World's Largest NO-KILL
Animal Rescue
and Adoption Organization


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Ask the Experts

Adoption Q&A

Ask the Adoption Expert!


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Adoption FAQs

Do you have questions about pet adoption, or adopting from the Animal League? You can find the answers here!

Q: Is it difficult to adopt from the shelter?


Every shelter has its own policies for approving adoptions. Our adoption screening process is designed to ensure that each animal is placed with a responsible person, one that's prepared to make a lifelong commitment.  An important part of the adoption process is to match the life-style and needs of the adopter with the individual dog or cat being considered. If the screening process occasionally seems overly strict, please try to remember that our first priority is to consider every animal's best interests.

Q: I can no longer care for my dog or cat and would like to place him/her up for adoption. Will the Animal League care for my pet and help find a new loving home for him/her?


Please call (516) 883-7575 and speak with one of our representatives. NSALA is a limited admission no-kill facility, which means once we admit an animal, we care for them until we find them a home. This distinction also limits how many pets we can accept based on the space available in our shelter.  Our counselors can explain this in more detail, so please call us and we will help if we can.   

Q: I am interested in adopting an animal listed on your website. Who do I contact for more information?


We have many animals available for adoption and receive many inquiries about these pets. If you live in the area, we suggest that you come down and visit us.  We are open 7 days a week from 10am - 9pm.  If you have a specific question that you would like answered prior to coming to see us, please email us at or call us at (516) 883-7575.

Q: I am interested in a specific breed of dog or cat. Does North Shore Animal League America frequently have purebred animals available for adoption?


Most animals at the Animal League are mixed breed animals, but from time-to-time, we do have pure breeds.  These animals are usually adopted quickly so please visit or call for more information.

Q: Do shelters really have purebred animals for adoption?


It's estimated that about 25% of the animals in shelters nationwide are purebred. If you are interested in a specific breed, ask to have your contact information placed on our waiting list of people interested in purebred animals. Come visit the shelter, you may be able to find an animal that has traits that are similar to those of the breed you have in mind.

Q: Aren't all shelter animals discarded pets?


Many of the animals at the Animal League are puppies and kittens that are just starting their lives. Older dogs and cats may have had previous owners, and in most cases these wonderful pets were relinquished to us simply because their owners moved. Many adult pets have already been exposed to house-breaking and obedience training. Remember, too, that companion animals are remarkably adaptable and have a boundless capacity for love. Just because an animal has lived with someone else first, doesn't mean they won't make a wonderful companion for you!

Q: Are shelter animals well-adjusted?


Even with the best-behaved animal, you should expect a period of adjustment as your pet becomes used to its new home, family, and routine.  No animal, no matter where it comes from, is problem-free or comes with a health and behavior guarantee, but if you're prepared to provide your new family pet with some time, training, and patience, your reward will be a loving friend and companion.

Q: Are dogs and cats in shelters healthy?


At the Animal League, we carefully screen animals for serious health and behavior issues.

Q: How much are the adoption fees?


Our adoption fees are as follows:

 Puppies (up to 6 months)  $325
 Adult Dogs (over 6 months)  $100
 Puppy Mill Rescues
(over 6 months)
 Small Breed & Pure Breeds
(over 6 months)
 Kittens (up to 6 months)  $100
 Double Kittens  $150
 Adult Cats (over 6 months)  $50
 Double Adult Cats  $75

Where applicable, a $50 Spay/Neuter deposit is required for kittens, $75 for puppies. Please note that adoption fees at our mobile adoption locations may vary.

Q: I am looking for a specific breed. What do I do?


Usually, we have a nice selection of breed-specific dogs in our adoption center.  They are adopted quickly.  In case you don’t find what you’re looking for on your first trip, you can complete an adoption pre-approval form and submit a special request.  Our Adoption Counselors will call you once we find the right pet for you.

Q: I work full time. Does that mean I can’t have an animal?


No, in fact, there are many dogs and cats that would be ideal for this situation.  Our Adoption Counselors will help you find the dogs and cats in our adoption center that would do well in this situation.

Q: I’m allergic, can I still have a pet?


It depends on the severity of your allergies and what your doctor recommends.  There are some canine breeds that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction than others.

Q: What breeds will I find when I visit the shelter?


Although we have a wide variety of breeds, you will almost always find a large selection of mixed-breed animals – pets we call Mutt-i-grees®. Our large selection of Mutt-i-grees® come in a great variety of sizes, shapes and colors, and our counselors will help you find your perfect match.

Q: What is the adoption process like?


When you visit North Shore Animal League America’s adoption center, an Adoption Counselor will help you determine the type of animal that will best fit your lifestyle.  They will introduce you to the animals you are interested in.  The meet and greet will give you the opportunity to bond with your potential companion.  You will have plenty of time to play and interact with your new friend in our family-friendly areas designated for that purpose. When you decide to adopt an animal, the counselor will walk you through the process and help you complete the application.

Q: What’s DSH?


This acronym represents Domestic Short Hair, which is the most popular type of cat. These cats come in a wonderful variety of shapes, colors and sizes as well as hair length.

Q: Where are you located and how do I get there?


We are located in Port Washington, NY. For driving directions and public access information please click here.

Q: Why adopt from the Animal League?


As the world's largest no-kill pet rescue and animal adoption organization, North Shore Animal League America has hundreds of puppies, kittens, dogs and cats just waiting to join your family.
Click here to find out more about what makes us different!