Mercy The Incredible Story of Henry Bergh ~ Book Review

Mercy The Incredible Story of Henry Bergh, Founder of the ASPCA and Friends to the Animals is written by Nancy Furstinger, with illustrations by Vincent Desjardins. 

This was an incredible biography to read about the man who pioneered the creation of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the first animal welfare organization in North America.  

Henry Bergh was an aristocrat in New York City in the late 1800s. This was a time when the welfare of animals was not taken into consideration. Animals were used for entertainment in circus, dog or rooster fights, or shooting pigeons. Animals were also used for work in many different situations. One of the most surprising one that I read was about dogs on wheels used for turning roasts and hams. 

It was fascinating to read what Henry Bergh went through to fight for the animals, the situations often dangerous that he put himself in, in order to help the animals. It was also interesting to read how Henry Bergh was a man of contradictions and how others interacted with him. He was nicknamed "The Great Meddler"! 

This book would be a great read for animal lovers that might also be interested in history. This book is also filled with extra snippets of related historical facts, usually just a couple of pages long, I thought they really added to the reading experience, for example a few that I really enjoyed were The History of the Circus, Child Labour in America, or Louisa May Alcott. There are many full colour illustrations throughout the book, as well as several historical photographs at the end of the book. 

Mercy: The Incredible Story of Henry Bergh by Nancy Furstinger will be released on April 5, 2016. It will be available at your local book store and online at:

Disclosure: I received a sample book for review from Raincoast Books. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. 


  1. Thanks for your wonderful review of Mercy! We've come so far in 150 years, but have much farther to go in the fight for animal welfare. And it sure appears that you've found a slice of heaven on your island!


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