Shelter Spotlight: Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center

In the 1920s, the lost and stray animals of Long Island, NY, were locked up and often put to sleep. One woman thought they deserved better…

Little Shelter logo

Petful was delighted to make a donation recently to a very deserving cause. 

Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center was the recipient of the Grand Prize donation in our Halloween contest. There are many reasons this organization was so special to our winner — we totally agree that it’s a special place, and here’s why.

About Little Shelter

The first thing you should know is that this is one of the oldest shelters in the area with a no-kill policy.

Little Shelter was the grand prize recipient in our Halloween contest.
Chris Phillips, adoption office manager, and a staff member named Jon accept the $600 donation from Pets Adviser (precursor to Petful).

Located on Long Island in New York, the shelter was created in 1927 and spans 6 acres. This nonprofit is also among the oldest humane organizations in Suffolk County.

Little Shelter not only helps the local community, but also takes in animals from all over the country. Staff members rescue animals from high-kill shelters to give them a second chance or necessary care — and a fighting chance at being adopted.

Sick animals are healed, shy dogs are socialized, 100% of the animals are spayed and neutered, and long-term animals have somewhere safe and comfortable to wait for a forever home.


In the 1920s, the stray or lost animals of Long Island were caught by the local dogcatcher and locked in a tiny shed under poor conditions. The dogs were either claimed by their caretakers or euthanized.

One woman thought they deserved better treatment — and set out to provide just that.

Anna Hunninghouse created Little Shelter on April 27, 1927 and put in place her mission to rescue, nurture and adopt any animal in need. The shelter strives to end pet overpopulation and find homes for the thousands of animals passing through its doors over the years.

Little Shelter helps cats, too! By: Little Shelter/Facebook
Little Shelter helps cats, too! By: Little Shelter/Facebook

Those efforts have been recognized through countless honors and awards. Little Shelter is a member of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and has been voted Best Animal Shelter by the Long Island Press for the past 4 years.

A Sanctuary for Long-Term “Angels”

Animals may have behavioral or medical issues or simply don’t adapt well to shelter life, and this may cause them to be overlooked for adoption. Little Shelter saw the need for additional care for these animals and opened the Little Shelter Sanctuary, a 110-acre property in upstate New York.

At the sanctuary animals live in rooms styled more like apartments or homes to provide comfort and peace in a relaxing environment. Continuous training, socialization, rehabilitation, love and fun are provided until adoption no matter how long it may take.

Listed as one of the dogs’ favorite activities is jumping and playing in the one-acre pond on the property.

Dogs in the sanctuary are dubbed “Angels” and receive lifetime medical care when adopted through the shelter’s Save-an-Angel program.

Every Pet Welcome

Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center takes in as many animals as possible. Age or condition are never an issue.

Take the case of , a pit bull with a bad heart and 14 pounds of fluid in her abdomen when found. Nothing seemed to work until — wonder of wonders — Viagra was given to her. She was taken in by the shelter, brought up to good health and adopted.

Ingrid is one of the many animals helped by Little Shelter.
Ingrid is one of the many animals helped by Little Shelter.

Her adoptive family struggles to pay for the expensive medication to keep Ingrid alive, and the shelter is accepting donations to help with her expenses. If you would like to contribute, you can donate here and specify that the donation be used for Ingrid’s care.

Little Shelter was affected by Hurricane Sandy when trees damaged the buildings, forcing the organization to operate at 50% capacity. Through the hard work of employees, volunteers and a generous grant from the ASPCA, they were able to rebuild and return to full capacity.

The shelter is a part of the community and helps so many animals throughout the country — and there are many more needy pets that will no doubt pass through these doors for years to come.

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of the book One Unforgettable Journey, which was nominated for a Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. In addition, she was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. Kristine has been researching and writing about pet behaviors and care for many years, with her articles appearing in various publications. She is the CEO of a large mental health practice in Louisiana and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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