Our Story

//Our Story
Our Story2020-12-04T16:47:19-04:00

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


Loyal Supporters Fund Exciting, New Addition

Loyal Supporters Fund Exciting, New Addition

Don and Karen LaRocca donate funds and design the dog park.


Ultimate Supporter Begins Her Journey

Ultimate Supporter Begins Her Journey

Volunteer Beth Stern becomes official spokesperson, raising our profile and generating countless rescues and adoptions.


Medical Center Expands Service

Medical Center Expands Service

The Alex Lewyt Veterinary Medical Center expands its ongoing care of shelter animals and new adoption rechecks by opening its doors to community pets for exams and surgery.

Ready at a Moment’s Notice

Ready at a Moment’s Notice

Emergency Rescue Team is one of the first on site to assist local shelters after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. League subsequently creates the Katrina Animal Rescue Fund.


Combatting the Inhumanity of Puppy Mills

Launches Mill Dog Rescue.


A New Curriculum For Humane Education

Our Pet Savers Foundation partners with Yale University School of the 21st Century and the Cesar Millan Foundation to develop and pilot test the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, a groundbreaking Prek-Grade 12 program that links humane education and social and emotional learning

We Have A Word For It!

Introduce the term Mutt-i-gree to define any dog, cat, puppy, or kitten adopted into a responsible, loving home – or still waiting for that perfect family. The word generates a new phenomenon, the Mutt-i-grees Movement.

Our Emergency Rescue Team Knows No Boundaries

Emergency Rescue Team responds to hurricanes Gustav and Ike along the Gulf Coast, saving lives in jeopardy.

Transforming Lives For Mill Survivors

We rescue more than 100 puppies and adult dogs from a West Virginia puppy mill.

Run Beth, Run!

Run Beth, Run!

Beth Stern runs the ING NYC Marathon, raising nearly $300,000 for the League.


The Curriculum Launches

The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is launched at a national conference at Yale University and dissemination of the program begins. Jeter, the Curriculum’s first School Dog, is adopted from Animal League America and begins his “career” in California.



Dog undergoing a dental exam by a veterinarian.

Creation of the Marvin M. Fried Dental Suite.

Welcome Aboard “Ziggy’s Truck”

The Freed Foundation (Elizabeth Freed) donates a much-needed new Mobile Adoption Unit, which Elizabeth dubs “Ziggy’s Truck” in honor of her beloved Jack Russell Terrier whom she adopted from Animal League America.


Always Ready When Called Upon

Emergency Response Team tackles two major natural disasters: Hurricane Sandy, in our own backyard, and Colorado wildfires.

The Passing of a Special Woman

The Passing of a Special Woman

Elisabeth Lewyt, an early leader with her husband, dies at age 99.

Mutt-i-grees Get Their Papers

Mutt-i-grees Get Their Papers

Animal League America announces the Mutt-i-grees Registry, world’s first registry for shelter dogs and cats. Goal: to raise status of shelter pets, encourage adoption, and reinforce the fact that every Mutt-i-gree is unique and worthy of respect, care, and love.


Providing Relief in Wake of Natural Disasters

Emergency Response Team goes to Moore, Okla., following EF5 tornadoes, to work with local groups rescuing pets displaced by the storms.

Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum Flourishes

More than 2,000 schools use the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum in the U.S. and Canada. Also implemented in libraries, animal shelters, and after school programs.

Love And Purpose

Our National Spokesperson Beth Stern begins her amazing career as a volunteer foster parent.

State-Of-The-Art Future For Felines

State-Of-The-Art Future For Felines

On Nov. 22, National Spokesperson Beth Stern announces fundraising campaign for Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center (BFF) at Gala.


Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

We celebrate 70 years as the leader of the no-kill shelter movement.

The Tour Rolls On

The 2014 Tour for Life® travels more than 17,000 miles and helps place more than 2,500 pets into loving homes.

Record Number of Animals Find Homes

Pet Adoptathon® 2014 places more than 30,000 animals in loving homes around the world.

Piano Man Sings a Song for Animal League America

Piano Man Sings a Song for Animal League America

Musical legend and League adopter Billy Joel dedicates proceeds from his huge 65th Birthday Concert in Madison Square Garden to BFF campaign.

Thank You, Rachael!

Ribbon cutting for new mobile unit donated by Rachael Ray’s rescue group, Rachael’s Rescue, brings the number of rescue units to seven.