Our Story

//Our Story
Our Story2019-01-16T17:04:52+00:00

Founded in 1944, North Shore Animal League America has grown into the world’s largest, most comprehensive, rescue and adoption organization. View our timeline to see how far our little shelter has come.

Our Life Saving Lineage


Roots of Rescue

North Shore Animal League and Dog Protective Association, Inc., led by animal advocate Marianne H. Sanders, begins rescuing homeless animals in and around the Town of North Hempstead, Long Island. The Association dedicates itself to the no-kill philosophy.


Rubber Meets the Road to Rescue

Rubber Meets the Road to Rescue

Buys first vehicle, a station wagon.


Building a Foundation

Acquires two lots and a house in Port Washington; begins planning shelter construction.


Expansion = Limitless Opportunities

Shelter is completed; group purchases local homes to expand offices.


Keeping Our No-Kill Promise

As Long Island grows, the Association must choose between handling animal control and remaining no-kill. It chooses no-kill. As a result, it loses lucrative animal control contracts and suffers a serious drop in revenue.


Lewyt Family Creates Lasting Legacy

Name changes to North Shore Animal League, Inc. Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt become more involved in day-to-day operations, helping the Association regain financial stability. Lewyts recruit their neighbor, popular singer and dog-lover Perry Como, as celebrity chairman of a successful membership drive. Alex Lewyt becomes President and Chairman of the Board of Directors.


Life Saving Movement Begins

Life Saving Movement Begins

Elisabeth Lewyt begins driving her “Love-A-Pet” van from pound to pound to rescue pets, paying $12 a piece for each dog the pounds will release.


The Birth of Compassionate Care

The Birth of Compassionate Care

Establishes small medical center on the premises.


Broadening Our Reach

Humanely relocates animals from the ASPCA in New York City and other municipal shelters on Long Island to the safety of its no-kill shelter.


Puppies Make Everyone Smile

Launches Shelter Pet Outreach Program (SPOT). Volunteers and associates visit nursing homes, senior citizen centers, and other sites where therapy dogs and cats bring joy and comfort to residents.