Little Shelter – A Small Group Making Big Waves




The old adage goes: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” Sometimes, the same saying can apply to organizations. Little Shelter, though small, has been helping pets who have been neglected, abused or abandoned by their previous owners.

Little Shelter, based out of Huntington, New York, has worked to find homes for animals in need for almost 90 years. But don’t let the name fool you – the staff members have big hearts when it comes to taking care of dogs, cats and other pets.

Who they are
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During the time when Rin-Tin-Tin became one of the most famous movie dogs in history, Little Shelter founder Anna Hunninghouse wanted to open a haven for homeless and abandoned animals that kept them safe and warm until a permanent home could be found. During April 1927, she opened the doors to Little Shelter for the first time.

Since then, the organization has grown due to effective community outreach and reaching milestones that other shelters have tried to meet. While many staff members and volunteers have come and gone, Little Shelter’s mission remains the same: To serve as a refuge for neglected pets by providing food, veterinary care, and shelter until loving homes can be found.

Today, Little Shelter is one of Long Island’s oldest no-kill shelters and is dedicated to saving all animals whose lives are in jeopardy.

What they do

The organization partners with local affiliates to rescue pets from kill facilities in the Long Island area. Little Shelter also helps sick pets recover from their illnesses or injuries, and ensures that unsocialized animals are slowly introduced to others prior to adoption. They also implemented a 100 percent spay/neuter program to end pet overpopulation and get all dogs and cats into permanent dwellings.

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Like many animal welfare organizations, Little Shelter is largely supported by donations and fundraisers from local events. For example, it has partnered with Watermill Caterers, located in nearby Smithtown, for an annual Masquerade Ball and Charity Event. Donors can enjoy cocktails, lavish dinners, open bars, live auctions, and entertainment. There are even prizes awarded for Best Costume. All of the proceeds benefit Little Shelter.

The organization continues its charitable work every year, and has recently received its sixth nomination for Best Animal Rescue and Best Animal Shelter from the Best of Long Island Press 2015.

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