and rehabilitation and more. Learn more about us.