CB Animals and Pets North Shore Animal League America Be very aware of the animals you get from North Shore
North Shore Animal League America

North Shore Animal League America review: Be very aware of the animals you get from North Shore 61

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12:00 am EDT
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On Saturday August 18th I adopted a puppy from the mobil unit of North Shore Animal League. When I took the puppy she had very bad diarrhea I returned to the mobile unit the same day to ask about this. I was told it was because she had just been spay. I trusted what they told me and took the puppy into my home of which I have a 3 and 5 year old. On Monday Aug 20 my husband and I took her to the vet and she was placed on medicine for her diarrhea and a stool sample was to be tested. I was told by the vet that if she had any worms I would be notified the following morning. Tuesday Aug 21 I received a call from the vet telling me to get the dog away from my children IMMEDIATELY and to put her outside in a quarantine area. She had not only hookworms but Giardia. Giardia is a parasite that is very easily transmitted to people and can cause dehydration and death in the elderly and children. Needless to say I was terrified. I put the puppy outside in her crate and went to the vet to get the medicine she needed. Once there I began to ask more about Giardia. She would have it for up to 4 weeks and everything she came in contact with while sick had to be cleaned with bleach and water. She could not go to the bathroom on the grass because Giardia can survive for up to 6 weeks in the right conditions and she would have to be kept away from everyone while sick. Giardia is highly contagious and it not visible to the naked eye, it is transmitted via water and feces. It a dog has it, licks their butt then licks your mouth you got it. If she sat on one of her toys and you touch it then put your hand by your mouth, you got it and ready for this. ONCE YOU HAVE IT, YOU HAVE IT FOR LIFE!. You can take meds but it just controls it, it does not kill it. Well that same day I called North Shore, I explained that the puppy was very sick and there was no way I could keep her especially not around my children. I was told to bring her back BUT I had to take her to Long Island, I live in NJ and had no way to transport the puppy that far. I explained this and asked if they had a sister shelter that I could take her to, I was placed on hold then disconnected. I called back and went through the whole story again to another person, I was placed on hold then transfered to voice mail. I hung up and called back again, I again explained the story and was again disconnected. I called back again and demanded to speak with a manager, I was given Linda. She agreed to send someone to pick up the puppy. I asked if the puppy could be treated then returned to us I even offered the medicine I had just purchased. I was told they would not do that. I asked what would happen to her, I was told that she would be looked at by their vets but she would not be able to remain in the hospital until the sickness was gone, that she would be looked at and would be put back up for adoption. I said so basically you will give her to another unknowing family without treating her, I was hung up on. I called back again but was either recycled in the queue or sent to voice mail. A nice man came to pick up the puppy later that night. I just want everyone to be very aware of the animals you get from North Shore. They are adopting out animals they KNOW are sick and do not care about who they infect.

Fake or real
Meadville, US
Nov 05, 2023 12:45 am EDT

This place is a big scam been entering sweeps for three or four years they offer you a prize if your a quick responder.they say they give numerous prizes away so don't you think after that many years of entering and sending donations I should of won 50 dollars or something f_ing joke

New York Mills, US
Sep 23, 2010 6:03 pm EDT
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This is praise, not a complaint. Regarding all those other complaints, we noticed that MOST of them said they adopted them from MOBILE units, not straight from North Shore.

We adopted a very cool animal from NSAL --from the base, not from the mobile unit. And, so far, we are very happy. Sure the dog has a few problems, but we knew that from the start. Folks, please read the back of the adoption agreement that you signed and read their literature.

From what we remember, they can not guarantee the health of any puppy or dog. And they tell you that up front. So, when they say the dog is healthy, they mean at that moment and they tell you what vaccinations the dog has or does not have.

Everyone might have a legitimate complaint, but we ask you to consider that the dogs in the mobile unit have been exposed to other animals (most mobile units are held outside of pet stores where LOTs of pets go in and out). We saw a mobile unit (not sure what company did it) but there were tons of people checking out cats and dogs.

Who knows what kinds of diseases might be picked up in the mobile adoption? After all they have to walk the dogs outside etc,

Anyway. We looked for a dog for months and months and everytime we were outside of Petco or other stores, we saw folks with great dogs. And we kept asking them, where di d you get your dog? Four separate people told us NORTH shore animal league, ANd we asked how long ago and if they were happy.

Everyone gave praises to North Shore. (Now these were base adoptions, not the mobile adoptions).

The problem might be mobile adoptions, not North Shore. (Mobile pets are exposed to more diseases outdoors).

At north shore itself, every time you go through the front door, you are asked to disinfect your shoes by stepping into a special mat. And they don't allow any other dogs in there, to keep from transferring diseases.

VISIT north shore base to really see how they take care of these animals.

AND they do have puppy mill dogs but that says it right on the cage. So you know if you get a puppy mill dog, you might have some problems.

Not discounting anyone's complaints, but we are saying we think the problem is in
TRANSPORTATION, not in North Shore Animal League.

We love our dog! ANd she came from North Shore.

Just for the record, this was the first time we have ever been to North Shore, but we have heard about them for years and years and finally glad to see the place and to get a great dog there.

, US
Oct 25, 2016 1:01 pm EDT
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I adopted from NSAL 17 yrs ago it was a decent experience. Lacey was a puppy lived to 16, was a wonderful dog, will always miss her. My husband and i went to NSAL 2 yrs ago and adopted Lilly an eight month old hound mix. The woman who took Lilly out of the crate she was stuffed into with another dog, was impatient and mean to several of the dogs (shame on her, I should have gotten her name) unfortunately Lilly was filthy dirty had feces all over her. When we got her home and gave her a bath, she shook all the time and was afraid of everything, took her to our vet she was so sick with so many different things took over a year to get her healthy, she has permanent lung damage from neglect on NSAL part. I donated regularly to them, but will no longer, I know there are some good well meaning people there, but J. John Stevenson with a salary of $360, 000 a year does not deserve my hard earned money 82% of what NSAL takes in goes to him. How this is legal I do not know, I would not recommend donating to them any longer.. It is condoning the greed and selfishness of their CEO, and upper management...

, US
Oct 12, 2016 8:45 am EDT

I adopted a puppy from North Shore and within 2 weeks she was dead from Pheumonia. They gave me 30 days free insurance. PetPlan refuses to pay stating that she was prior to them even putting her on the insurance never prior to letting me adopt her. I have complained to the Attorney General and will be complaining to anybody that I can get to answer. My Puppy was also adopted in August on the 13th. I am out $950 and they give me my $100 adoption fee back. Thats just bull. There should be a law against adopting out sick puppies and telling people they have pet insurance when they do not. I am going to keep filing complaints with the Attorney General until I get some results. Was even thinking about going to an adoption event and telling people to beware. Just Heartbreaking!

Alexis Meola-Moreno
, US
Mar 02, 2016 12:23 pm EST

I was just googling "NSAL told me I was getting a different dog than I got" and I came upon my review of NSAL from 2008. I was complaining about them having adopted me out an aggressive dog and then a puppy that had parvo. I forgot how upset I was, probably because the sick puppy survived and 8 yrs later is like my 4th child! Funny thing is we just adopted a second puppy from NS. We specifically avoided anything from down south (parvo is more prevelant). We wanted a big dog. My husband was told he was getting a 60-80 pound shepherd mix. Well he actually got a 20-30 pound Corgi mix. Asher is a sweet little pup! I'm not complaining exactly, it's more of a buyer beware. If you want what you want you might be better off somewhere else. If you are up for a mystery pup that maaaaaay be sick (they will treat it for free at their vet facility) than NSAL may be for you.

