North Shore Animal League: America’s Largest No-Kill Adoption Organization Saves Lives

North Shore Animal League: America’s Largest No-Kill Adoption Organization Saves Lives

“I saw him sitting all alone in his own cage in the corner, and I knew that I wouldn’t be leaving the place without him,” said Susan Perdoch, a resident of Little Neck, New York.

Perdoch was explaining her experience as she walked through North Shore Animal League for the first time. The dog she was describing is Riley, her black Labrador retriever mix, who is now five years old and an integral member of the family. Hearing her story hit especially close to home, as my first pet was a blonde Labrador retriever from North Shore Animal League.

My first dog, a blonde Labrador retriever mix, and I circa 1996. (Photo by Stacy Lockwood)

“As soon as we brought him home he started running around the house and jumping on everything. We knew he’d be a perfect fit for this crazy family,” added Olivia Perdoch, Susan Perdoch’s daughter.

Riley is now in good health, however when the Perdoch family first encountered him at the shelter, he was undergoing treatment for parvovirus, a disease common among dogs from puppy mills. Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that attacks dividing cells and white blood cells in a dog’s body. If the virus remains untreated, it may result in irreversible damage to the intestinal tract, as well as lifelong cardiac problems.

When Riley was taken to his new home, he had to continue taking antibiotics to combat the disease. Thankfully, North Shore Animal League has on on-site veterinary medical center, fully equipped with a highly trained medical staff, where Riley had been nursed back to health before going to a new home.

Riley at his favorite spot in the house– the couch. 

It is not uncommon to find out that someone’s pet was adopted from North Shore Animal League, as the website boasts that since 1944, the organization has saved the lives of over one million dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens to date. It is widely known for its policy against the use of euthanasia, as the volunteers and staff focus their efforts on rehabilitation for animals in all conditions.

North Shore Animal League, located in Port Washington, New York, is the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. Today it ranks as one of the most reputable adoption services in the New York area, however this widespread notoriety did not occur overnight.

The organization acts as a pioneer in the field of adoption, as it has implemented several new innovations that have influenced similar and nearby adoption agencies. It rose to prominence, especially within the last 20 years, through the use of advertising, a tactic that was never before used for adoption purposes.

Perhaps the most revolutionary program was the Pet Adoptathon, an event in which the doors of the establishment were kept open for 36 hours on end in an effort to gain attention and promote adoption. After receiving praise from the press, other shelters observed the success of the event and launched their own, turning it into an annual event that generates nationwide participation. According to North Shore Animal League’s website, “Today, over 2,000 shelters in the U.S., and in 26 other countries, join us for Pet Adoptathon with one common goal – to join forces and adopt over 20,000 animals into permanent homes over a single weekend.”

The organization emphasizes its mission to save the lives of innocent animals and reduce animal cruelty, while simultaneously promoting adoption as an accessible, worthwhile choice. If anyone is interested in adopting a dog or cat, a trip to North Shore Animal League almost guarantees that you will come home with one. After all, how could you leave the place empty handed after seeing a face like this…

Contact North Shore Animal League:
25 Davis Avenue
Port Washington, NY 11050
(516) 883-7575

Hours of Operation:
Sunday-Thursday: 10am-9pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am-10pm