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1956:  An informal group meets with Larry Andrews, field representative for the National Humane Society, about the need for an animal shelter in the area. His advice:

  1. Create a solid organizational groundwork: charter, incorporation, by-laws, board of directors, etc.

  2. Don’t underestimate the value of a spay program, as this has proved to be successful in painlessly reducing the numbers of unwanted pets.

1958:  Victor Valley Animal Protective League (VVAPL) is incorporated as a nonprofit.

1959:  The main goal was to build an animal shelter centrally located, preferably near downtown Victorville since they served the entire Victor Valley.


1960:  Mrs. Norma Anderson, a WWII test and transport pilot for the Women’s Air Forces Services Pilots (WASP) was elected board president.


In December, Newton T. Bass’ Apple Valley Foundation donated 5 acres on the corner of Zuni and Navajo roads.


1962:  Dorothy K. Thomas, wife of popular Opera singer John Charles Thomas, was elected board president.  She was instrumental in the formation and continued success of VVAPL.


Although it did not happen, the original plan was to call the shelter the High Desert Humane Society.


April 1962:  VVAPL opened the first animal shelter in the Victor Valley.


May 12, 1962:  VVAPL held a Dedication Ceremony.


Document circa 1962-1963 had the following information: 


  • Who:  The organization started as an expressed desire of John Charles Thomas at his death.  (Thomas was a popular American Opera, Operetta and Concert Baritone.  His wife Dorothy K. Thomas was a driving force in Victor Valley Animal Protective League becoming a reality.)

  • Purpose:  To carry on a program of humane education and to provide and maintain a suitable animal shelter in the Victor Valley area.

March 1980:  In order to control pet overpopulation, VVAPL’s dream of a Spay/Neuter Clinic became a reality and was dedicated to Jane Dollar.  VVAPL also opened a weekly Vaccine Clinic.


Today:  Victor Valley Animal Protective League is the contracted animal shelter for the cities of Victorville and Adelanto.  Our services, programs and community education are available to anyone, regardless of where they reside.  Our animals are adopted into loving homes across the country and Canada.

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