Anthony Steven
, US
Apr 09, 2015 6:15 am EDT

If you plan to do volunteer work I suggest you select a cause or venue other than North Shore Animal League. The volunteers are out on the floor working their hearts out (with good intentions ) to have dogs and cats adopted and make the adoption process pleasant. Although they are very successful and do anything required or requested from picking up after the animals to completing the, the adoption process from end to end, the volunteers are not appreciated and are often embarrassed. The unit also has some very stringent rules which in some cases need to be more flexible.. For example, a North Shore employee or volunteers not allowed to hold an animal out of the cage (for an adopting family) for more than one minute. In one occasion, a woman and her four children fell in love with a puppy and all agreed they would adopt the dog.She called her husband and he agreed they should adopt the dog. She asked that the volunteer to hold the puppy for one minute while she went to the restroom. Within one minute another couple came in, an employee grabbed the pup out of my hands and gave it to another family who adopted the dog. The woman and her four children left North Shore crying and screaming they would never go there again. A very young inexperienced supervisor reacted insufficiently and quite poorly and the volunteer was openly scolded like a child.. The volunteer (who had over 20 pets adopted within 4 months) was treated as a scapegoatfor this very visible situation and was let go. Again. if the head of volunteers was out of her office and observing what was going on, the situation would have been handled better for the family, the animal and North Shore. By the way the animal was returned to the shelter by the adopting couple.
The person who is in charge of volunteers (who by the way is not a volunteer but is very well paid never answers her phone or makes an effort to see what is going on in the adoption areas.
I also do not understand what the head of the unit does. He has absolutely no presence with employees, volunteers, in the adoption area. He also does not even know the names of many volunteers and some employees. Without getting involved or being present to see what transpires daily, hIs reaction is often knee- jerk and incorrect.
I believe benefactors who support NSAL, (both financially and with their free time), the animals and the public deserve better and someone should take a fresh look at NSAL procedures and the performance of senior ( and extremely well paid)managers.

Cleveland, US
Mar 17, 2015 12:52 pm EDT
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I have never dealt with them but was looking to make a donation but now I will not after reading all these. This place needs to be shut down and those precious animals taken care of with love so they can be healthy and adopted into good homes like they deserve. I am sorry for everyone's troubles and it is a shame as it is not the animals fault but human.
In Christ,

East Elmhurst, US
Feb 06, 2015 11:39 am EST
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My first experience at North Shore was the worst because my fiancé and I were treated like crap. We adopted a 6 month old kitten named Charley. We bought her a lot of food, carrier and other necessities. Before we left we donated some money to you guys. We had Charley for 10 days and my fiancé started having some allergic reactions to her so not knowing what to do we brought her back and said she was perfect but it was just allergies. We donated several cans of food and or cat carrier which was over $100. We were told we could have her back if he went to an allergist to get medication for allergies. We scheduled an appointment with an allergist and he got medication and is going to be receiving allergy shots. The doctor wrote us a note to bring to North Shore because they wanted a note. When we went back they didn't want to give us Charley back yet then wanted to wait. I call back 2 hours after we left to check the status of Charley and see how we can bring her home and the supervisor rudely tells us Charley has been readopted. I cannot tell you how upset I was...we donated to guys and were very generous and you treat us like crap!

Tom Mullen
San Diego, US
Dec 22, 2014 12:49 am EST

It's almost impossible to transfer Giardia to people. Whatever vet you visited, I suggest you change from him or her.

Massapequa, US
Jul 27, 2014 5:31 pm EDT

We got a puppy from NSAL adoption truck on Friday 7/25/14. Beautiful dog, but quiet and very skinny-protruding ribs, spine and hind quarters. My daughter and I had gone in just to look but saw the 4 month terrier mix(that is what the label on cage stated) and decided to adopt her. We asked to hold her and she was pretty docile, looked happy to be out of the cage. We had to come back with my husband to adopt the dog. Again we each took a turn holding the puppy. I mentioned to the employees that she looked like a pit bull. Their response was"maybe a tiny bit; she looks more greyhound." We decided to adopt her. They then asked if there was any other dogs in the house (yes, 13 yr old rescue) and for 2 references although they just ended up calling just one. So they call the reference, start to fill out the paperwork and then tell us that she is on medication for conjunctivitis, and parasites. I hesitated at that point but the employee said well just think about it while I finish off the paperwork. So of course, we end up taking her home. Well, she ate like she never eaten before 3xs per day. But I noticed her stomach would get super bloated but her bones were really showing-I figured she maybe had worms. We also noticed she had what seem to be mites on her ears and by her incision (spayed) on her stomach. I also looked closely at her coat and she looked like she had a slight case of mange. I noticed she was scratching a lot and I too had been itching since I had gotten her on Friday and today I woke up what seem like a rash on both side of my nose. (I've have had dogs all my life so I know I'm not allergic to them.) As much as we had already gotten attached to the dog(Harley) we decided that it was best to return her. We returned her this morning. I told the employee that I thought she had mites-her response "yeah, that is possible." I told her that I think she has worms, "yeah, well that happens." She then asked, "didn't they tell you before the adoption?" I responded, "no, they said conjunctivitis and parasites." Her response, "well, worms are parasites." I told her no, that my idea of parasites were bugs not worms. In fact, the paperwork they gave me had only "Coccidia " checked off, none of the worm choices were checked off. She then asked if we wanted to take her to their vet to get her checked out. I responded, "its your vet that cleared this dog for adoption knowing she was sick-how am I supposed to trust his opinion. Why would NSAL allow a puppy to be put on a truck to be adopted knowing that the puppy is sick? Why would employee allow someone who has another dog to adopt a sick puppy that may and can infect it." I also stated that I thought the dog was a Pit-her response "yeah, she is a terrier." I signed the surrender paper and left with a heavy heart. My daughter and I are still crying over the decision but like I keep telling her and reminding myself-do we want to risk getting our other dog sick? Are we going to risk getting sick ourselves. I came home, lysoled the furniture, washed all the linens. Had my husband clean and spray the backyard. I can only hope Harley's conditions gets taken care of before she is put up for adoption again. If anyone comes across this copper coat, soulful green-eyed dog ask the right questions as to her health and if she is healthy adopt her please. She is a pretty dog and smart too. She learned the sit command in 5 minutes. She is also super affectionate. If it wasn't for my older dog, I would have kept her and dealt with her health issues. I do regret giving her back and hate myself for it. I hope she ends up with a great family, that will love her and cherish her forever. She deserves it.

Jamaica, US
Jun 22, 2013 3:12 am EDT

I have been to North Shore on many occasions, and I know people who volunteer there. Despite their glowing reputation, I find the premises filthy, and have seen both staff and volunteers ignoring the puppies, dogs and kittens, and on one occasion I saw one staff member take a very young puppy, hold it upside down by its rear legs, and blow in its face. She was laughing, and thought it was very funny to see the dog's reaction. The kennel area, which has the older dogs, has bare cement floors, and there are never any beds or toys for the dogs. There does not seem to be a constant presence of staff in this area, and the runs are not cleaned out on a regular basis, so if a dog defecates, it has to keep skirting the area for ages, till help comes. Dogs are not walked regularly enough, and are not taken out to play areas for exercise. One room which golds puppies has healthy ones, and another one has puppies with "colds". They are all on medication, and often vomit or have diarrhea in their cages. I can not understand why they are even being put there for adoption, instead of being treated. I also wonder why so many are sick.

, US
Apr 06, 2013 9:05 pm EDT

I worked for NSAL. The people who work there really do believe in the mission of shelter medicine, and they want the best for the animals. You can't blame the vets, vet techs, assistants or volunteers. Administration strong arms the organization into taking as many puppies as possible from out of state shelters. The public sees the "good" of NSAL - the clean and well staffed adoption center. What the public doesn't see is that every last hallway and room at NSAL is full of animals - most of them sick. The staff tries to reduce the chances of infectious disease being spread, but there are just too many sick animals to keep up with. Animals come in at record rates, and get turned around in 48 hours, some of which never see a vet prior to adoption. It's absolutely heartbreaking to see families come into the medical center with animals suffering from pneumonia, intestinal parasites, distemper or parvo. A lot of these animals die, and NSAL offers the family another pet for free...another pet that's most likely going to be ill. There is NO quarantine area at NSAL for new animals. Mrs. Lewyt wanted a large building in the back of the property to be a quarantine building, but NSAL has so many animals that need medical care or "foster care" (bottle feeding) that they spill over into what was supposed to be the quarantine area! Besides the issues with infectious disease, NSAL allows unlicensed people to draw blood and put IVs into sick animals. There is no demarcation between a licensed vet tech and an assistant. Anyone can basically work as a tech as long as they are going to school. It's such an insult to licensed techs who spent time and money to go to school and pass the national exam.
NSAL might be a better organization if they didn't spend 350K of their $31 million dollar revenue on the CEO and buy him a private jet. Another large chunk of money goes to fundraising, and the pittance that is left over is spread out amongst the departments. I truly believe if NSAL had more money to spend, they would fix A LOT of their issues. There would be more room for animals, less sickness and less unhappy adoptive pet parents. The medical center needs a major overhaul, and they need a large and fully staffed quarantine center.
So, think twice before donating or adopting from NSAL and if you do, make sure that you have done your homework on basic infectious diseases of small animals. Chances are, you are going to become an expert after adoption.

