ADL History

The Animal Defense League was established in 1923 by a group of individuals, “for the prevention of cruelty to animals; to promote kind and humane treatment of animals, and to aid and assist the enforcement of laws enacted for the prevention of animal cruelty.”

ADL began with just a few makeshift chicken-wire cages in response to a need to shelter stray and injured dogs and cats in the San Antonio area. Along with providing basic shelter and care, the emphasis has always been placed on adopting animals to homes where they will receive loving care and attention for the rest of their lives.

In 1961, ADL moved to its present location in the easily accessible northeast part of San Antonio. Its campus encompasses more than 12 acres and includes a two-acre pet park. On the property is an Adoption Center with a small retail store and a separate 5,000 square-foot Clinic which houses our veterinary hospital that provides onsite spay/neuter surgery, surgery for injured and ill animals, and ongoing medical care for all ADL resident animals.

In 2004, a new kennel was built to house dogs. In 2007, two kennels built in 1963 were raised to open space for more play areas. The next area of focus will be updating the cattery.