This year marks Humane Animal Partners’ 150th anniversary
of serving the community!
Governor John Carney &
First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney
Senator Chris Coons
Daniel Cruce, Esq.
Peggy H. Eddens
Senator Stephanie Hansen
Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long
Senator Sarah McBride
Fred and Jo Ann C. Sears
Although our name changed following the merger of Delaware SPCA and Delaware Humane Association (DHA) in 2022, our lifesaving history dates all the way back to 1873! 150 years later, Humane Animal Partners has grown into a state-wide animal welfare organization that offers a variety of low-cost services to the community and helps thousands of animals every year.
On Thursday, November 16, 2023, we will host a 150th Anniversary Gala at the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished for the people and animals of Delaware. All funds raised will support our lifesaving mission and allow us to continue providing adoption and low-cost wellness and spay/neuter services for the next 150+ years!
Pictured is the original Delaware SPCA transport truck
with staffer and dog from 1933.
Purchase tickets or support HAP’s 150th anniversary by making a gift:
View our sponsorship opportunities:
Chemist Ferris Bringhurst began discussions with friends about combating the cruelty against livestock commonly witnessed on the streets of Wilmington.
A precursor to the SPCA, the Wilmington Fountain Society, was formed and went on to erect drinking fountains for the animals throughout the city.
Delaware SPCA established.
Frank Stout was hired as an animal cruelty officer at a salary of $60/month.
A barn-like structure at the foot of Madison Street was built that housed the Society’s growing number of animals for many years.
The Society’s new shelter off Market Street in Wilmington was completed (at a cost of $9,545) and occupied for 22 years.
The first Children’s Dog Show was held to encourage young owners to take good care of their pets.
DE SPCA sponsored its first rabies clinic.
DE SPCA established Delaware’s first low-cost spay and neuter program.
Delaware Humane Association (DHA) was founded by DE SPCA board member, Patricia Johnson and her friends.
DHA established an animal shelter near the Greater Wilmington Airport, where they rented an old building for $1/year.
DE SPCA’s new shelter was opened on Churchman’s Road after a $133,000 construction project.
DE SPCA’s Pet Cemetery established.
DE SPCA cemetery held 351 dogs, including Captain, an SPCA rescue who went on to become “the first state police patrol dog in the country,” according to his marker.
12 acres of land on Stanton/Christiana Road was donated by philanthropist, Emily du Pont.
DHA opened its new animal shelter, built on five acres of land purchased on the south bank of the Christiana River on A Street.
DE SPCA’s new, $400,000 shelter was completed, which, at the time, “combined the best features of animal shelters in the east”.
DE SPCA opened a mini zoo and nature walk to accommodate some of its more unusual charges.
Late 1980s & 1990s
DHA steadily grew, taking on a greater role in community outreach, humane education, spay/neuter, and adoption services.
DHA’s Board of Directors created the position of Executive Director and Shelter manager, and a full-time medical staff was put in place.
DHA purchased a fully-equipped surgical van to offer spay/neuter services throughout the state.
DHA sent the van, equipped with staff, volunteers, and medical supplies to the Gulf States following the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Delaware SPCA opened the Jane R. Haggard Spay/Neuter Clinic — the first of its kind in Delaware — to provide high-quality, affordable spay/neuter services to the public and local animal rescue groups.
Delaware SPCA became a no-kill animal shelter.
Delaware SPCA’s low-cost Wellness Clinic opened to the community.
DHA’s new, modern, state-of-the art Wilmington facility opened.
Reggie’s Fund was established by the Copelands to assist community members in need of critical veterinary services.
The Biden family adopted German shepherd, Major, at DHA after months of fostering the puppy.
DHA Rehoboth Beach unveiled its newly-renovated storefront adoption center.
Longstanding partners, Delaware SPCA and DHA, announced their decision to combine their organizations.
Delaware SPCA and DHA solidified their partnership by unveiling their new brand and logo, Humane Animal Partners.
12 rescue beagle puppies arrived at HAP from a Virginia breeding compound that made national headlines, ready for new lives.
HAP Wilmington began offering wellness services.
Humane Animal Partners hosted bill-signing in which Governor John Carney made the “rescue dog” the official state dog of Delaware.