Islip, US
Jan 15, 2013 3:35 pm EST
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After reading all of these comments I must say I am shocked that there are not more negative ones...unless people just don't realize that you can come on here and leave your feedback! We took a 10 wk old puppy out of NSAL after hearing its breathing...we had just lost a dog adopted from NSAL. Mercy was 10 months old when she died from a bacterial pneumonia. Mercy was brought up from tenesee...the tags have a letter in the beginning of the stands for the state that they were brought from. We went back a month later to adopt another dog after losing Mercy and came upon another cutie but she sounded like she was breathing exactly like Mercy right before she died. This pup was a rescue from the NYC streets along with her brother. We took her out and took her right to our turns out both dogs had the same bacterial pheumonia! We had had Mercy tested right before she passed and found out the strain of pneumonia so we could treat it! Well thank god my vet still had the meds for Mercy. It seems both dogs, one rescued from tennessee and another from NY, 10 months apart had the same strain of pneumonia. It was given to them at NSAL...I found out that they do not sterilize their equipment and use the same breathing tube in one sick dog as a healthy one therefor just spreading diseases all over the place. I will never adopt another dog from them ever again! Rescues is the way to go from now on!

North Shore Animal League are killers!!!
New York, US
Sep 25, 2012 9:21 pm EDT

North Shore animal league sucks! I found an abandon kitten wrapped in a blanket around the block from the North Shore In Por Washington NY and they wouldn't help! They sent a fat, big goon to escort me out as if they were helping me by sending me to the ACC which is where they kill animals!. They lied to me. They told me the ACC helps find animals homes! ###! On my way out I found a woman who was willing to care for the kitten. This big fat dumb goon had the audacity to tell this woman not to care for the kitten and continued to follow us until I threatened him to step away from us before I call the cops. He made no effort to help me find a home for this kitten but made every effort to make sure the kitten was put to sleep and every effort to push anyone away from me that showed an interest in caring for this baby! Son of a ###. Who raised you you fat ###.! Go stand in the parking lot and continue picking up dog the piece of ### that you are!

, US
Sep 17, 2011 6:14 pm EDT

I adopted my black lab mix November of 2009 six short months after having a miscarriage. Picked him up and loved him instantly. My husband wax hesitant but I didn't care I needed so thing to live and PJ is just what I needed. He too was sick and on medications when we brought him home. And although it was trying. I took him to our vet where aside from the terrible upper respiratory infection he had he was perfectly healthy. Now he's 2 and half years old and just the best dog ever. We now have a small child who loves his PJ so much I couldn't imagine him not being part of ourfamily. I wish you all would have had a better experience at NSAL... who knows what would have happened to PJ had we not adopted him that day.I do know that today my family would still be incomplete. One other thing I'm confident of after reading all of you posts I will always rescue dogs, but never again from NSAL.

, US
Aug 17, 2011 9:20 pm EDT
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People need to stop bashing NSAL and shelter dogs. Whenever you get a pet from anywhere there is always a chance that it will have health problems. I adopted a puppy from NSAL 16 years ago and we had her for 15 long, happy healthy years before she died of "old age". Never had an issue. I have been involved in dog rescue as well. At one time, we had 2 foster puppies (not NSAL dogs) from the same the few weeks that we had them, they came down with parvo and of course were vetted, both fully recovered and were adopted out. Unfortunately, parvo and other horrible diseases happen and are not always easy to detect at first (one puppy, for example showed NO signs, we only brought here in because her brother was really sick and that is how we found out that she had it too). I recently got a beagle puppy from a reputable breeder but he too had a "cold" and had to be on antibiotics for the first 2 weeks we had him. Another friend of mine bought a bulldog from a breeder who had kennel cough and a (curable) skin disease. Another friend bought a golden retriever from a breeder and within months, a vet discovered a heart murmur. There are no guaranties for a healthy puppy no matter where you get it from. I sympathize and understand the disappointment in adopting a sick puppy but can't believe people would bash an animal shelter because there puppy got too big? Either way, when you lodge a complaint about a shelter, you are hurting the animals that it is serving. This is a non-profit organization who's mission is to help animals. Save your complaints for the airlines, restaurants, etc.

Nancy A Larson
, US
May 31, 2021 4:08 am EDT
Replying to comment of Loky45

I have adopted four dogs from HEARTS UNITED FOR ANIMALS out of Omaha, NE. I was offered a room to spend the night there because we knew we were arriving late. We live in MN. It’s a six hr drive. We met with the staff first thing the next morning regarding the adoption.
My husband is a veterinarian. With each visit to HUA, the buildings were in excellent shape.
Understanding that they can have over 750-800
animals in their care at any given time, the buildings are clean. If an animal did have an accident, some one was available to clean area quickly.
They have several buildings for various animals and their care A veterinarian udon staff as well as vet techs. Animal behavioral specialist are also employed at the foundation.

At no time we’re we ever shown sick animals. Those animals were never placed in the adoption process until they were well. Every animal was physically examined be the medical staff before it was allowed into the general population of animals. If there were medical issues, above and beyond being nurtured, those items were taken care of and the animal was sent to private veterinary practice. Specifically, with each dog we rescued there, we received all of the information regarding his age, type of dog, what he was being fed and each health issue they may have had while the dog had been at the facility. In every case of the four rescues we went through, each dog had a file that contained invoices from the veterinary practice stating what service the dog required, what was done and what meds were dispensed for the dog. Each appointment was on letter head,
Dated and signed by the particular doctor at the practice that actually treated the dog. In the case of our first rescue, HUA had spent over $4500 on our rescue in 15 months or the length of time the dog had been at HUA. All of that material came home with us... with each of our four rescued dogs.
If a dog is sick or has behavioral issues, such as depression, fear, biting out of fear, aggression to other dogs, for example... that animal is NEVER OUT UP FOR ADOPTION until those issues are resolved. It’s a complete dis-service to the animal. The animal runs
a very high chance of being returned. THAT process is VERY depressing and stressful for the
HUA is all about what is the best thing for the animal!
If an animal is severely distressed or emotionally traumatized for life and will never be able to be placed, that dear soul becomes an HUA SWEETHEART. Meaning that animal will stay with HUA for life. Loved and adored, and provided with medical for the rest of it’s life. My husband and I sponsored a dog in this situation. We sent gifts, special food beds, blankets and whatever the staff felt would improve the animals spirits and care. There are special staff and volunteers that care only for these very special residents.

My point? The rescue that I’m reading about needs to have the state go in to inspect the place. I’m confident when I say that letters written to this complaint site will not be enough. This horror show should no longer be getting the donations that are coming in, or
potential funds from the state, should that be happening. It sounds like every animal placed here is looking at illness that could be terminal
because of no care or lack of correct care.
There also sounds like money is being cycled to pay out and not enough is going to the care of the animals that the money was given to assist..

Do you have a TV station that would be will to do an undercover investigation? Perhaps a state Senator that would be willing to dig into this? I would recommend an investigative TV station. Another heavy hitter is the NATIONAL HUMANE society. WHATEVER, some one or some group has to start talking to volunteers, techs or staff that can give you facts. Just suggesting. Bottom line? This place sounds like a money machine for someone. Animals sound like the last thing the top executives are interested in.

tiziana H
New York, US
Jul 30, 2011 11:23 pm EDT

I don't know about this shelter. But here's the thing. If you adopt a dog, you made a commitment. You now OWN a dog. Just like with any kid, you don't know what you get - it might have ADD, it might be disabled. You learn to deal with it. The same is true for your dog. It might be a cute puppy but have behavioral issues later on. If you don't have to means to train YOUR dog, get a trainer. If you can't afford one - do not get a dog. Dogs are expensive and they need by far more than just some cheap can food. Should you be that frustrated that you don't think you can handle your dog anymore - try to have relatives or friends adopt your dog. Don't just take it back to a shelter or have it be put down. Any of you who have written things along these lines SHOULD NOT BE DOG OWNERS! (nor pet owners). Be responsible and know what it entails to take on a pet.

