Tulsa SPCA 100th Year!

posted May 27th, 2013 by
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by Kiley Roberson

The year is 1913. Postage stamps are .02 cents, Albert Einstein is working on a new Theory of Gravity, gasoline costs .12 cents per gallon and a concerned Tulsan holds an in-home meeting to help animals in the community. The Tulsa SPCA (TSPCA ) is born. The mission: to help homeless dogs and cats and prevent abuse of draft animals used for work.

Flash forward, 2013. It costs .46 cents to send a letter. People throughout the world are constantly trying to defy gravity, and gasoline is more than $3 per gallon. Much has changed since the TSPCA formed 100 years ago, but one thing has stayed the same—the organization’s unswerving dedication to improving the lives of animals in the Tulsa area.

Today, the TSPCA is a private, nonprofit organization supported solely by contributions from the public, bequests, grants and some fees for services. The organization provides many vital services for people and pets such as positive behavior training to enhance the pets’ adoption opportunities, investigating animal cruelty and neglect, educational programs for children and adults and even a nursing home visitation program.

“We’ve come a long way,” explains TSPCA volunteer D’Ann Berson. “The current organization has grown from a time when the pets were rescued but kenneled 24 hours a day, to now where they are loved, played with and cared for while they await their forever families.”

Berson is a longtime volunteer of the TSPCA , beginning her service in 1988.

“I began as a volunteer that came every Saturday and Sunday afternoon to help with animal care and adoptions. There was no formal volunteer program then, and I just sort of filled in at various needs,” Berson says. “There is little I have not done over all the years.”

Berson has since served on the TSPCA Board of Directors, as director of the organization and now in a community outreach role. After 25 years of service, her love for the animals is unwavering.

“I remember doing flea dips in parking lots, tending shifts in booths to educate the public, taking pets to adoptathons and varieties of shelter cleanup and improvement projects,” Berson says. “I wouldn’t change any of it.”

Volunteers and donors like Berson are the real heroes behind the growth of the TSPCA . The organization’s current shelter on Mohawk Boulevard opened in the 1940s and sits on seven acres with plenty of room for the dogs to play and exercise outside.

The pups are only kenneled at night and in inclement weather. The cats reside in a big colony room of about 16 felines and have access to an outdoor play yard that is totally enclosed. The room looks like a giant kitty playground.

There is also an on-site veterinary clinic, which was built in the late 1980s. The clinic cares for all of the shelter pets and makes sure they are healthy and ready for adoption. The clinic also offers an open-to-the-public vaccination service every Friday, providing low-cost vaccinations and some tests for common disorders in dogs and cats.

It’s been 100 years in the making, but as the longest-running animal rescue organization in Tulsa, the TSPCA has reason to celebrate. In fact, the organization is celebrating its centennial all year long. This summer you can join in the festivities by coming to its first ever Paws And Pictures event on June 20.

You, your family and your pets are all invited to come watch movies at the Admiral Twin Drive-In. There will be games, music, and fun prior to the showing so you will want to get there early! The TSPCA will also be sharing the wealth this year by offering every 100th service for free. This includes both adoptions and the shot clinic.

It’s sure to be a year full of fun, and while the organization says it’s proud of its past, they hope there won’t be another 100 years ahead. “The Tulsa SPCA is always working to put ourselves out of business,” says Berson. “We’re hoping for a day when there are enough good homes for pets, no euthanizing of healthy pets and no more need for our services for the homeless and abused.”

The TSPCA always appreciates donations and volunteers. Find out how you can help by visiting the website at tulsaspca.org

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