Difference between RSPCA and SPCA

Key Difference: RSPCA has branched from SPCA and has been dubbed as a royal organization. RSPCA operates in England and Wales, while SPCA operates all over the world.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) are two of the many animal welfare organizations that exist. These groups are responsible for fighting for the animals. In addition, they also offer multiple services such as food, shelter, medical and adoption centers for strays and rescued animals. RSPCA and SPCA are often confusing because of their similar names, but they are different from each other.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is a charity that operates in England and Whale and is responsible for promoting animal welfare. Now, here is where RSPCA and SPCA collide. RSPCA was initially established as Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) in 1824. It was founded with the purpose of protecting carriage horses from cruelty. SPCA has now become associated with many large and small shelters all over the world. However, SPCA is not associated with either RSPCA or ASCPA. These two are different organizations. Once, SPCA was established in 1824, it was granted a royal status in 1840 by Queen Victoria dubbing it as a royal organization and now being termed as RSPCA.

RSPCA has been lobbying since the nineteenth century and has resulted in passing a number of laws to protect animals, including The Cruelty to Animals Act 1835, Sir George Greenwood's Animal Protection Act and The Animal Welfare Act 2006. It also plays an active role in enforcing these laws and filing lawsuits against the offenders. RSPCA has multiple centers, hospitals and branches operate throughout England and Wales.

Comparison between RSPCA and SPCA:





1824, dubbed as a royal organization in 1840


Main Components

  • Essentially the same as SPCA but honored as a royal organization
  • Lobbies for laws against animal cruelty
  • Enforces said laws
  • Has local centers in many areas
  • Operates in England, Wales and Australia
  • Cannot lobby for laws
  • Can report law breakers but no official authority
  • Has local shelters in many communities all around the world

Image Courtesy: rspca.org.au, myduncanville.com

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The RSPCA also operates within Australia. As such, I'm thinking maybe it operates within Commonwealth nations?

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