, US
Jul 11, 2011 6:18 am EDT

Its truly a shame. I, myself, am a volunteer at NSAL, and recently adopted a 7 week old tiny terrier mix puppy. Our beagle died 6 weeks prior, and my family needed a new little bundle of joy. Thus, we took the handsome baby pup home. All was well for the first three days-- he was playing, socializing, and acting like a normal puppy should. Then, on the fourth day at 2AM, he started to vomit constantly as well as liquid diarrhea. Immediately the next morning, my mom and I rushed him over to NSAL medical center. He, of course, has parvo. Shocker. As upsetting as this was, we have been visiting our little pup every single day in hopes of recovery. He's been there for 10 days (and we only had him in our home for 3 1/2) but we're so attached to him. Things are looking up for little Ralphie, and we're praying for the best. North Shore is a great facility and Ralph is getting the best care possible, but I just wish that they would have been able to diagnose parvo before we took him home. Although there are always the possibilities of illness, I still believe NSAL is a great place-- I truly enjoy volunteering there and I think we (volunteers, associates, and vets) give them the best care possible. I find that the vet techs are the ones who screw things up. Ralph had a URI infection which was cleared (even though he showed symptoms) by a vet tech. Evidently, right now, he's getting treated for URI intravenously as well as his nutrients and water. Please pray for Ralph.

, US
Apr 21, 2011 4:21 pm EDT

I'm a volunteer at NSAL and I think the organization is doing more good than harm. Of course there are some downsides such as the URI dogs and other unhealthy dogs but you have to understand that they come from Southern mills. Imagine being kept in a cage since birth, then suddenly one day put into a truck for multiple hours, being cradled by a stranger for the first time as they move you from cage to cage, given vaccinations and shots, put into a room with many strangers that all want to hold you, then finally put into a home all in the time span of about a month. DUH the animal is going to be scared out of its mind and will not be the utopian dog you wish it would be at least for the first week. Some dogs just get used to the fact a lot easier than others. I've seen a dog ready to give you a hug when you're about to clean the cage and others that cower in the corner because of their horrid experience they've had with humans before they arrived at the shelter.

For the person who adopted the Pointer Mix and wanted a 30lb dog. This should be a fault placed on the organization and YOU. I'm ashamed that none of the employees told you that Pointers are rather big animals but YOU should have done a little research on the breed yourself. There is a huge poster with pictures of about every breed in their adult stage on the wall and there are various books we carry about certain breeds. So, really? No need to blame everything on the organization for your arrogant ignorance.

And it is not JUST the volunteers who care. I know plenty of people who i work with that work for pay that truly have a passion for saving animals. Actually, most do and they even adopt from NSAL. So please stop bashing the blue shirted employees because a lot of them work because they love what they do. They go there more than 4 times a week while volunteers usually go about once a week (at least i do) so I think that they need some kind of special bond with pets in order to work there.

I'm sorry if you don't see things as I see it but I still believe that NSAL is a great organization and more people are satisfied than upset. My advice to those people who want small dogs such as the Pointer Mix person: Get a dog or young adult dog. You'll have a better idea of how big the dog will be and we really don't carry many 30lb dogs here. Most are hounds, shepherds or labs. SO I'M JUST SAYING STOP WITH THE BLAME GAME AND KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO WHEN ADOPTING FROM A SHELTER.

, US
May 31, 2021 5:12 am EDT
Replying to comment of Josh.A

In reply.. please read my explanation of what happens in another high capacity rescue facility. No animal of any age should be available for adoption until it is FULLY vetted.
That means vetted mentally or physically long before it is considered for adoption.
What is happening here in definitely not in the animals best interest. You can read that people are walking out with animals that are sick or damaged from a mill existence . The rescue does not sincerely have the best intentions in mind for animals that have been placed in a no win situation.
A facility as large as this should only be taking in animals it can truly care for in the long run. Which in some cases may be for life. Taking in mill animals is certainly NOT a week stay event. Nothing can be achieved fir a mill dog in that short time. Having their hearts in the right place is most certainly NOT enough. Dogs should NOT be placed for adoption that have Parvo. That the animal didn’t have it when and if they tested it means the animal was pushed through the process. Sounds like the facility really didn’t want to know if the fog was positive, pay for the treatment or care for the animal.
Just taking in hoards of mill dogs and pushing them out the door to uninformed owners is a true disservice to the animal and new owner.

Why is this facility doing this? At this point in their development they must have a long listing of organizations that they could contact with an extra heavy intake. There are large organizations across the country that help each other out all the time. I know because we have adopted from one. I write about the place in the comment I left. They will take 50+ animals from across the country several times a year. Our second adoption from them was a dog that came from TX, our fourth was from WI.
My point? When you have a top executive that is being paid a six figure salary, the place should be better run than what is being written about. Ask yourself, “Why are more animals coming in the door than can be cared for and why is the animal turn around out the door so rapid? Is the process in the animals best interest?” Is there reliable paper work that goes home with the animal? It’s been tested for what? How exactly does the prospective owner know WHAT they are getting themselves into when adopting? What information goes home to explain any issues, mental or physical, that the animal. I’ve personally adopted from two very high captivity rescue facilities. and from one breeder. All three sent home detailed
Material regarding mental and physical issues, as well as written explanations from the veterinarian that corrected physical issues on the dog. I write more about it in my original post.
I’m simply questioning the unusual procedures. The high number of animals coming in when the rescue facility may not have the room or ability to care for the animal before its ever considered to be placed for adoption. What’s the rush to push them back out the door? Why not refer those dogs to another number of large rescues in other states.
Volunteers are available to handle transfers for large numbers of animals from and to other states all the time.
I’m simply asking. Investigative reporting might be one place to start looking for information. If all things are on the up and up.. all the better. I thank you for your opinion .

Wake Up People!
Brooklyn, US
Apr 11, 2011 7:01 pm EDT

This is a review of the North Shore Animal League I found online:
As a former volunteer, I'll tell you the good, the bad and the ugly about North Shore.

The good:

1. There are lots of great animals up for adoption. However, I would steer clear of the puppies as I'll explain later in the post.

2. The staff is for the most part friendly and knowledgeable. This is especially true of volunteers (those in red shirts) as they are not paid to be there.

3. It is a clean facility - at least the parts the public sees.

The bad:

1. The puppies on the website are not in the shelter. If North Shore was a business - and in many ways it is - it would've been fined a long time ago by the BBB for this blatant bait and switch scheme.

2. Most reputable shelters will never adopt out a pet that has not been spayed or neutered. Not North Shore. They require you to leave a $75 deposit which you will get back when you bring back your puppy/kitten. I can tell you that a large percentage of adopters never come back to get this done which of course further worsens the pet overpopulation problem. Now why would North Shore, an organization that is supposedly set up to fight this problem actually be encouraging it? Cos they don't have to refund that extra $75 of course!

3. Many long-term "problem" animals are neglected - kept in the back away from public view in small cages. Partly because they are understaffed and partly because not enough people care, these animals behaviors get worse the longer they are there.

4. There are way too many animals and not nearly enough workers/volunteers. If this was someones home, North Shore would be called the equivalent of a hoarder.

The ugly:

1. The president John Stevenson makes an obscene amount of money - nearly half a million a year. To put this in perspective, the top ranking executive at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary - a charity that actually has higher revenue and expenses - makes less than a third of that. This information is readily available at http://charitynavigato... For the record, I never saw Mr. Stevenson once in my years there and I've been told by employees that he rarely makes appearances at the shelter.

2. North Shore will most likely not accept your animal if you should ever return it. Now I have little sympathy for most people that do return pets, but that said, it's almost criminal that a no-kill shelter will basically turn away their former animals and have them most likely end up in a kill shelter. Unless your dog is small, young and "cute" (e.g., not a pit bull), your dog will most likely not be accepted back after the 30-day return policy is up.

3. Conditions can be often disgusting - areas can be neglected for hours at a time resulting in animals laying in their own urine and feces. Of course this is only in areas away from public view.

4. At a recent major event, many puppies were not checked out by the vet staff before being put up for adoption. Because of this gross negligence many sick animals were adopted out and ended up passing away from the parvo virus. A large amount of the veterinary staff quit in protest.

5. Ask yourself why every other shelter does not have puppies, but North Shore seems to have an endless supply of them. There is a dark answer lurking there if you search deep enough. If you do adopt from North Shore DO NOT ADOPT A PUPPY.

So in summary, I would encourage everyone to adopt from North Shore as long as it is a kitten/cat or adult dog and NOT a puppy. I also would not donate a single cent to the organization until some serious philosophical/organizational changes are made. There are much more reputable charities out there to support.

