Author: Stephanie

Edith’s Pups of Christmas Past Check In

Three years ago today, Edith and her 8 pups arrived at NiSHA, just in time to give 9 families a Christmas they would not soon forget.

Recently we got a great update on this crew. Every pup has grown up to be just as gentle and loving as their mom. In words and pictures. . .

“Edith was the most beautiful, perfect, loving mama dog. From the minute those pups were born, she was gentle and watchful, but Edith was also proud of those pups and happy to share them with humans. She was always there to insure that her puppy’s interactions with other LMR pups were positive. Edith was never aggressive but rather strong and protective. There are so many lessons that Edith teaches the world about love.”—Barb Mauller, Little Mountain Rescue

Edith and her newly born pups at Little Mountain Rescue in Mississippi.


Edith with 2 of her pups when they arrived on Nantucket.

“I think one of the funniest examples of the protective mama was when they were released from isolation. Craig had sewn bells onto their ‘Adopt Me’ scarves, as it was just before Christmas. As each puppy was released, Edith made sure to get that thing off of each pup. It would have made a great video but everyone was too busy laughing!”—Lori Smith, NiSHA

Edith taking care of her new “pup” in her home on the Cape.


“Macy is enjoying life with her new baby brother, Mac. We weren’t sure how she would do with the baby, but she is so gentle and they love playing with their toys together. Her energy is relentless, she loves going for runs and every dog she meets she’s convinced is her new best friend.  She loved seeing her sister Skyler at the fair recently!  Hopefully we will meet up again soon!”—Sarah and Brett

Macy enjoying life!


“Eme is such a good dog with a very soft demeanor about her. . . inquisitive, but gentle as they come. She loves her big brother Georgie and I don’t think he can imagine life without her now. They are the loves of our lives and we wouldn’t have it any other way!”—Martina and Sean

Eme having fun on Nantucket.

“Tuck is the love our life . . . . He has grown into this massive boy that will take out your hip  if you aren’t watching.”—Cathy and Mark

Tuck, Edith’s only boy child, makes himself at home.


Luna, along with her dad Henry, runs her own doggie day care!


Mamie loving the outdoors.


Nan on a hike!


Skyler got her mom’s eyes.

Spring Brings New Families

We’ve had so many joyful adoptions this spring. Here’s a big scoop of them.

Chris, Christina and Maddie welcome little Clara.


Bess’s rescuing angel could not wait to get his arms around this shy girl. She is making good progress, going to the local park and dog store in search of squirrels and cookies with her new buddy Scout.


Betsey just had to have Gisli for her very own, just what she’d been waiting for.


The Barrett clan welcomes Buddy. What’s one more?


Catherine tricks her foster family, the Vollans, into keeping her forever. We don’t think it took much trickery.


Rex (AKA Crown) joins his new family: Monique, Trevor and Nate.


David Copperfield found love with Chris and Ranna.


Edgar Lindon is headed to the farm with Lis, Al and Lina.


Elizabeth Jane Newson changed her name to Bailey Zachary just recently. If you are looking for her she will be hanging out with her new family Kyle, Rebecca and Clair.


Emmet moves to Maine (brrrr), just moments from the beach with his new mom and dad, Megan and Gabriel.


Ham and his new mom Rachael. BFF’s.


Heathcliff was quickly snatched up by Tyler and Sam. Plan on seeing “Finn” out on the trails!


Valerie, Matt, Tucker and Bruschi welcome tiny Hettie (now Stella), who rules the roost!


Introducing Bella (Isabella Linton) Fuller. It takes an active girl to keep up with her active family: Gracie, Sara, Jimmy and James.


James, the little devil, snagged himself not one, but FOUR new girlfriends: Bailey, Ayla, Cheryl and Cully.


Clownish Jango has his own girl to entertain now. Isabella is thrilled to have her first canine companion.


Joshua Jopp (now Fin Mscisz) landed himself in a big, dog-loving family. Toby, an adopted mastiff, sealed the deal when he offered himself up as his protector.


Allison and Tyler were immediately smitten with Lucetta and had to have her join their family.


Milo (formerly Micheal Henchard) is the center of this busy family. He has lots to do going to work with dad and keeping watch of his kids Brodie, Avalon and Curran.


Nancy wins over patient Laura and is dubbed Nessa. She has come a long way from her shy start.


Nelly Dean headed to Newburyport to find her perfect home with Suzanne.


Genji (formerly Porgy) joins Molly (formerly Miss Pross), who was adopted late last year. He is going to be Jack’s special friend while Molly works his mom and sis (Megan and Jamie).


A Little Mountain Rescue twofer, Brian and Angela add Richard Newson into their home, where Milo (formerly Hank) has already settled in.

Pascal finds a family with the Cranes and is forever known as Bugsy.


Susan’s got herself a man. David said it was love at first sight.

A Shelter May/December Romance Blossoms

Let’s be blunt: when Calista came to the shelter she was not winning any popularity contests. A “typical torti,” she’d hiss and swat as soon as she was close enough for contact. Understandably, she was upset and stressed to be thrust into a new situation, and into a room she had to share with many strange cats. 







Along came Oreo. Actually, Oreo was already there. A10-year resident of the shelter, Oreo’s medical issues prevent him from being adopted, and to him the shelter IS home. 









