North Shore Animal League America - Our Beginnings
A Modest Start for a No-Kill Shelter
In 1944, a small group of animal lovers began the North Shore Animal League, intent on finding homes for abandoned pets that would otherwise be destroyed. Starting with just a garage and a few fenced dog runs, the shelter stayed true to its mission as it grew, despite an ever-increasing number of animals in need and funds that frequently ran low in times of crisis.
The Animal League Becomes a National Leader
Supporters Elisabeth Lewyt and her husband, inventor and entrepreneur, Alex Lewyt, stepped up involvement in the ‘60s when it became clear that more support was needed to continue the the Animal League’s lifesaving mission. Mr. Lewyt began what became a string of important innovations in animal welfare that continue to this day. Through the undying support from Mrs. Lewyt, larger animal rescues followed, whereby many more animals about to be euthanized at other shelters were brought safely to the Animal League.
Love Saves the Day
In 1969, Mr. Lewyt became President of the Animal League. Looking back, Mrs. Lewyt remarked, "By then it had become part of our lives, we loved the place. It was beautifully kept. We just couldn’t let it go. We were hooked." Mr. Lewyt explained, “My wife adores animals, and I adore my wife.”
The Animal League has continued to grow and is now the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization.
The Animal League America’s Innovations Continue
Today, Animal League America continues its history of innovations that save more pets’ lives, supports shelter and rescue groups and adds awareness to the plight of shelter animals everywhere.
See Our History of Innovation