When establishing yardsticks and parameters for measuring success, we understand that the Safe & Humane work and highpoints of the initiative go far beyond the work of the Kirkpatrick Foundation.
A discussion of animal-wellbeing milestones in Oklahoma necessarily goes back to the beginning, long before the Land Runs brought pioneer settlers to a new frontier. Native Americans revered the anthropomorphic and cultural qualities of animals and their use in daily life. Just before statehood, in 1905, Oklahoma Territory was a nationwide leader in humane education, requiring that all common schools incorporate a half hour weekly of humane education into its curriculum. In 1920, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania followed Illinois and enacted sanctions against those non-complying schools that failed to teach these mandated principles of “moral and humane education.” As we can see, Oklahoma has a deep and rich history of caring for animals at the highest level. Along with our many partners and colleagues, we look forward to updating Oklahoma citizens—and the larger nationwide audience—of the great work happening here at a daily pace.
The following pages outline many key milestones throughout the years.