The notion of animal welfare took hold around the conclusion of the Civil War, when the first connections were made between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans, and movements were launched to advocate humane treatment of all animals, on the farm or in the wild. Fred Myers was a member of one such group, the American Humane Association, but found himself increasingly at odds with their allowance of animal use from pounds for biological experiments. Disaffected, Myers and several of his colleagues left the AHA to found their own organization.
On this day, November 22, in 1954, Fred Myers, along with Larry Andrews, Marcia Glaser, and Helen Jones formed the National Humane Society, later renamed the Humane Society of U.S. to better reflect it as a local chapter of an international movement.
The four members, for a while, were the only ones running the society, and usually on a shoestring budget. But their message resonated, and the Humane Society began setting up self-sustaining state chapters. Their first actions focused on preventing the use of impounded animals for scientific research, and creating more humane slaughter laws. In 1958, just four years after their founding, they got their first notable success, as Congress passed a law forbidding animal slaughter methods that would cause the animals pain.