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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Veterinary Services

Mission: NSAL America, founded in 1944 is more than just an advocacy group. We advise the public through the various media about how important it is to adopt from a shelter and spay/neuter your pet. We go to shelters and homes to rescue unwanted animals and find them homes with new families. Any sick animals we rescue are cared for in our medical center, and not destroyed as in many other shelters. All this work is able to be done through voluntary public support of caring people all over the world.

Results: Since 1944, North Shore Animal League America has been saving the lives of innocent dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens — over 1,000,000 to date.

Target demographics: save the lives of as many companion animals as possible and promote education to increase shelter adoptions, reduce animal cruelty and advance the highest standards in animal welfare.

Geographic areas served: the New York metropolitan/tri-state area

Programs: our no-kill mission, the Mutt-i-grees curriculum, adoption events, mobile adoptions, emergency rescues, puppy mill rescues, out of state rescues, spay/neuter initiatives, helping other shelters

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 2

I have adopted two dogs from NSAL, the first many years ago went smoothly, this last one not so much- the cages were dirty-absolutely no comforts for the animals at all, some of the people there were mean and impatient with the animals. Our dog was so sick we took her to our vet 3 weeks after getting her, she had hookworm so bad and had it so long she has breathing problems, it took several months to get rid of. I used to donate all the time, I will find somewhere else to send my donations, I think the salaries of their management is disgusting.

Client Served

Rating: 1

My husband and I decided to get a dog for little girls, they've been dreaming about one.
So when we heard about the clear the shelters we thought that will be a good idea to drive there and get them one, we went there found a beautiful female dog was so so gorgeous , then they said that we have to do an application and wait a few hours to get the dog.
We went outside to eat by the time they will call us to pick the dog, but when we went back they called my name and told me that couldn't get in touch with my landlord which she was away at the time and I told them that she will be back after 2 months.
They said that they were sorry but they have to get he approve from the landlord.
I feel that they ask too many personal questions, how much we are making a year?
From what time to what time we work?
Who is going to be with the dog when we go to work?.............
By the end they told that the application wasn't approve!!! I was like I was applying for a loan . I just felt they were too much they made my girls cry , they broke there hearts, and everybody was complaining about all that waist of time , we have been there for 7 hours then left empty handed , a lady was there almost 9 hours for a cat.
They have to make it easy for us , we just were trying to adopt an animal not a baby.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I had a horrible experience adopting my dog two years ago. I went with my two adult daughters and husband. A volunteer let each of my daughters hold a puppy and because I didn't want to choose between them I decided to get both puppies. The volunteer went to get a manager and that is when the nightmare began. From the moment she entered the scene we were treated like crap on her shoe. She yelled at us and brow beat us. She yelled at us that we were not allowed to have two dogs out of the cage and we had to give one back. I preferred the dog my younger daughter held so she snatched the dog my older daughter was holding. My daughter got so upset she started to cry. Then she gave me a ridiculous story about why we couldn't adopt two dogs. Something about stress she said. Ridiculous nonsense because being shoved in and out of cages surely is more stressful. My husband wanted me to put the dog we chose back because he was appalled by the managers behavior. I wanted the pup we had so he and my older daughter went into the car and waited for four hours while my younger daughter and I went through the process. I filled out forms about past pets and my job and then endured ridiculous questions about what happened to my past lets. I wanted to ask her if she could read but didn't want to be thrown out. Instead I started to cry because I adored my last dog and couldn't bear talking about her. My younger daughter answered the questions. Then she yelled at me about all the ways they would take the dog back from me if I did this or that. I wouldn't have done any of the things she said. They did call my mother n law for a reference and we finally got to take our dog home. He was younger than they said according to my vet and is horribly socialized because he was never with other dogs. We now have two labs as well and he does not know how to interact with them. We purchased our labs because my husband would never go back to NSAL. It's a shame because these dogs need homes. I understand they are trying to make sure these dogs go to good homes but they were too much. Some people are nervous because they never had a dog and some like me lost a beloved pet! You don't have to treat people like crap to get an answer. Was she testing my patience? Doesn't matter because she was out of line. I read awful reviews before I went but I didn't think it could be possible. I have since spoken to many people who had horrible experiences there including relatives. I should have known better because 20 years ago my brother adopted a cat and was told it was a girl. I had to inform him it was not. I do want to say that the veterinary staff there are wonderful!! My dog was neutered there and they couldn't have been kinder.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For Leslie Whineberg....I am a volunteer foster parent for North Shore Animal League. I have fostered over one dozen dogs & cats over the past two years. In addition, I have volunteered in the shelter for the past six years. I can honestly say that I have never met a more dedicated group of volunteers and staff. The shelter is clean & the animals are well cared for. Every year, we save almost 20,000 animals from being killed! Leslie, maybe if you spent more time actually helping the animals rather than spending your time vindictively trying to hurt them with your lies, you wouldn't have time to submit your lies. In all the time I've spent walking dogs, assisting potential adopters & helping out wherever I was needed, i RARELY saw you!

