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18 Reviews
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December 24, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
April 12, 2013

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 "hol... more

December 24, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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"

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Replace the entire administration with people who really love animals. Get rid of all volunteers who are not actually spending their time caring for the animals.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

April 12, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 2, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
November 2, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 26, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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May 26, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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!!!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand rescue services

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

January 24, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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January 24, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 30, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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November 30, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 17, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
November 17, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

they refused to answer requests for information on how donations are spent and when i stopped donating they have continued mailings several months after i asked them to stop

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

July 5, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
July 5, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

I adopted a 6 month old cat in 2006 that had a heart murmur. He had been at NSAL since he was 2 months old, cute as a button, but I suspect no one wanted to adopt a less than perfect cat. I agreed to take him and much to my surprise, NSAL said that they would monitor and treat his heart condition for life free of charge. Since then, for the past 6 years, my cat received the best care with echocardiograms and medication with a caring veterinarian - the same one each time - and wonderful staff members at the hospital. I continue to donate to NSAL whenever I can for the wonderful work they do. I read a few criticisms of the president's compensation which I feel is totally unfair. I worked for nonprofits for over 25 years and you need to compensate talent fairly in order to attract excellent candidates. I am sure that the president of NSAL would make more money in the for profit world.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

January 25, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 25, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

I've seen poor reviews for NSALA here on CN, and everyone is entitled to their opinions. But CN does not address anything relating to how they (charities) operate their "services". They give the ASPCA 4 stars, and we know they have the highest kill rate in the country. I personally don't find having total admin expenses less than 4% and fundraising expenses less than 17% outrageous, when you consider they do not euthanize ONE animal that can be saved. The same cannot be said for many of the "4 star" animal charities/shelters out there.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

January 7, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 7, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

When I was young I worked directly with Mrs. Lewyt. We started the save a pet vans together..I was the vet tech that traveled to the high kill shelters and rescued the abandoned dogs, cats, pups and kittens. Mrs. Lewyt is the heart and soul of NSAL.Later in my career, I trained older dogs to asst. handicapped and seniors. The program was Helping Paws.We rescued 1000's of animals and gave them a new leash on life.I am now a prof. trainer,vet tech and a nurse.I rescue animals from high kill shelters, spay and neuter them and place them in forever homes.I learned from the best! I only wish I could still be working with Mrs. Lewyt.She is a true saint, dog lover and a friend of all creatures great and small. Donna Barry Foley,Redding,CT.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

December 29, 2011
3 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
December 29, 2011
3 people found this review helpful

It's a shame that this organization pays so much to the CEO. That alone will keep me from donating to them. Other CEO's who make this much are bringing in 4 times the donations, so maybe they're worth it, but this CEO should be ashamed of him or herself.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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