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.
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.
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.
Faithful Volunteers Spark a Movement
Elisabeth Lewyt’s Pound Rescue Team grows from one volunteer to dozens, saving thousands of animals from municipal shelters.
A Passing of the Torch
Alex Lewyt dies. Elisabeth Lewyt is named Chairperson of the Board of Directors, a position she holds until her death.
Mobile Adoption Units Create Limitless Possibilities
Uses new Mobile Adoption Unit. to pioneer two off-site adoption programs: Mobile Adoption Program (MAP), which transports our pets to high-traffic areas, leading to countless adoptions; and Cooperative Adoption Program (CAP), through which we share our mobile units with small rescue groups and shelter partners, saving even more lives.