Sad Family P
Staten Island, US
Nov 19, 2010 3:29 pm EST

Well my story is no different from the one's posted. I adopted AJ from NSAL on November 13th and now he is in the hospital.Not only did he have kennal cough but it turned into phenomia and also has Parvo and giardi. I have called several times and left messages for Theresa who is to be the Medical Director who has never returned any of my calls. I filed a complaint with the BBB in hopes that something can be done about this shelter giving out sick animals and not being held responsilbe for it. These animals already have a rough life and deserve so much more! My vet tells me that AJ is going to be ok in the end and I hope they are correct. He is a 4 month old Lab Hound Mix and is very loving. We lost our dog on October 11th 2010 after 14 years from a heart atack and have a spaniel at home who is 9 years old and I can only pray that after all of this she does not get sick! These people are just taking everyone for a ride and have no respect for the animals or the familys adopting these precious animals. They should be closed down because what they are doing is in humane!

Houston, US
Nov 04, 2010 3:18 pm EDT

I used to work for NSAL ( I am a veterinarian). You have NO IDEA of the problems in this organization. I wouldn't give them a dime nor adopt an animal from there. The founder is obsessed with rescuing dogs from shelters - even though NYC metro area has essentially no adoptable dogs needing "rescuing" So they bring up sick puppies from southern shelters (and the shelters better produce the desired puppy type or they are cut off from NSAL funds). They are more like a puppy mill than a problem solving organization. NYC metro area still has a cat problem - how much $$$ goes towards that? Minimal compared to the $$$ spent importing sick pups from the south. Early spay/neuter/tossed in a van for 14 hours, usually not cleaned on the way. How humane is that?

Patty Sherman Kathman
Los Angeles, US
Oct 19, 2010 10:43 pm EDT

It seems like they are a scam and it is a shame for the puppies, the dogs, cats and kittens they abuse and use as well as the humans. I will say the woman with the fear of the Giardia went a little over board. I rescued a puppy from the streets with it. We had another adult dog. The puppy was treated with meds at our vets and was well in 6 weeks, kept away from the adult dog in another room till better. We picked up the puppy's poop right after she went. It is not in the urine. They spread it by smelling one another' [censored]s, poop and using the same food and water dish. You do not have it for life or do they. I did not catch it, nor did my boyfriend or the adult dog we had or our cats. Yes, it is hard to have to isolate a sick pet, but it can be done. Yes, she had kids and was scared. I taught kids for ten yeas and saw a lot of illnesses and caught many from my kids that I loved but never anything from our sick puppy or any of our pets. So please lets keep the facts real and not make it worse than it was. I feel bad for the puppy that ended up God knows where. I wish this organization could be shut down if indeed it is as wicked as you all say it is.

, US
Sep 13, 2010 3:04 pm EDT
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Got 30 grand?

farmingdale, US
Sep 13, 2010 10:31 am EDT

All of you guys who wrote about them are carless and cheap people... You are going to NSAL to try and help a animal in need... Not the perfect breed animal.

Theese animals are in need of care and they tell you this. Also for the rumors on the vet visits NSAL give all animal free vet visits medications need within the first couple of months.

They also take back any animals if you feel you can not handle them.

If you want the perfect dog go to a breeded an pay $1000 for the animal. If not shut you mouths and do the right thing by helping animals that cant help them selves...

Ungrateful POS's... Complaining about helping animals...
What has this world come to... that people complain about helping an animal that needs help. That is why they go through the adoption process to make sure people actually care.

And if people listn to what NSAL tells you when you adopt they tell you what to do... but look who i am writting back to ... People that dont care to help thats all they want is cheap and free...

Thank you and SHUT up you ungratefull shameless POS'S

Sentient Being Fan
Warwick, US
Jul 14, 2010 8:16 pm EDT

Dogs are dogs, shelter dogs can take some work. My current dog came from a kill facility animal shelter. She had kennel cough--and I think nursing her back to health helped develop the loyalty and love that we share today--13 years later. I have lived with and raised several dogs from shelters. Like any dog, they weren't perfect", but were great, loyal mutts.

However, not all stories have the same happy ending. Our experience with NSAL was regrettable and irresponsible. My family adopted a puppy from a North Shore Mobile Unit a few years ago. It looked like a shepherd mix. She was skinny with horrible skin and nasty fur and bugs; basically a mess. That was fine, we happily nursed her back to health. She was quiet and aloof, which we mistook for calm and reserved.

She was given affection, excellent medical care, attention, exercise, costly one-on-one obedience training, daily grooming, healthy food and love.

Despite our highly informed and experienced dog rearing skills, this dog:
Never bonded with the humans or our other dog--including the alpha human.
"scented" our house--and I don't mean wasn't housebroken because she only pooped outside--I mean she went from room to room marking territory
Bit my husband, unprovoked.
Moved in under the back deck and wouldn't come out.
Would escape and go hunting, killing and eating small animals
ENJOYED being outside in thunder in lightening storms
Chewed her way out of a metal crate in a matter of a few short hours (3)

As I said, I did not expect a perfect trouble free dog. Nor did we slack off and lose interest in the animal. She simply was wild and could not be domesticated.

Needless to say NSAL didn't want her back.

I understand the desire to save potentially good pets from death and I agree with the idea that pets are not disposable and for the fickle, that getting a puppy for Christmas and ditching it when bored irresponsible. But I also think that putting humans and other pets in harm's way is irresponsible. Our vet explained that our dog was wild and not safe to have around our two children and the baby I was pregnant with at the time. We told our kids she was a "dingo" and moved to Australia to live with the other dingoes. Then we had our pet put down. If you google coy-dog you can see a picture of what she looked like

For the person who posted:
"NSAL is a no-kill shelter that is trying to home as many dogs and puppies as they possibly can, what kind of crime is that? "

Road trips to the south to collect damaged and potentially life-threatening inventory which is then shilled to unsuspecting well-intentioned families at steep prices is reprehensible. And IF a person knowingly sells dangerous, predatory wild animals, misrepresented as domestic mixed breed dogs, into homes with small children I would think that possible grounds for fraud and child endangerment. What would the charges be in the case of death? Would deceitfully placing a coy-dog into a home with small children be considered: Reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life?

We had a human-biting, predatory coy-dog living in our house. We don't need to give up having dogs and get a turtle as one person suggested on this list; we need to be able to trust that we are actually adopting domestic animals--not bringing feral dogs or coyote hybrids into our homes and neighborhoods.

And please, coy-dog owners, save it. There were two separate attacks on children in one week by coyotes in the neighboring county two weeks ago. What we don't need are coyotes with no fear of humans.

And finally, to all of the dog-lovers who feel that most humans are undeserving of co-habitating with canines:

It is true, that most of us humans simply don't understand how parvo and giardia are opportunities for us to prove our worthiness as pet guardians via vet visits, bills, health risk to family, countless hours spent on training, cleaning, managing, animal quarantine, worrying, feeling guilty and generally dedicating all of our resources and peace to our "rescued" pet. But since you love dogs so much that they must be kept alive and healthy by all means necessary, I have to ask: How do you justify the potential exposure to life-long illnesses and parasites to the non -NSAL dogs? Are the dogs lucky enough to already have a home somehow in debt through their privilege, and thereby expected to risk their lives and health to achieve NSAL's vision? Are you seriously putting a HUMAN ideal and corporation above the health and welfare of these dogs?

Shame on all of you who have judged the people whose lives were turned upside down by the alleged irresponsible practices of NSAL. If the types of unethical practices described on this board occurred in any other industry there would be congressional hearings.

, US
Jul 10, 2010 8:15 pm EDT
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First off I'm in my 20's I don't have 30 grand laying around, u don't expect to have a 6 month old pup frm North Shore that u gotta spend 30 grand on&they fact they basically hung up on me when I asked if they know a good place to get his surgery done&for his physical therapy and they said can't help you click kinda pissed me off. North Shore use to also do home check ups but stopped that 2, I think North Shore was better when my bro got his dog there years ago. Also some shelters DO know what breed it is, I go on websites and see a Pitt bull labeled as a lab, or they pretend dogs our purebred when they aren't, when I go to websites I call almost half the breeds out for not being what they are but some breeds are so obvious, to me anyway so if you work with dogs you should know what I know at least. When I got my pup I knew he was Rotti but they told me spaniel and I took there word for it cas I pretty much pointed him out&said I want him, I only held him for less than a min be4 I said I'd take him&since he wasn't feeling well cas of the heart murmur&kennel cough he had his head down most of the time when we got him on the way home I noticed he wasn't spaniel he was chow chow cas of the spots on his tongue&thatz what his vet, out of state vet&surgeon also said, so sometimes you don't need dna testing you need common sense, a lot of places put breeds wrong some on purpose, not saying this one was maybe it was some idiot but if I can tell a breed I think places who work with dogs everyday should know.

