SPCA Westchester is a no-kill, 501(c)3 not-for-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving homeless, abused and abandoned animals and to protecting animals from cruelty and neglect through education and enforcement of humane laws.


SPCA Westchester is one of the oldest humane societies in the United States. We were 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.

What does the SPCA stand for?

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

What is the difference between SPCA Westchester and the ASPCA?

SPCA Westchester was originally formed as the “Sing Sing Branch of the ASPCA” when we were founded in 1883.  In 1926, all of the SPCA’s separated from ASPCA and became their own independent 501c3 organizations. The ASPCA has national outreach but its animal shelter is headquartered in NYC and does not serve Westchester County or its homeless animals. Many people incorrectly believe that when they donate to the ASPCA that gift trickles down to us – this is false and is why we depend on our local community for support.

Recognized as a No-Kill Rescue Center, the SPCA is 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. Thanks to our generous supporters, who made this dream a reality, our modern home allows us to expand our rescue programs and services, making a huge impact on Westchester County animals and beyond. Today, we support more than 5,500 animals every year.

Learn more about the SPCA’s community outreach programs and services

Year in Review