The mission of the Delaware SPCA is to prevent cruelty to animals. We bring our mission to life through programs which provide shelter and adoption for unwanted and homeless pets, reduce pet overpopulation through affordable spay/neuter, and enable pet retention by providing low-cost veterinary services.
The Delaware Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a private nonprofit charity. It was founded was in 1873 by Ferris Bringhurst and other concerned citizens in response to the mistreatment of livestock being led to market in the city of Wilmington.
In the late 1890s, the society entered into a contract with the City of Wilmington for dog control, establishing a relationship that continued until early 2014. From the 1960’s until 2008, Delaware SPCA held a contract with the State of Delaware for statewide animal control and animal cruelty investigations.
The Delaware SPCA was based in Wilmington until 1963, when operations were expanded and a new shelter was constructed near the airport in New Castle. In 1973, the Delaware SPCA moved to its current facility on Stanton Christiana Road near Delaware Park. The shelter was constructed on land donated by local philanthropist Emily du Pont. Delaware SPCA also operated an animal shelter and spay/neuter clinic in Sussex County for 45 years, from 1972 to 2017.
In 2009, a 2,500 square foot surgery facility was added to the Stanton shelter, and the society opened the Jane R. Haggard Spay/Neuter Clinic — the first of its kind in Delaware — providing high-volume, high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter services to the public and animal rescue groups.
In 2014, Delaware SPCA ended its involvement in animal control and animal cruelty investigations. These are now handled by a state agency, the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare.
Now in its 147th year, Delaware SPCA continues its mission to help homeless animals in need and reduce pet overpopulation. As a non-profit charity, our work is made possible only by contributions from the community we serve.