New York, US
Jul 10, 2010 8:30 am EDT

You people need to get a grip! Every complaint on this board is clearly from someone with ZERO dog experience. NSAL is a no-kill shelter that is trying to home as many dogs and puppies as they possibly can, what kind of crime is that? Dogs in shelters are under enormous stress, and when you adopt from any shelter there is a 100% chance that your pet will be sick when you get it or fall sick shortly thereafter. That's why the adoption from any place reputable comes with free vet care for a limited period (as it does with NSAL). Also, dufuses, no one can tell what breed a puppy is unless they have seen the parents. The people at NSAL are volunteers, not dog DNA specialists. If you want to be sure what you're getting, adopt an adult dog or older puppy - otherwise it is a total crapshoot. This is why people buy purebred dogs!
I adopted a 3-month pup from NSAL 3 years ago, yes he was sick and NSAL was completely upfront about what he had. He recovered quickly and is a wonderful family pet. I have adopted a lot of dogs in my lifetime from various wire-cage shelters, and they ALL got sick as soon as they got home, and recovered just fine. Adoption from a shelter is always a risk - you don't know the dog's history and neither does the shelter. If this is too much to bear for you, get a dog from a rescue group that has had it in a foster home for a while - it will have already recovered from shelter life.
P.S. Giardia is super common, most dogs have it as puppies and it is not the plague. If you are a germaphobe clean freak a dog may not be the ideal thing for you - try a chia pet.

Albuquerque, US
Jul 02, 2010 1:22 am EDT

Beware Petsmart adoptions! After years of being a serious partner with small community rescue groups, Petsmart's policies seem to have changed over the last year. They're now only dealing with the biggest adoption agencies who provide the biggest numbers of adoptions. All they care about is money - the "sales" that on-the-spot, irresponsible adoptions bring in.

In my area, Petsmart has systematically forced out a number of old, small, highly responsible dog & cat rescue groups (who did home visits, extensive interviews, etc..., and found awesome homes for their animals), and given their spaces (some of them had been in the stores for a decade or more) to one 500-pound gorilla organization in the area which is not a "rescue" or charity at all - a so-called "private shelter" called Watermelon Mountain Ranch.

Watermelon is a highly profitable business masquerading as a charity. They extort outrageous surrender fees from people who are forced to give up pets, charge fat adoption fees, a huge fee if you have to return the animal, and they take no responsibility for the health of the animal after adoption. I'm sure their executive director earns six figures, whereas our organization has one half-time bookkeeper. But, they have the "numbers" on their side - the do a lot of adoptions. To anyone. They have no idea if these are good homes or not, they just want to make money for themselves and their corporate overlords. I'm sure I could fill out a bogus application, write a rubber check, and walk out with a kitten or puppy.

Petsmart and this group don't give a flying f**k about animal welfare. They forced our rescue group out, and moved these other bozos in 2 days later. We've been a Petsmart adoption partner for 16 years, and they simply threw us out like a dirty tampon - gave us ONE DAY notice.

Hello? What about OUR 50 foster cats? Does Petsmart care about them? Obviously not. What about the fact that we've been in this location for 3 years, and have NO other venue through which to adopt them, while this other organization has FOUR Petsmart adoption centers in the area, in addition to their own shelter location? We are their backup - if people can't afford their ridiculous fees, and don't want to take pets to the local shelter where they will surely die, they come to us. But, we can no longer take in any pets because we don't have an adoption center anymore.

Animals will DIE, not be saved, because of greed and unethical, possibly illegal collusion between Petsmart and this sleazy organization. Petsmart and their large adoption partners will treat you like crap - BEWARE!

, US
Apr 29, 2010 10:01 pm EDT
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I adopted my dog from North Shore at 2 months old at 6 months old I find out he has elbow&hip dysplaysia, I already spend a total of 10 grand&he didn't even have the major one I'm expecting to pay a total of 30 grand if North Shore didn't tell me he was a different breed I would be as suprised, he's rottie&chow which is common for them to have displaysia but they said he was rottie&spaniel, I go to Animal Medical Center which is expensive but I don't drive&all the other places weren't equipped, I didn't expect North Shore to pay for the surgery&wasnt bout to give him back not a lot of pple would want a 6 month old puppy that can't even walk up the block but I thought they could help me find a cheaper place or if they had physical therapy there or if they could do something not the surgery itself since they said they weren't equipped for it but thought they would help with the minor stuff or help me find a place especially considering I was keeping him&if wasn't gonna tie him outside the shelter&leave him. He had 8 brothers&sisters my dogs surgeon said def at least some of them have it, basically he has bum genes. I knew he had kennel cough&a juvenille heart murmur but wasn't expecting to shell out 30 grand&Nortg Shore not help in any way shape or form

Briarwood, US
Mar 13, 2010 8:04 am EST

I can see that some of you are upset, but in reality you really have to think deeply about what you are saying. I adopted a Pomeranian from the NSAL 2 years ago. When i got her, they told me she had a bone disease (or something to the like) in which her hind legs would become dislocated and I would have to actually manually reset them them whenever she herself could not. She was passed over by everyone who checked her tag out and heard this from the staff which is entirely understandable. Even I at first passed her by several times. But I kept on looking at her.. I finally stopped and said to myself "If not me, then who?" So I took a look at her and played with her for awhile. She had a very bad attitude towards me and was very upset. She had dandruff and kennel sickness. All in all it should have turned me away from her. But I took to understanding why she may have a bad attitude and demeanor. You see, in the kennel its like a conveyor belt. People are constantly coming in and out of there. doctors and staff have no real connection to any of the animals especially those who may come from homes where people may have abused them and need that extra special attention. The staff were polite and I agree that it may have taken some time. But eventually i ended up adopting her. When i got her home, at times she would be nice and at other times she would snap at me. I thought about taking her back. But then i thought "would i trust a human being if I was treated badly by other human beings?". Dogs have feelings, and they are very emotional, even more so than humans because they have nothing else but their instincts to live by. There is no rational behavior or rules for a dog. They either love you, like you, or they don't. Its that simple. Anyway eventually Ali

christine Strouds
Colorado Springs, US
Oct 31, 2009 10:41 am EDT

I dont know much about the place you all are discussing. But i agree with the person above that you all are trying to put blame to somethine that naturally occurs. I have a hard time believing the accusations about how the clinic looked because they are health inspected weekly. And I Know for a fact if u have two dogs in a cage one is sick, then they most likely will both be sick. Animal Rescues are based on donations and the fee's associated with adoptions. Without these organizations the hundreds of animals u see and complain about will be euthanized. They are innocent, like children and depend on us to take care of them andif they are sick and u adopt then it is your responsibility to make sure they get better. If all you can do is complain than a dog is not the way to go. We just adopted a wonderful puppy and she had kennel cough, that turned into pneumonia. My vet gave us meds and within a few days she was bouncing like a normal puppy. Yes unless u get a puppy from a breeded.. NOT A PUPPY MILL... then u are looking at that posibility you will inherit a dog that is ill. Always go in with that in mind. Otherwise you will be dissapointed. Now for the people that work at this place that were rude to the customers. That in itself sucks and needs to be looked into. Instead of posting it here I would go straight to the health department and place a complaint and go to the Better business bureu. But keep in mind if they closed that organization down then most likely all those wonderful animals could be put down.

West Covina, US
Aug 19, 2009 5:42 pm EDT

if there is anyone u all need to be upset with, it is the directors of nsal not the employees, ie techs & doctors. they do all they can for the animals but can only go so far with the limitations set by the directors... joanne yohansen, dr. kathleen dunn & john stevenson. they are all about the numbers, making a fast buck & ripping of the unsuspecting american public. just this past year, all of the dvm's (exdcept 3) either got fired (because of personl conflicts with the directors) or quit. the quality of medicine practiced has declined significantly & most of the pets that are getting adopted out are not being seen by a dvm prior to their adoption, all because there are not enough dvm's on staff (due to the directors who have fored them). the director of the medical center is a doctor and will not get off her lazy a$$ to help out the understaffed, over worked veterinarians. angry people wait in the waiting room for hours to be seen and the director knows this but she refuses to see even one animal, especially if it is a dog (she takes a liking to cats). not to mention she is extremely rude to the clients & treats them like they are stupid simply because they do not have veterinary knowledge. nsal also allows non licensed vet techs in the pet health center to vaccinate owned pets! isn't there a law against this? the founder of nsal mr lewyt passed away some years ago, however his wife is still alive. if she only knew the real truth behind what the directors are doing to the staff, the public and most importantly the animals, she would probably keel over, and well, u can figure out the rest. the original mission statement for nsal has completey been thrown out the wind0w! mr. lewyt is probably spinning in his grave wondering what the he** happened to his rescue shelter?! the dorectors are running it to the ground! if i were a celebrity, ie beth ostrasky (who swears by nsal) i would not want my name connected to this establishment. she should do a little research and find out what's really going on behind the scenes!
so please do not think that the doctors and vet techs are to blame they just do what they are told by the directors. they do EVERYTHING to keep these pets alive & healthy while the directors sit on their a$$e$, bark orders, & have no clue how their demands are breaking the staff, the public, the reputation of nsal, and the animals!

