In the year 1917 the Chairman of the municipal council of the city of Medellin hinted at the Society of Public Improvements the need and desirability of promoting the formation of a Society for the Protection of Animals. Willing to create it, the members of that entity made an effort to obtain information from other cities and proposed its creation by the Decree number. 67 of July 27, 1917 which was approved by the Governor’s office. Then, the mayor’s office created the Animal protection Society and appointed the board of directors..
Due to the gaps of information left by the accepted practice of files destruction, it is difficult to reconstruct the early years of the emerging entity. We do not have any details of the actions performed or the key people in its initial operation. The partial recovery of documents enables us to say that in the year 1929 the Governor of Antioquia, Dr. Camilo C. Restrepo, through Decree Number. 262, October 25, 1929 gave the institution the character of a departmental entity establishing, through the mayors, special boards that work for the sake of animals in each municipality.
During this time the entity underwent changes that reflected the situation, sometimes with the support of the municipal administration, others in open opposition to it by its health policies of canine extermination and population control practices, such as happened in 1943 when the director of Health Office gave the order of poisoning these animals. . For many years the organization published a monthly magazine "Our Friends" , published in the Municipal Printing which reached two thousand copies printed per issue, and biweekly newspaper with his name. In addition broadcast a show by the radio station Clarity: a program called "The voice of Cruz Azul."
The publicity of the station read: "Every day from five to five and a half in the afternoon, at your homes. Advice, instructions, prescriptions on diseases of animals, the most beautiful stories about their life, music and various items of interest. Tune your radio station Clarity and help the campaign Pro-animal ".
Besides having offices in the Town Hall (where Museum of Antioquia is located today), the Society had at its disposal the pasture "Guamal" on the road to El Poblado, "Potrero de las Mulas" or "Surrumbal" which was owned by the municipality and was located at the head of Palenque, near the Restrepo neighborhood in Robledo sector. Also the farm "Rondalla," in Robledo which was owned by Julio Vasquez Gaviria. This citizen assumed the mass vaccination of dogs in the city in the year 1951 motivated by the rise in Hydrophobia, spread by stray dogs who were mercilessly persecuted and mistreated.
The Animal protection Society was there during the growth of the emerging city in the early nineteenth century. At that time the municipality had a transportation system based on railways and the cargo fleet of horses that were located in the old market square in the area of Medellin Railway Station. Considering the needs of the community, the Society created a cooperative for drivers to improve their work, and the treatment that they should give to horses. Important members of the local society, as well as foreigners who had arrived to Medellin in the early nineteenth century and after World War II were part of this cooperative. These people also had an influence on the opening of roads, schools of agriculture, arts and crafts , Construction of bridges and buildings, industry and commerce, committed to the cause of animal welfare. In this cause, there was an effective representation of civil authorities, church and military representatives who created a clear policy of respect towards animals and control of violence against them.
In the forties the Society became an independent entity and continued working with the support of municipal and departmental administrations, finally changing its radius at the city level.
As an advisor institution it established branches in neighborhoods of the city and other municipalities in the department, and. helped other cities with the organization of similar entities.
Its presence in the social activity of the city was viewed as a valuable contribution to educating the younger generations. With lyrics and music of Leon Zafir Carlos Vieco introduced its anthem that was played at parties and commemorations referring to animals, such as the October 4 when a lavish parade society was moving from the Plazuela Nutibara, center of the official administration to the Forest of Independence (today our Botanical Garden) amidst gangs and martial Bands..
With the changes that were taking place in the city, the institution focused its activity towards the control of many different aspects: the livestock fair, where Livestock were marketed, galleries from the old market square in the area of Guayaquil where poultry were sold, the city slaughterhouse , the transport of livestock and poultry by road and rail, the trade of animals in the streets, the horse racing at the Hippodrome San Fernando, monitoring the use of animals at the University of Antioquia’s medical school, cases of road accidents mainly by the tram, vaccination of dogs and even some police cases.
All those issues were so important that the transportation of burdens in horse-drawn vehicles was regulated by the city mayor who approved or rejected requests to hook horses to work on Sundays and holidays. Permission to transport products from the slaughterhouse in the sector Tenche was given on the condition that horses would work only half-time. In the fifties, magazines of the entity talked about the existence of 500 members, contributors and partners in all matters concerning animal species. The Society enjoyed a great prestige among the citizens who appreciated its participation in everyday life issues. Since the Society was seen as a private institution which tried to meet the community needs, its work was also valued by the municipality administration. At that time the maim efforts of the institution were aimed at the construction of a Veterinary Hospital following the plans designed by the architect Nel Rodriguez, the one who had already designed the old City Hall – today Museum of Antioquia-. They renowned reputation to the citizenry who watched with respect and abide by their participation in. Respect that he also professed municipal administrations who saw in it an organization of unquestioned civilian community service. For those years the effort was aimed at building the Veterinary Hospital with plans undertaken by the architect Nel Rodriguez, to develop the same levels of the old city hall, today Museum of Antioquia. The project anticipated the existing systems for prepaid medical care services because its financing was based on animal owners who became partners in the hospital.
As the city began to change, the use of animal traction vehicles decreased considerably, in favor of automobiles By that time, family groups began to incorporate animals such us cats, dogs, birds and even cows in those with a peasant vocation. These became then the target public of The Society. Subsidiaries in many neighborhoods were created as well as the Cruz Azul – brigades of children and young people who were protectors in the common cause of respect for animals-. The institution kept controlling the transportation of livestock to different places, including the Antioquia Railway.
During the seventies the Society The Animal Protection Society settled in the sector Robledo, Barrio San German, a quiet place with low housing density, and big one-story houses with big yards. In this area, during the administration of the Mayor Guillermo Mora Londoño, The Society received a lot as a loan, on the condition of leaving their site in El Chagualo, because the Barranquilla Bridge was going to be built there. The lot was situated on the low part of the hill El Volador.
In recent years the organization has developed programs collecting stray animals and sheltering them, campaigns for massive sterilization of dogs and cats, emergency care, surgery, adoptions and counseling to the community and other municipalities. Nowadays it has the only clinic service with a social approach that provides affordable treatments -both curative and preventive- and aims to provide health services for animals whose owners can not afford regular and, in a special way, to or sick animals hit the street.
The institution has a seat on the Board of Animal Defenders of the city and the committee of experimentation. It gives advice and support to new entities, conducts educational activities with lectures at colleges and universities, trains inspectors and authorities in handling the current regulations in our country, as well as the general public on the transportation, proper handling and animal welfare and respect for life in all its forms.