Sharon

Review from Guidestar

7 Tina54

Client Served

Rating: 2

I adopted one of my most beloved cats from here many years ago. Because of him I even donated a car. What I subsequently discovered was that they would not take I stray kittens that were born in my yard or any other strays that I came across. Not too impressed with NSAL.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 1

For ginniel - my personal opinion is just as warranted as yours, despite the fact that you do not agree with it. There are more people who agree with me than with you, both volunteers and staff who have left, and people who have gone there to adopt. Many people have asked me how I could have spent any time there at all. Obviously I have negative feelings about that place, which is why I left. An opinion is not a "vendetta". Perhaps you should look up the dictionary definition of that word. I don't know how you spend your time there, but when I was there, dogs spent an inordinate amount of time sitting near their own waste, while staff chatted with each other. Toys were just about absent, and certainly there were no beds or blankets. When you stand there and see dogs sitting on bare floors without even one toy, and then are told by management that they all have toys and beds, you have to question whether they even leave their offices. Twice, when I was walking around with a puppy, someone said I should leave them in their cages. Despite being told that the staff and volunteers were urged to spend time with these dogs, socializing them, I rarely saw anyone doing so, and I found it was actually discouraged.

The management is sullen, and authoritarian. I don't think I ever saw even one of them with a smile. They love to have publicity, and rely on their poster girl to claim their fame. Their main goal is to raise money. Just because a shelter is non-kill ( and I won't even go into that), does not make it a good shelter. I have been in many shelters where the atmosphere, and the personalities of all of the people there, were warm and loving. Certainly not at North Shore. I used to feel relaxed and free when I finally left for the day. It should have been just the opposite. The love and dedication to animals does not exist on the part of those who are responsible for the administration of the place. It is just a "job". There is a difference between wanting to have a "reputation", and actually deserving it.

Disgruntled? About what? Hardly. Disliking the place and the way it is run does not make one "disgruntled". Disappointed, yes. Disillusioned, yes. Obviously I left because I had negative feelings about the shelter, but that hardly translates to "disgruntled". I don't know how you spend your time there, but it was very disheartening to see groups of volunteers standing around chatting and laughing, having a nice little social get together, rather than spending their time with those poor dogs and puppies. They seemed to go there to get together with each other, but not to contribute much to those animals who needed them. Only one volunteer spent all her time really paying attention to those dogs, and you could see the love she had for them. It was very absent in the others. I used to watch some of the staff treating the dogs and puppies very badly, teasing them, pushing them into their cages, and slamming the doors of the cages so fast that the dogs were almost hit with those doors. I used to leave feeling I was abandoning those dogs to an existence of lack of attention and care.