Denver, US
Jul 27, 2009 11:10 pm EDT

NSAL doesn't care about their animals at all - their criminal president pockets $340, 000/year while they don't have a single person on staff who is knowledgeable in animal behavior! They resisted efforts by the ASPCA to start a behavioral program to properly evaluate the animals! The dog I adopted from them (after 9 months of their "care") had such severe behavioral, psychological, & aggression problems he should've been euthanized - but these criminals told me he just needed obedience training (which can never solve behavioral problems)! Their ###ic director of special adoptions has no education, training, or experience in animal behavior - and actually tried to blame my dogs behavior on me! Maybe they do some good, but the abysmal and dishonest way they treated me and my dog was inexcuseable!

New York, US
Jul 08, 2009 8:20 pm EDT


Clarkesville, US
May 14, 2009 2:04 pm EDT

Here's some good info on Parvo. I worked as a vet tech for years, and usually larger breeds have a better survival rate with hospitalization from my experience. It can live for up to a year (from what I've heard from a vet) in a yard. It's a terrible expensive disease and a heart-breaker, even for the people that work at the hospital you take your dog to.

Canine parvovirus (CPV) disease is currently the most common infectious disorder of dogs in the United States.

'Parvo' is a highly contagious disease characterized by diarrhea that is often bloody. Prior to 1980, most canine parvovirus that caused disease was Type 2 (CPV-2). After 1980, CPV-2 was replaced by CPV-2a became more common and in 1986, another variation called CPV-2b appeared. In the past few years, a new strain, CPV-2c has been detected. Today, CPV-2b has largely replaced the previous strains as the most common parvovirus causing disease in the dog. There is currently some discussion that there may be other strains that are beginning to emerge and have yet to be formally identified. Current vaccinations have helped to control the spread of this disease but despite being vaccinated, some dogs still contract and die from parvo. There is much that we do not know about the virus or the best way to control the disease, but we are learning new information daily. Misinformation about the disease, its spread, and vaccination is widespread. We hope that with a better understanding of the disease, pet owners will be able to make good health decisions for their dogs that will help prevent and reduce the spread of this disease.

How is parvovirus spread?

Parvovirus is spread through contact with feces containing the virus. The virus is known to survive on inanimate objects - such as clothing, food pans, and cage floors - for 5 months and longer in the right conditions. Insects and rodents may also serve as vectors playing an important role in the transmission of the disease. This means any fecal material or vomit needs to be removed with a detergent before the bleach solution is used. The bleach solution should be used on bedding, dishes, kennel floors and other impervious materials that may be contaminated.

The normal incubation period (time from exposure to the virus to the time when signs of disease appear) is from 7-14 days. Virus can be found in the feces several days before clinical signs of disease appear, and may last for one to two weeks after the onset of the disease.

What are the symptoms of parvovirus infection?

There is a broad range in the severity of symptoms shown by dogs that are infected with parvovirus. Many adult dogs exposed to the virus show very few, if any, symptoms. The majority of cases of disease are seen in dogs less than 6 months of age with the most severe cases seen in puppies younger than 12 weeks of age. There are also significant differences in response to parvovirus infections and vaccines among different breeds of dogs, with Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Labrador Retrievers being more susceptible than other breeds.

The most common form of the disease is the intestinal form known as enteritis. Parvovirus enteritis is characterized by vomiting (often severe), diarrhea, dehydration, dark or bloody feces, and in severe cases, fever and lowered white blood cell counts. Acute parvovirus enteritis can be seen in dogs of any breed, sex, or age. The disease will progress very rapidly and death can occur as early as two days after the onset of the disease. The presence of gram negative bacteria, parasites, or other viruses can worsen the severity of the disease and slow recovery.

A less common form of the disease causes myocarditis (inflammation of the heart).

How is parvovirus infection diagnosed?

Not all cases of bloody diarrhea with or without vomiting are caused by parvovirus and many sick puppies are misdiagnosed as having 'parvo.' The only way to know if a dog has parvovirus is through a positive diagnostic test. In addition to the more time consuming and expensive traditional testing of the blood for titers, a simpler test of the feces with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay antigen test (ELISA), commonly called the CITE test, is also available through most veterinary clinics. Testing of all suspect cases of parvo is the only way to correctly diagnose and treat this disease. A complete physical exam and additional laboratory tests such as a CBC and chemistry panel help to determine the severity of the disease.

How is parvovirus disease treated?

The treatment of parvovirus is fairly straightforward and directed at supportive therapy. Replacing fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea is probably the single most important treatment. Intravenous administration of a balanced electrolyte solution is preferred, but in less severe cases, subcutaneous or oral fluids may be used. In severe cases, blood transfusions may be necessary. Antibiotic therapy is usually given to help control secondary bacterial infections. In those dogs who have severe symptoms, antiserum against endotoxins may be given. Corticosteroids may be given if the animal is in shock. In cases of severe vomiting, drugs to slow the vomiting may also be used. After the intestinal symptoms begin to subside, a broad spectrum de-worming agent is often used. Restricting the food during periods of vomiting is also necessary and parenternal nutrition (providing nutrients intravenously) may be necessary.

Undertaking the treatment of affected dogs and puppies without professional veterinary care is very difficult. Even with the best available care, the mortality of severely infected animals is high. Without the correct amount of properly balanced intravenous fluids, the chance of recovery in a severely stricken animal is very small.

All parvoviruses are extremely stable and are resistant to adverse environmental influences such as low pH and high heat. Exposure to ultraviolet light and sodium hypochlorite (a 1:32 dilution of household bleach - ½ cup bleach to 1 gallon of water) can inactivate parvovirus. The bleach solution can be impaired by organic matter and needs to have adequate exposure time and proper concentrations to work effectively.

Immunity and vaccination

If a puppy recovers from parvovirus infection, he is immune to reinfection for probably at least twenty months and possibly for life. In addition, after recovery the virus is not shed in the feces. There are many commercially prepared attenuated (modified) live CPV-2 vaccines available. The current vaccines protect against all strains of the canine parvovirus, including the relatively new parvovirus-2c strain. Although some people have expressed concern about the possibility of modified live vaccines reverting to a virulent strain after being given and then causing disease, studies have repeatedly shown that this does not occur. Commercially prepared vaccines are safe and do not cause disease.

The primary cause of failure of canine parvovirus vaccines is an interfering level of maternal antibody against the parvovirus.

The primary cause of failure of canine parvovirus vaccines is an interfering level of maternal antibody against the canine parvovirus. Maternal antibodies are the antibodies present in the mother's milk during the first 24 hours after the puppy's birth. The age at which puppies can effectively be immunized is proportional to the titer of the mother and the effectiveness of transfer of maternal antibody within those first 24 hours. High levels of maternal antibodies present in the puppies' bloodstream will block the effectiveness of a vaccine. When the maternal antibodies drop to a low enough level in the puppy, immunization by a commercial vaccine will work. The complicating factor is that there is a period of time from several days to several weeks in which the maternal antibodies are too low to provide protection against the disease, but too high to allow the vaccine to work. This period is called the window of susceptibility. This is the time when despite being vaccinated, a puppy can still contract parvovirus. The length and timing of the window of susceptibility is different in every puppy in every litter.

In one study of a cross section of different puppies the age at which they were able to respond to a vaccine and develop protection covered a wide period of time. At six weeks of age, 25% of the puppies could be immunized. At 9 weeks of age, 40% of the puppies were able to respond to the vaccine. The number increased to 60% by 16 weeks, and by 18 weeks of age, 95% of the puppies could be immunized.

When we examine all of the information about maternal derived antibodies, windows of susceptibility, breed susceptibilities, the possibility of unidentified strains, and the effectiveness of different vaccines, we begin to see why there are so many different vaccination protocols and why some vaccinated animals still develop the disease.

