SPCA is an abbreviation for Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals.
As their name suggests, the SPCA cares for animal’s well being.
Although it might appear that animal rights are a “new fangled” thing that started with a hippie somewhere, the first SPCA was founded in 1824 in England!
The main focus of that first SPCA was to guarantee the well being of carriage horses; these were frequently beaten hard to keep on walking in any type of weather condition.
In 1866 the first US-based SPCA was opened; in 1896 the first Canadian one.
Today the SPCA operates internationally. Each office is its own standalone organization, each deciding its own procedures and policy.
Some SPCA offices will operate their own animal shelter, others provide such services through adoption centers or foster homes.
Where possible the SPCA works with and relies on the community they are active in to help with sheltering animals, investigating cruelty against animals, education about the humane treatment of animals, etc. etc.
Animal rights activists and people within politics consider the various SPCA’s to have been instrumental in improving animal welfare and helping to cause a significant change in society’s attitude towards animals and their treatment.
Additional Reading about the SPCA
The SPCA International web site works to increase awareness of abuse of animal on a world wide level. To do so they promote programs and help educate.
They don’t govern or oversee the other SPCA’s but do support those.
For an SPCA near you, try searching Google for SPCA + your location. In certain areas you might have to extend your search from the town or city level to county or state or provincial level in order to get results.
If you cannot find an SPCA near you, determine what you would have needed them for and repeat your search for that service instead, again combining the search with location information.