These photos of Lucky were taken on March 24th at North Shore Animal League America’s Tour For Life 2010 kick-off event!

January 2010 Update: Lucky’s foster mother Vivian reports that he is doing great. He never ceases to amaze her. When she was putting up the Christmas tree, Lucky managed to jump up on the couch and cuddle with her niece. He did this knowing quite well that he’s not allowed on the furniture. The moment Vivian gave him “that look” he quickly jumped off. Lucky often acts just like a kid and it fills us with great joy to know that he can benefit from a good quality of life thanks to your commitment to the Animal League’s vital Sponsor Program for animals with special needs.

February 2010 Update: Lucky is doing well. He has trained his foster mother’s fiancé to let him out every half hour when they are home. However, when he’s home alone, he can sleep for eight or ten hours straight without the need to be let outside. Obviously, this is one smart deaf dog! He also has figured out how to spit out his pill which they sometimes find elsewhere throughout the day.

March 2010 Update: No news is always good news for the Animal League’s special-needs pets. Lucky has been doing well and there is nothing eventful to report. Health wise, he’s doing fine. However, he must have a feeling that his foster mother will be going on vacation soon, because he is acting out and showing signs of not eating a lot and not wanting to go outside as much. And we know how much Lucky loves to play and run the course of the backyard any chance he can get.


Carmen, Venus and Pablo

December 2009 Update: We are happy to report that Carmen, Venus and Pablo are doing well. They did a lot of showing off on Thanksgiving. They had a large Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends and Carmen, Venus and Pablo grabbed all the attention. They are such little show offs, they played all day with the children, kissing and chasing them all over the house. All the commotion from Thanksgiving day had the siblings sleeping all day Friday.

January 2010 Update: We have great news to report – Carmen, Venus and Pablo are very healthy. Carmen the Diva, as she is called by the family, has the fastest tongue around. You get too close to her and she will give you kisses all over your face. They have a new dog in the house, Nacho, and Pablo has made it his chore to take care of him, he will chew the food and then spit it out for Nacho to eat, (Nacho has bad gum disease). Venus is the spoiled little girl, she sits on mom’s lap and is hand fed one piece of food at a time, she is only two pounds, and mom wants to make sure she gets her share of the food. When there is a break in the cold, mom will take them with her for a walk in their stroller around the neighborhood. The kids love seeing them and come running over to play. There are some kids that knock on the door for play dates. Every morning they have two hours of physical therapy in their wheel carts to keep their backs straight. The rest of the day is spent jumping and playing in their room. They jump all over, and so not to get hurt if they should fall, there are heavy blankets all over the floor. If you enter the room you have to watch your step, they love to tunnel and sleep under the blankets.

February 2010 Update: Unfortunately, we don’t have good news to report about our dear Carmen. She has been sick for the past few weeks with pancreatitis, and because of the pancreatitis, she is having problems keeping her food down. Carmen’s adopted mother has to hold her upright when she eats. It’s like having Megaesophagus, a condition in which the esophagus is abnormally enlarged which makes it difficult to keep food down. Her mother is so concerned for her health that she brings her to work with her here at the Animal League everyday to be sure she is with her when she eats. What a devoted mother! We hope little Carmen will be up and about soon and we’ll be sure to keep you posted.

We are happy to report that Venus and Pablo are doing well. With all the snow we had recently, their adopted mother dressed them in little, yellow rain slickers and booties and let them romp in the snow for a bit. The neighborhood kids came around to play with them. The children had to be very careful where they were throwing their snow balls – the snowballs were bigger than Pablo! Thank goodness they have such a loving and caring mother to get them out in the fresh air and to have play dates with the kids.



Update from Marty’s Foster Mother:

Marty is doing just fine. We are still working on the house breaking, but are not always successful. Even though I let Marty outside right before I leave to go to work, I do come home and find that he urinated on the floor. On Sundays (my only day off) when I’m home all day, I let him out several times and this avoids accidents. I think Marty would do really well with a retired school teacher or at least someone who was home to let him out a few times during the day. We have had some success though – my husband gets up very early for work and in the past Marty used to urinate once he heard someone up in the house. Now he sleeps in a bed in my bedroom and he stays in his bed until I get up to let him out. Sometimes I look over at him and he is up looking around or just resting but he waits. I take him out about 7AM – sometimes 7:30 and he is fine with that. Marty loves to chew on things just like any other Golden Retriever, so he needs chew toys. If you catch him chewing on something he’s not supposed to he will stop when you walk by him and he does take a correction rather well. Keep in mind he is a playful dog and does need a close eye on him at all times. I take Marty with me every Saturday to North Shore Animal League America and the amount of attention he is given there is just amazing! Everyone loves Marty! He is so loving and so playful I really do feel blessed to have him. I only wish that I could keep him forever but I know that I can’t. I am hoping that we can find him a forever home where he can be the king of the castle, he really deserves it. He is just adorable!