Vaccination protocols have been developed that will help protect the widest range of dogs. In using these protocols, we understand we will be vaccinating some dogs that are not capable of responding and we will be revaccinating some dogs that have already responded and developed a high titer. But without doing an individual test on each puppy, it is impossible to determine where the puppy is in its immune status. We also realize due to the window of susceptibility, some litters will contract parvovirus despite being vaccinated. By using quality vaccines and an aggressive vaccination protocol, we can make this window of susceptibility as small as possible. The generally recommended protocol is to vaccinate puppies against parvovirus beginning at 6-8 weeks of age, and revaccinating every 3 weeks until the puppy is 16-20 weeks of age. A booster is given at one year of age and every 1-3 years thereafter.


In summary, parvovirus is a very common problem that is a huge killer of puppies. Due to its ability to be transmitted through hands, clothes, and most likely rodents and insects, it is virtually impossible to have a kennel that will not eventually be exposed to the disease. Modified live vaccines are safe and effective, but despite the best vaccination protocol, all puppies will have a window of susceptibility of at least several days where they will be at risk. In addition, the newer CPV-2c strain presents new challenges since it is less detectable in laboratory tests and current vaccines may not be as effective in providing protection against it. Prompt treatment by a veterinarian will increase survivability in infected puppies and working with your veterinarian on a vaccination program that is best for your puppy is important.

References and Further Reading
Lamm, CG; Rezabek, G.B. Parvovirus infection in domestic companion animals. In Kapil, S; Lamm, CG (eds.) Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice: Emerging and Reemerging Viruses of Dogs and Cats. W.B. Saunders Co, Philadelphia, PA; July 2008:837-850.

Macintyre, D. Management of Severe Parvoviral Enteritis. Presented at the Western Veterinary Conference, Las Vegas, NV; February 2004.

Monroe, US
Mar 01, 2009 6:41 pm EST

My brother adopted a puppy from a mobile unit last weekend. 3 days later she was throwing up and having bloody diarrhea. We took her to our vet that informed us that he runs into these symptoms all the time with north shore puppies. Well she has PARVO which is incredibly serious and heartbreaking. We drove her down to their ICU unit after spending the night with our vet on an IV and antibiotics. Its impossible to get thru when you try and call check on your pet. They say that they will call you every morning which they do NOT. ITs ridiculous. She is in critical condition and may need a plasma transplant because her protein levels are dropping because she can not eat. NSAL is negligent and absolutely should screen their animals before placing them. She is in critical condition and we have yet to speak to an actual doctor, just assistants who are completely uninformed. OH and if you would like to visit your animal, its by appointment only and from 6-8pm in the evening. WHAT A CROCK NSAL is!

Dec 01, 2008 7:39 pm EST

I just lost my dog a few months ago and now I am looking for a pup. I have visited NSAL a few times. There is always some issue with the puppies. It seems like half of them are sick. They admittedly take no time to test the puppies. They are adopted out the day after they arrive at the shelter. How can they know anything about any of the dogs?

One thing I noticed is BideAWee keeps the pups for a week in quarrantine and they spay or neuter the animals before they put them up for adoption. The only thing is they don't seem to have a lot of puppies. I wish they did because i would feel ok there. They even offer training, i think.

I get that dogs can get sick, especially when they were initally in bad conditions, but i would expect the shelter to know this and do the quarantine thing before adopting out dogs that might be very sick- for the sake of the people and the animal.

Nov 17, 2008 9:41 am EST

My oldest dog had to be put to sleep about a month ago. and Jack who is our other dog (which was adopted from NSAL as well) was very lonely along with our family. We decided to go to Nanuet to adopt a puppy from the Mobile unit. we ended up adopting two. first one is max hes a big fluffy rottie mix from what we think, and the other is oliver a tiny australian shepherd mix. max was very lethargic on friday and we took both straight to our vet near our house before we even took them home. knowing about kennel cough we thought we were doing the right thing by having the vet see them before we brought them home to make sure they got the proper medication before the entered our house with two other dogs. my grandma lives downstairs with an english mastive female and my dog jack is a shepherd mix. anyways, the vet we saw obviously was an idiot because he said olivers throat and tonsils were swallen, and max was fine so they were good to go home. however, that night max and oliver were up the entire night, sneezing and coughing, and not to mention MAX was having a difficult time breathing and panting uncontrolably. however, the weekened passed and they both didn't act like puppies. every night they had me up because they were hacking all night long. almost as if they were choking on something. i knew this was kennel cough. tuesday they were even more lethargic and we took them back to the vet that night. The same animal hospital but a different vet who treated max for kennel cough, which by the way i suspected it got worse already and was in pneumonia. oliver he said he didn't even want to treat, but because they were so close, he would anyways. so the week passed quickly. the both of them had horrible days and nights, green coming out of their noses. max was going into constant breathing spasms and it was scary. however it got to the point that i couldn't dare to see them like this anymore, plus they would not take their medications. friday (november 14th) I called out of work, and took them to another animal hospital. hudson highland in hopewell WHICH by the way i totally recommend to anyone. it was amazingly clean, and the vets take the time to spend it with you and your animal. the vets told us that the both puppies were in critical condition and that they needed a nebulizing treatment asap. they recommneded we take them back down to NSAL and have them treat them because if they did it would cost approx 4, 000.00. my mom and i had no choice but to travel and brign them down there. we got to the anm hosp and walked through the front doors. the place was the most disgusting animal hospital i ever seen before in my life. the scales they used were covered in hair and rust. i mean no where for you to sit in the office with your dog and just plain out disgusting. however they gave our pups xrays and needless to say, oliver and max both had pneumonia. the vet we took them to on tues night told us oliver was fine and he didn't even want to treat him, meanwhyile the xrays showed up that olivers pneumonia was worse than max's but max was overall sicker. it was the hardest thing to do to hand them over while their sick puppy dog eyes looked into yours. and i cried the entire day, i dont think i was ever this emotionally distrut. however, the vet from NSAL or whatever the animal hosp. is that they go through told us they would test them for parvo and distemper as our vet from hudson highland recommended.

now they call you with an update on ur puppys every day so the first day was saturday. i expected the worse when i received my call. the woman was very nasty and after i asked her if they tested them for parvo and other diseases she simply answered back saying "we dont test them for things they are not showing signs of" meanwhile our private vet recommended this as they are life threatening.

max had to be put on oxygen and given iv's and antibiotics same with oliver minus the oxygen tank. however the amount of trouble and agony NSAL put me and my family through is astronomical. I cant imagine if i had a young child. for example the lady standing on line with us the day we adopted the pups told us that she adopted a few mths ago and the puppy dropped dead 5 days later. she had a 3 year old daughter and a 1 1/2 year old daughter. now imagine the upset or explaination she needed to give her daughters.

im pretty sure she adopted again that day, and i cant imagine her not going through the same rough and aganizing time. as well as all the rest of the puppies and animals that were adopted that day off the van.

now first of all i understand that puppies especially ones who come from places like this are prone to kennel cough and other viruses. HOWEVER i feel that it is their duty to evaluate and give the proper physical before a pup is adopted by a family. to families in the united states, a dog isn't just a pet, to most its a part of their family. we didn't even get to experience that with max and oliver they are fighting for their lives down in long island which by the way i live 2 hrs away. how am i going to go visit them.

needless to say, my grandma's dog molli just went to an emergency clinic yesterday and my grandma just finished paying 750 for xrays and medication and the office visit to find out that she has pnemonia as well. my pups and molli came face to face ONCE for 5 mins at the most. NOW this is absolutely unncessary. my other dog jack has been sneezing and coughing and he will be going to the vet tonight.

i know that their policy is and they recommend not to bring the pups around OTHER dogs because of diseases and other viruses they may catch because THEY dont have all of their full shots yet. HOWEVER how can you give a family a puppy to adopt who isn't even healthy in the first place... theres no way tehse puppies got pneumonia IN A WEEK without it being present or incubating in them on friday when i adopted them. now if these puppies were cared for in the shelter properly and examined the way they should have been i think MORE and MORE puppies would be adopted. however the word is out about nsal. and althought they are a non kill shelter, they mistreat and neglect these animals.

i am devistated over this... and i want my babies home with me now instead of at a nasty ### animal hospital in long island.

Nov 11, 2008 1:39 pm EST

OH and also notice, not one single complaint and Best Friends has been around longer and the SECOND largest shelter, doing the right thing puts them on top of NSAL in what I"m seeing.

NSAL is a criminal organization, stealing from their donors and deceptively adopting dogs that are sick and contagious.

Aside from the breed and behavior, PARVO going un-diagnosed, get real NSAL.