Tuesday, February 18, 2014

History and the Humane Society

By Kelli Huggins, Education Coordinator

The Chemung County Historical Society is lucky to have the opportunity to partner with the Chemung County Humane Society and SPCA for our upcoming Catstravaganza event.  At first glance, our two groups may seem to have little in common.  However, it turns out that the Historical Society and the Humane Society have a lot of shared interests after all.  First, we are both educational organizations.  Whether it be historical or humane education, we are both trying to actively engage with and teach our community. 

Also, our Humane Society has a very long history (and as a Historical Society, we should care about such things).  The Elmira Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Animals was incorporated on January 12, 1891.  The early humane movement aimed to protect animals and children as they were both seen as groups vulnerable to mistreatment.   The first animal shelter in Chemung County was established in 1926 on Pinnacle Road, Elmira.   In 1942, the shelter moved to Lowman where it remained until 1977.  Upon the move to its current location, the society officially changed its name to the Chemung County Humane Society and SPCA.
1891 Humane Society Membership Card

Catstravaganza: A Feline Festival, will combine the interests, strengths, and passion of both groups.  The event will feature a Mark Twain’s cat look-alike contest (he was a major cat lover, you know), cat-themed crafts, a cat video screening, and more.  One of the major highlights of the event will be our display of the cat-themed artwork of nearly 1,700 local students!  Join us February 22, 2014 from 12-3 at CCHS to take part in the feline fun.  The event is free and open to the public.
Mark Twain's Cats

Catstravaganza will not be the end of the collaborations between CCHS and the Humane Society.  For starters, we’ll be installing an exhibit in the lobby of the Humane Society that will be up by the beginning of March.  The exhibit will examine the history of the SPCA and local pet keeping.  Stop in and see it (and all of the wonderful animals looking for homes).

Tintype of a man and his dog

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