Unfortunately, there are too many sad stories in the news featuring someone being charged with cruelty to animals. It doesn't matter if you consider yourself a cat or dog person, such stories hit a nerve with animal lovers. In this area, two nonprofit animal welfare organizations look out for our domesticated friends. The Lowell Humane Society and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have both been around since the late 1800s and care for displaced pets and domestic animals in need. With the help of a few high-profile supporters, lawyer George Thorndike Angell incorporated the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or MSPCA, in 1868 after he witnessed two horses being raced until death.

Top left, MSPCA founder George T. Angell at his desk; top right, the Christmas feast of the horses was an annual MSPCA Boston event until the 1950's where the public would decorate a Christmas tree with carrots, apples, oats, sugar, and corn, and let them eat their fill; bottom left, Nevins Farm before Harriet Nevins donated it to the MSPCA; bottom right, Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, now called Angell Animal Medical Center, at 180 Longwood Ave. in Boston.

Next week, a look at the Lowell Humane Society and the wonderful work it does for our furry fiends. Photos courtesy of www.mspca.org.

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