You love it there? Good for you. Some day, you may spend some time at another shelter, and realize what a good shelter actually is. You may even meet people, as I have, who are in rescue, whose devotion to animals puts North Shore to shame. This is a forum for experiences and opinions about North Shore, whether positive or negative. It is not meant to applaud the shelter, and to whitewash any of its shortcomings. You will note the words above, which read "The most useful reviews are candid and personal"

Previous Stories
15

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I volunteered at North Shore Animal League for a number of years, and finally left due to my disappointment in their operation, and the personalities of the people in charge. They seem to have a "holier than thou" attitude which is paramount, and more important to them than the animals in their charge. Neither paid staff nor volunteers keep the animals clean; they always have dried feces and food on their fur. No one seems to spend time with the animals, helping them to feel more secure, and despite the amount of money and material goods which pour in, there never seem to be beds or toys in the cages or the runs. They bring in animals from several states, anywhere from Virginia to California. They also bring in large numbers of mill dogs, mostly small breed purebreds, for which they charge adopters double what they charge for mutts. Despite their so-called emphasis on "muttigrees", and adopting mixed breeds, they make a big fuss over the purebreds, advertising their adoption events in advance, so that people will be there on the appointed day, lining up outside at the crack of dawn. For a group promoting the adoption of mixed breeds, the message they send is still that purebreds are more desirable. The poor mill dogs have been living in cages all their lives, and often hide in the backs of their cages, shaking . They do not spend any real time socializing them, or getting them used to living in freedom. Get them in, vet them, and shove them onto the adoption floor. They then send them home with a booklet on how to deal with a mill dog. Paid staff on the floor do just about nothing but fill out adoption applications for people. The managerial and administrative staff are unapproachable; they are distant, cold, and impossible to ask questions to or have discussions with. They perpetually look as though they are sucking on lemons. Despite the fact that there are supposedly "buddy programs" and a large outdoor area for dogs to be exercised, I rarely saw anyone outside playing with a dog, and ran across hardly any "buddies". Although there is supposed to be a foster program, which in reality is where all mill dogs should go when they first arrive, in order to be evaluated, and to learn how to live in a home, I never came across any evidence that there were more than a few dogs in foster care. Most good rescues put their dogs in a home for a period of time to get them ready to live with a family on a permanent basis. North Shore cares only about the money they get for adoption. They adopt out "special needs" mill dogs who have eye damage, who are missing most of their teeth, and other problems, to homes which have no experience with special needs pets. I don't know why I stayed as long as I did. I guess I was hoping that I could make some suggestions which would better the lives of the pets there, but the staff has a snooty attitude which basically negates any outside suggestions. They are living on their so-called "reputation", which they really do not deserve. Most of the puppies seem to have upper respiratory infections, and are on antibiotics. All in all, a horrible work experience.

Review from CharityNavigator

13

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

Not that I mind if people earn a decent living, but according to their 2011 Form 990, the 3 senior vps and 7 of the 8 regular vps make more money than the sr. vets! The CFO makes over $166,000 a year while the Sr. VP of marketing makes over $173,000. The medical services director makes much less at $110,000, and the three sr. vets make just over $100,000. I don't live in NY so I am not aware of their cost of living, but I was surprised how much administration employees make in relation to the medical staff.

Review from Guidestar

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for over five years and LOVE our mission. We have a great group of folks that really care about the animals & we are truly a no-kill organization. I really don'y understand Leslie Weinberg's unjust analysis. She is a disgruntled former volunteer and should not be allowed to use this forum as a sounding board for her own personal vendetta.Shame on you Leslie....how can you try to hurt the animals? You know darn well the great work this organization does!!!

7 Linda176

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

DO NOT adopt/buy/donate to NSAL. They are a FRAUD. Animal protection groups protested there in 1986, when I was there. nsal made 31million $$$, their expensese 30million. Their president gets paid $350,000. NON PROFIT??? I DO NOT THINK SO. They bought PRIVATE JETS!!! They ARE NOT helping homeless and abandoned animals.
Linda 212-676-7842
I was forced to give NSAL one star in order to get my comment printed. They get 0000 stars from any animal rescuer

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the Help me Heal program and that they give updates on how the animals are doing. It's nice to see the pet whose story made me want to contribute be well & ready for adoption or be in their new home. I like that they care for animals who would probably not be given a chance in other agencies.