Tulsa SPCA is Tulsa’s ‘senior citizen’ among animal rescue groups

The Tulsa SPCA served as Tulsa’s only non-government animal rescue and adoption program in Tulsa until the 1950s. It was founded during a meeting in a concerned Tulsan’s home mainly to help homeless dogs and cats and to protect against abuse of draft animals used to do tilling on farms and heavy work in the mines and oil fields.

Animal cruelty laws have been in effect in Oklahoma since statehood and cruelty provisions are contained in the state Constitution. Until that time, a man’s animal was his to starve, neglect or beat as he chose.

As Tulsa grew, so did the Tulsa SPCA. Since its founding, the organization has investigated cruelty complaints and tried to ensure that laws are followed. During the Depression, packs of hungry and sick dogs roamed the city, raising concerns over disease and health of the people. The Tulsa SPCA then increased its efforts.

It became apparent that a shelter to serve as a temporary home for homeless animals was needed to treat their injuries and diseases and rehabilitate them while awaiting adoption.

Tulsa SPCA’s current shelter on Mohawk Boulevard between Lewis and Harvard avenues has been the organization’s home since the main building and a few dog runs were donated in approximately 1946 by H. O. McClure, a founder of Fourth National Bank of Tulsa. The current shelter sits on a seven-acre parcel which was acquired during the Depression and originally had only one small building.

A cornerstone placed at the shelter’s entrance in 1948 is engraved: “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast. Proverbs 12:10.”

Tulsa SPCA was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1949 and, since that time, governed by a volunteer Board of directors. Since its founding, it has been an independent organization supported exclusively by private donations. It is not affiliated with any national group and does not receive any government or United Way funding.

Hundreds of thousands of animals have found a temporary home at the shelter, while awaiting a second chance. Several hundred cats and dogs leave the shelter for homes each year.

While at Tulsa SPCA, many of these pets experience their first kindnesses from humans including nutritious food, a safe and comfortable place to sleep, medical care, and gentle handling.

And, true to its roots, the organization supports an on-going animal cruelty investigation program. In the past year alone, starving and neglected horses have been rescued, along with dozens of injured, dumped, starving, abandoned, and neglected dogs and cats.

Additionally, the group provides a low-cost vaccination service, weekly pet visitation to residents in 25 area nursing homes (designed to promote the therapeutic animal-human bond), educational programs on pet care and health, and a safe haven for pets of families during domestic violence episodes.

Our mobile adoption center called MAC – a large enclosed truck which can carry 15-plus dogs and cats – is hitting the Tulsa streets as an additional way to show residents the shelter’s pets and help find forever homes. We are making the match between people and their pets even more convenient, placing even more orphaned dogs and cats with new families.