Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center is making a difference in the Long Island community by saving the lives of countless animals in the area. The shelter not only has saved, cared, and provided forever homes for these animals, but they have also given back to the community that make their organization possible.
Founded in 1927, Little Shelter is one of Long Island’s oldest no-kill shelters, which is located in Huntington, NY, has been dedicated to the rescue of abandoned cats and dogs of all ages, physical conditions, and socialization issues. The shelter takes pride in its nondiscriminatory policy and quality medical care, making it stand out above other shelters on Long Island.
“We are very, very unique. Our budget is 2.5 million dollars a year and every penny comes in from the community,” said Arleen Leone, Special Programs Manager at Little Shelter. “ We are very grateful, and to show how grateful we are we’ve established a lot of give back programs such as food pantries for individuals who can no longer feed their animals. We also do free spaded and neutering for these individuals.”
Little Shelter has went out of its way to provide and spread awareness for animals in need to the next generation of young people in the community. “We have a humane education program that started in 2001. We visit at least 100 schools a year and talk about kindness and responsibilities,” Said Leone.
The Little Shelter is the first and only shelter to provide a reading program for children
with learning disabilities. “We have seven therapy dogs who were adopted at Little Shelter and now live in homes. We take the same dog and handler to the same seven local elementary schools and see the same children on a weekly basis,” said Leone. “We deal with children who show stress and anxiety with reading in a traditional classroom and I cannot tell you what our dogs have accomplished. Nonverbal children are now speaking, and it’s very hard to feel uptight or stressed when you’re sitting on the floor when a dog is on your lap licking you as you’re reading.”
Little Shelter has put a great emphasis on social development skills for these children through using Little Shelter alumni therapy dogs in order to make sure they are able to advance and make the transition from elementary school to middle school. The shelter also provides the therapy dogs for the elderly living in nursing homes and individuals who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Since Little Shelter’s mission is to adopt and save as many cats and dogs as possible, they have created Little Shelter Sanctuary. Located in Upstate New York, the sanctuary is designed to be like homes or apartments that’s purpose is to provide a comfortable and relaxing living environment for animals that were overlooked for adoption or suffer from behavioral and medical issues.
“Just because they don’t speak doesn’t mean they don’t feel,” Said Leone.