Mary Ellen Wilson, a child born into Hell's Kitchen in New York City, was declared to be an animal in order to remove her from an abusive home because while animal cruelty laws had been passed, child abuse laws had not.
Of course the humane movement took a dark turn soon after, turning dog "shelters" into places where millions of dogs were gassed or killed by injection or bullet.
Things took a dark turn for humans too. Just 65 years later, the world had moved from killing bassets in gas chambers to killing people in them.
And today? Today you can go to almost any mall or theme park and see a small child on a leash.
And while children are still hungry, sick, and dying as innocents on the world's battle fields, it's animal welfare that raises the big bucks in the mail.