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Best Animal Shelter/Rescue on Long Island

by Best Of Long Island on January 5, 2010

Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing a hungry or sick stray cat or dog wandering the streets of Long Island and not knowing what to do. Thankfully, there are some stand-out animal shelters and rescues that are on hand to do the job.

Long Islanders Voted Little Shelter in Huntington the Best Animal Shelter/Rescue on Long Island!

Little Shelter
33 Warner Rd. Huntington.

They came in at No. 2 last year, but this year Little Shelter snagged the top spot in the category of Best Animal Shelter. One of Long Island’s oldest no-kill shelters, Little Shelter is dedicated to saving all companion animals whose lives are in jeopardy. Through rescue from kill facilities, rehabilitation of sick and un-socialized pets, and a 100 percent spay/neuter program, Little Shelter hopes to end pet overpopulation and place all dogs and cats in loving homes—and that’s what makes them one of the best.

2nd Place – North Shore Animal League, Port Washington. 516-883-7900, ext. 242.

North Shore Animal League is the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the world.  The Animal League’s mission has been to save the lives of pets through adoption, rescue, spay/neuter and advocacy initiatives. Every year, the Animal League reaches across the country to rescue, nurture and adopt approximately 20,000 pets into happy and loving homes. The League offers a wide variety of programs such as a mobile adoption program, adoption counseling, training and foster care for pets with special needs.

3rd Place – Riverhead Foundation, Riverhead. 631-369-9840.

The primary mission of the Riverhead Foundation is to preserve and protect our marine environment through education, rehabilitation, and research. They are dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of seals, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and porpoises.  The Riverhead Foundation engages in tours of the facility, lectures, seal cruises, ecology walks, and beach cleanups to foster good stewardship of the environment.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

RICH WALTERS January 15, 2010 at 10:41 pm

i was a volunteer at little shelter and can tell you that the dogs are treated very well they are loved and taken care of by volunteers and professionals vet techs and vets and animal care workers its clean and comfotble and each dog or cat recieves maximum amount of attention by all staff, walks are done , almost constanly with volunteers and workers alike the animals are socilized to the max for better adoption rates and less bring backs, medical care and spay neutering is done for all animals and all are microchipped when they are recieved as a border, they have good food and water and get baths and training also to maximise the animals adoptability its a wonderful place for animals to go and being a humane shelter dogs can stay for very long times and they have a sactuary that serves as a place for non adoptable animals to go for life and great shelter they deserve this award, i know not only because i volunteered there but ihave two toy poodles one a blind 13 yr old and a 5 yr. old rescued home puppy mill mother dog they are great pets and we love them so much thank you little shelter for all you do keep up the good work and God Bless you….


denise gannalo January 16, 2010 at 8:40 am

Little Shelter deserves this award. They are the best.


christina bonlarron January 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm

CONGRATULATIONS! Little Shelter does deserve this award by far, this year and every year! :)


Jim Albin March 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

I use to volunteer at Little Shelter, and although, from experience, I cannot compare it to other shelters, I can tell you most of the workers and volunteers are great care givers. Senior management on the other hand, well, that’s another story. I loved volunteering there, I was there 4 or 5 times a week, and loved socializing with my many four-legged friends. But then things changed. Management went in a new direction, some thought it was a good idea, and others did not. I was one that was opposed. The thing I was opposed to most was how they fired not only employees, but many volunteers also, because they also opposed to the new ways. It was a sad time; dogs that needed loving in a big way lost it. Anyway, once I spoke my piece they kicked me out too. When it was written about me in the Long Islander that I was kicked out, the president of Little Shelter (Maryann Chernovsky) immediately emailed the Long Islander to tell them I was never kicked out. Go figure, almost 2 years later and they still won’t let me back in; they claim they have enough volunteers. I keep in touch with the friends I made while at Little Shelter, and they claim otherwise…that there is a need for volunteers. So if you have free time, go down to Little Shelter and lend a helping hand. The four-legged friends you’ll make will touch your hearts forever. And when you’re there, tell Bailey, Katie, Ralphie and the rest of the gang that Jim sends his love, and only wishes he could be there himself.


