About Our Human Society

SPCA Westchester is one of the oldest humane societies in the Unites States. It was founded in 1883 by Ossining resident Mary Dusenberry after she observed horses being abused as they delivered heavy loads of coal. Together with caring friends, Mrs. Dusenberry obtained land in Briarcliff Manor on which to build the Society’s first home and established a fund to be used to prevent cruelty to animals.

Originally affiliated with the ASPCA, the SPCA became an independent organization in the 1920’s and does NOT receive funding from any national animal welfare organizations. Instead, our humane society relies on animal shelter donations.

Today, the SPCA supports more than 5,500 animals a year and is recognized as the largest No-Kill Rescue Center in Westchester County. We are committed to finding homes for all adoptable animals regardless of space or length of stay.

In 2021 we proudly opened the doors to our new, 27,000-square-foot Animal Rescue Center. Our former buildings hadn’t been updated since the 1950’s and were cracked and crumbling. Our modern home accommodates more orphaned dogs and cats in need, making a huge impact on Westchester County animals, including animals from Armonk, Scarsdale, White Plains, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Bedford, Rye, Elmsford, NY and even Greenwich, CT. Have questions about our pet adoptions? Get in touch with our humane society today!

Year in Review

Current Programs & Services

Rescue & Adoption

The SPCA provides a safe haven for abandoned and abused animals in need of rescue, veterinary care, enrichment, and love while they await adoption. We accept lost and abandoned dogs and cats through local municipal contracts, owner surrenders, abused and neglected animals rescued by the SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Unit and at-risk animals from overcrowded and high-kill shelters.

The SPCA never euthanizes an animal except in cases of terminal illness, extreme aggression, or the inability to maintain a reasonable quality of life. Regardless of how long it may take, we are committed to caring for all adoptable animals until a loving, new home can be found.

Click here to read a few of our countless Happy Tails–stories about how our rescue and adoption programs save lives.

Cruelty Investigation & Intervention

The SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Unit (HLE) is the only entity authorized by New York State to enforce the laws as they relate to animal cruelty in Westchester County. More than 1,000 reports of animal neglect and abuse are phoned into our confidential hotline every year. Our HLE officers perform investigations, seizures and make arrests involving a range of animals including, but not limited to dogs, cats, horses, exotics and farm animals. The SPCA’s HLE Unit receives no government funding and is run solely on donations.

Low-Cost Veterinary Care

Spaying and neutering of all dogs and cats is essential to alleviate the tragic consequences of unwanted animals. Through Cody’s Clinic, the SPCA offers public low-cost spay/neuter surgeries, examinations, vaccinations and testing for disease in an effort to help people keep their beloved pets healthy.

Since establishing our clinic in 1983, we have spayed/neutered and provided affordable wellness care to more than 100,000 dogs and cats, successfully reducing the number of homeless animals. Once a week we also assist local cat rescue organizations by offering spay/neuter surgeries to feral cats through our Trap/Neuter/Return program.

Volunteer Services

A group of dedicated volunteers participate in our cat care program and the daily walking and training of our dogs, providing them with much needed TLC during their time at the SPCA. Volunteers also foster many of our animals, helping them on their journeys to finding forever homes. They further support us by greeting visitors, guiding them through the adoption process, assisting staff, and taking part in our events and outreach efforts.

Educational Outreach

Teaching children to be animal advocates empowers them to be good citizens. We believe that one of the most effective ways to fight animal cruelty and neglect is through education. Our Humane Education Program staff present numerous educational modules at schools every year and conduct tours for youth clubs and groups.

The SPCA also offers birthday parties, Camp Critter and a Rising Volunteers Program so that children can engage with the animals while learning important skills. Our Reading to Dogs and Cats Program and Homework or Music with a Buddy are popular initiatives that kids take part in at our Rescue Center as well as our Toy and Treat Enrichment Days.

Pet Safety

The SPCA is proud to be partnered with three local domestic violence shelter agencies through our Pet Safety Program. This special partnership is with My Sisters’ Place, Hope’s Door and the Putnam Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center.

Our Pet Safety Program was developed from the growing recognition that companion animals living in violent households are often the victims of abuse, and that people seeking refuge from such situations are often unwilling to leave out of fear for their animals’ safety. Because many domestic violence shelters are unable to take in the companion animals of victims, we saw the need to create a program that would enable victims to bring their pets to the SPCA to be cared for during their stay in the shelter system.

Authorized by NYS to Operate as a Shelter–Registration Number RR056