The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has named Harold F. Dates recipient of its 2016 Humane Award. Dates is the president and chief executive officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Cincinnati, which serves as both an animal shelter and a humane society. Dates, who received the award during the 2017 AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference in Chicago, was recognized for his career achievements in advancing the welfare of animals through leadership, public service, education and advocacy.
“Mr. Dates has devoted his career to serving as a tireless advocate for the humane care and treatment of animals,” said Dr. Tom Meyer, AVMA president. “This award is being presented to him in appreciation for his commitment to humane animal care in southwest Ohio, and for everything he has done to address the issue of unwanted, neglected and abused animals.”
Dates, who has worked with SPCA Cincinnati for more than 40 years, is a pioneer in animal welfare in Ohio. Besides opening the first humane society-owned, low-cost spay/neuter clinic in the state, he has promoted adoptions on live radio and television; started the Adopt-A-Pet segments on WKRC-TV, Cincinnati’s CBS affiliate television station; purchased a Mobile Adoption Unit; helped orchestrate the rescue of dog and cat victims of Hurricane Katrina; opened a new humane center and obtained the 24-acre SPCA Simmonds Farm for agricultural education. He has received numerous awards honoring his service to animals, and has held many positions on different boards and task forces focused on animal care and welfare. Dates received his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Cincinnati.