Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ever Hear of Turnspit Dogs?

Someone asked me if I knew why the SPCA was founded.  I replied that Henry Bergh founded the ASPCA in New York because of the mistreatment of horses.  "No", I was told, "It was because of turnspit dogs."

With a little research, I found that small dogs were used in a wheel to turn the spit for meat cooking over the fire.  This occurred mostly in England during the 16th century.  Some individuals attempted to recreate the use of the turnspit dog in Manhattan, NY; but it was deemed cruel to the dogs and was frowned upon.

The specific article I read about turnspit dogs did say that the SPCA was founded because of the poor treatment of the dogs.  And that is also true, but it wasn't just the unfortunate turnspit, but all dogs, cats, and horses. 

Back to the 21st century where SPCAs everywhere continue to battle cruelty to animals.  A lot of our investigations are situations of neglect where uneducated, impoverished individuals don't provide necessary care. 

Animals have been used for centuries to work.   How is it that one person can perceive treatment as "normal" and others deem it cruel?  Why is it that some people are in tune to an animal's suffering while others are not?  I guess that is why we have SPCAs.  We need to educate people and keep our eyes open for the animals.

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