Paula Hornak Kellner September 28, 2010 at 10:40 am

I live in Port Washington and learned early on that NSAL would not accept stray animals. They are highly selective with their intake process. I found a cat on the side of a road that was dazed and covered in fleas. I brought it to North Shore Animal League and was not even allowed in the building with it. They pointedly told me that they do not take in strays. No wonder they can claim to be the only “No Kill” shelter. They let others do their killing for them…those over whelmed public shelters that will take older, ill, and otherwise difficult to adopt animals.
Secondly, with their huge national pressence, I don’t feel that they are truly in the same classification as a local Long Island shelter such as Little Shelter, Bide-a-Wee or even some of the more valient municipal shelters with vibrant volunteer organizations.
Finally, with all of North Shore Animal League’s financial power, I find it amazing that they have no mobil spay-neuter clinic. Instead they go into areas with dog and cat over population problems and bring adorable puppies to Port Washington for adoption leaving behind the unspayed/unneutered older animals to perpetuate the problem.


Karen December 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm

I have been to many shelters both municipal and private not for profit looking to adopt a doggie. While all of them have god’s blessed animals best interest at heart, it is the municipal shelters that should be lauded and rewarded for taking in stray animals found wandering the streets of our towns and cities. Shelters like North Shore pick and choose what animals they will take in as they want assurance the animals will all be adopted. The muni shelters do not discriminate thus you will see many pit bull mix breeds that so often get overlooked- shelters that pick and choose will turn away these dogs for that very reason. I am turned off by what I read above regarding the management of Little Shelter. I say lose the managers and let the working staff and volunteers run the place.


Susan December 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I am very upset over what I hear regarding the management at Little Shelter. I adopted 2 dogs from Little Shelter years ago that have since passed and we were so touched to hear from the volunteers and Jodi that they were remembered and were very sympathetic over our loss. We always donated and supported Little Shelter in every way we were able to when we lived on Long Island.

However, I have noticed dogs on their website that are still there after a long period. I have heard that some of these dogs are not getting the attention they need and our going stir crazy. This makes me sick to my stomach. It also makes me feel so powerless because the management seems to be doing nothing to make the situation improve for these poor souls.

I never met Maryann, and I don’t understand how someone who is so compassionate can turn her back on dogs that have been at Little Shelter for years and so desparately need human affection.

Maryann, I am grateful to you for my angels Jasmine and Dan (the 3 legged Pit, who you may remember) that because of you they were able to live a life full of love. if you read this, please if there are dogs that are “unadoptable”, give them an opportunity to live a life free of the solitary confinement they are now living at Little Shelter.


Nicole Smith January 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I have been a volunteer at Little Shelter for quite a while now and am upset by what people have written above. Anyone who knows anything about animals knows that they all have their different personalities and some dogs need a particular kind of family. There are some dogs that you can place with a family full of kids, some dogs that don’t like men, and some dogs that just need time to warm up to people. I work with all of the dogs at Little Shelter and I have got to know all of their personalities – they are all wonderful in their own way. BUT that being said, most families walking in off the street aren’t looking for a dog that might have some issues. They want the perfect little fluffball. I have seen the adoption staff show some of the long term animals, and even been there when some of those said animals were adopted. Leo, Gracie and Trekker all went to great homes after a longer then normal stay. So when people say these dogs are not shown, or Little Shelter will not adopt them out, I can say from first hand experience that is NOT true. I’ve seen volunteers and staff members come in on their own time and take the dogs for rides in their cars and I know that there are several staff members that stay late at night and give the dogs extra TLC. Go to Little Shelter’s Facebook page and you will see. Many other shelters would have given up on these dogs long ago and I know because I have seen it, but not Little Shelter. Thanks to the dedication I personally saw from the staff and volunteers, Leo, Gracie and Trekker are now in their own home.

It’s sad that people see the dogs on the website and make assumptions. Get the truth first hand and come join me as a volunteer!


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