We are happy to report that Sponsor Program cat Penny had her wellness check-up recently and her “numbers” are all good. Her renal disease has not progressed at all. Unless being a foodie is considered a disease! She did gain half a pound which is not good for Penny. Her adopted family is concentrating more on her activities level. Her favorite way to stay active is with string. She has toys galore, but when she gets any piece of string, that’s all she will play with. She is free to roam, eat and sleep where she pleases. Penny’s adopted mother and the Animal League thank you for your generous contributions and love for Penny which help pay for the medical supplies and wellness visits needed to keep her living the best quality of life possible.


The Perfect Pet Need Not Be Perfect


The Perfect Pet Need Not Be Perfect

North Shore Animal League America has hundreds of wonderful dogs, cats, puppies and kittens waiting to be loyal and adoring companions. As diverse as they are adorable, these animals come in all shapes and sizes and are all uniquely different from one another. Just like people, they all have individual personalities, attributes and distinctive stories. However, one commonality is that they are all beautiful, intricate, innocent creatures in need of and deserved of caring homes.

It is always a joy and a pleasure to watch the consistent flow of eager and enthusiastic adopters walking through our corridors, searching for a best friend and trusted companion. With stars in their eyes and love in their hearts, excited adopters ask countless questions, tell personal stories, and voice various concerns. They are happy to chat about their current pets, past companions and the animals they enthusiastically foresee in their futures. We are always thrilled to assist in their dreams and help them find the perfect pet(s) for their lifestyles. However, did you ever consider that the perfect pet need not be so perfect?

 What Are Special Needs Pets?

In addition to the dozens of animals we have here at the shelter in perfect health waiting for adoption, we also have various cats, dogs, kittens and puppies with existing medical conditions. We would like to bring these special pets to your attention, because we feel it is as important, or even more so, for these sweet and vulnerable animals to be in the comforting home of a special family. These animals often get lost amongst all the healthy ones. It always confuses us as to why their popularity pales in comparison. It leaves us perplexed sometimes and often sad, as we admire and appreciate these amazing animals and wonder, “Why are they being passed by?”

It occurred to us that people may not have an accurate understanding of what little additional effort goes into caring for a special needs animal. We would like to remind you that they, too, make wonderful pets and endearing companions. There is also a very intimately distinctive and significant bond that develops between a disadvantaged pet and a nurturing, human caretaker – one that is so uniquely personal and touching – that it often goes unmatched.

Why Are Special Needs Pets So Special?

Special needs animals come in two types: physical special needs and emotional special needs. Some common physical ailments include: trauma, upper respiratory infections, heart disease, lung disease, FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), diabetes, neurological disorders, chronic pneumonia, arthritis, cancer, hyperthyroidism, and various physical deformities. These conditions can range from mild to serious and may require medications to be administered either temporarily or daily for the rest of the animal’s life. Some common emotional ailments include: trauma, stress, anxiety, panic, depression, moodiness and in some cases, aggression. These syndromes can also range from mild to severe and may require extra patience and a quiet and calm atmosphere for recovery.

Why a “Not So Perfect” Pet May Be the Perfect Pet for You

Most people have cared for a sick person or animal before and understand that it may require a bit more patience and a little more tender loving care. Sometimes restrictions may be put on the animal’s activities or medications may need to be administered. Other than a few simple adjustments, caring for a special needs animal is just like caring for any other pet. Please don’t be mistaken in thinking that all disadvantaged animals require constant maintenance. In fact, many are older animals and are completely housebroken, trained, and mellow and know the routine of being a good pet and a good patient. No matter what the case, the vast emotional rewards far outweigh the efforts, and the inexplicable connection between person and pet is so remarkably satisfying.

Other Ways You Can Help Special Needs Pets

In addition to adopting an ailing pet, North Shore Animal League America offers several options for caring for these special needs animals. We have a Sponsorship Program, where you can choose a special needs dog or cat, and your monthly contribution will enable us to continue providing a safe place for them to live and the necessary medical care they need and deserve. 

Another alternative is our Foster Care program. Foster Care is an opportunity to care and love for a special needs animal in your own home, without having to make the long term commitment of ownership. In addition, North Shore Animal League America provides all medical care the pet may need at no cost in our Port Washington, New York facility. 

 Pets With Special Needs Are Special, Indeed

All of our precious animals have hurdles to face. North Shore Animal League America has hurdles to face – as do we all. We want all of our wonderful feline and canine friends to have the special homes they long for and deserve. Some of them have come a long way, some have elaborate pasts, and all have a meaningful life ahead of them. It is our special needs animals, however, that have the additional obstacles blocking their paths to happiness. We urge you to understand their needs and consider making a monumental difference in their lives.

North Shore Animal League America is undoubtedly determined to reach our goal of zero homeless pets – and will work tirelessly to achieve that. We know that we are not perfect. We do not ask you to be; and we hope that you do not require these dear animals to be perfect either; for pets with special needs are special, indeed.