From the start Calista made overtures to Oreo. Deftly pushing her head into him as he’d pass by. Lying close to him on whatever surface he happened to be napping or (a-hem) washing up on.


However, Oreo was not to be won over so easily. You see, he’d seen them come, and he’d seen them go. Perhaps he didn’t want to get too attached to anyone, lest he or she be adopted and he lost yet another friend . . .    







But Calista’s charms were too great  . . . and finally Oreo succumbed.

Now, they groom each other and sleep together in the same bed.

They’ve found comfort and friendship for however much time they have together.

Calista and Oreo (watch them in action).

And love has softened Calista, too, who now approaches people for affection and attention . . . when Oreo’s not around.


Winter Love Matches

With 2 batches of Little Mountain Rescue pups and a revolving door of Land to Sea cats arriving from Turkey, the cape, and New Jersey, the shelter has been simply hopping with adoptions! Here are some of the latest!

Darcy and Wink welcome newcomer Rose, left.


Susan scooped up the beautiful Fisher boy.


Mac hits the Jackpot with Julie, Carl and Jimmy!


Mrs. Fezziweg, now Maddy, is happy  to live on the Cape with Mary.


Thomas sweeps Mrs. Cratchit off her feet and over to Marstons Mills.


Mary and Steve fall for Peter Cratchit and decide Moby is a more fitting name for this energetic pup, who is always on the move.


Jimmy’s new girl. . . Hazel (formerly Belinda).



Amy couldn’t be happier with Sandy (aka Belle).


Theresa welcomes Holly (now Luna) just in time for Christmas.


Carl and the former Bob Cratchit, now known as Lenny.


Once Bobo was featured at Geronimo’s, he didn’t last long. The Backuses scooped him up in short order!


One of our foster families, the Polchinskis, added Clarise to their pack. Here she is with dad Buzz.


The former Fan, now Tessa, finds love with the O’Dell family.



Introduing Fred Guilderson and family, of Plymouth, MA.


Anna, one of our foster moms, was surprised by her boyfriend, who adopted Harlis for Anna for Christmas! Sleigh bells ring!


The Levys fell instantly for Helen, and off she went, to be forever known as Bella.


Mary chose beautiful Houdina and gave her the very Nantucket-y name of Macy.



Jacob, Jake for short, joins the Dussault family. Who wouldn’t want two lifelong girlfriends?



Our own staff and volunteer extraordinaire, Deron, finally meets his match in sweet, smart Macky!



Miss Pross waited for the perfect match before choosing the Buhlers, who call her Molly.



The Milnes, of Wilmington, MA, chose Mr. Fezziweg and dubbed him Wyatt.


Sassy Nip was super picky, but finally settled on new mom Alyssa.


Oliver Twist, Ollie for short, finds a friend in Allia.



Nomad, of Turkey, goes to live with Tara, of Nantucket.


The Cruzes meant only to foster Toby (center), but we all know how that goes. . .


Cary Hazlegrove snapped this at Pet Photos with Santa. The Hunters, volunteers and fosterers, officially adopted Toby (second from right), which brought their current total to 4 (but overall total to 6 of foster-to-adopts). We dub them the official NiSHA Angels!

Happy Fifth Anniversary, NiSHA!

When the MSPCA departed Nantucket 5 years ago, leaving the island with no animal shelter, a group of dedicated volunteers met to ensure that all stray and homeless animals would be cared for until they were reunited with their families or adopted into life-long, responsible new homes. At that meeting, Nantucket Island Safe Harbor for Animals was born.


All-volunteer run for almost 2 years, NiSHA slowly secured funding, built its infrastructure and created programs for Nantucket families. By year 4, we had hired staff, developed and expanded our programs, and created collaborations with other area agencies to help even more people and pets.

Five years later, our programs include Land to Sea Pet Rescue, which brings adoptable animals to the island; a robust school-year and summer Humane Education program; Lucky Whiskers and Wags Fund, which offers grants to help Nantucketers with emergency medical care for pets; a Pet Food Pantry; a Spay/Neuter Fund; and a Seniors with Pets Assistance fund to help senior citizens with pet care.

To date, NiSHA has cared for over 1,200 stray and homeless animals and aided countless Nantucket families with their pets.

We could not have done it without the Nantucket community—both individuals in the form of donors and volunteers, and businesses as partners and sponsors—rallying behind us.

adoptlittle3 To help celebrate, NiSHA will be giving away a Shelter Pet Goodie Basket. Enter here!

THANK YOU for caring about Nantucket’s lost and homeless pets and their families!



Happy Tails: Our Recent Home Goings

It’s been a busy summer and fall at NiSHA. We’ve had great success finding our cats, birds, bunnies and dogs new, loving homes both on Nantucket and beyond. Enjoy these pictures of our happiest tails!cynthia

Cynthia may have adopted Tigger and Bear, but we adopted Cynthia as a new board member! Welcome!



Blather, now Jackson, and his mom Dani.



Blather’s brother, Duff, now Jax, with his new mom Jenny.



Noelle has gone to live on the cape with Brenna and family. Grandma lives down the street and keeps the cookie jar full for all her grand dogs. Noelle is already having a blast at the neighborhood dog park.



Tom, now Jax, goes home with Emily and friend.



Jarek adopted Robin a while back, then came for Edward, now Otto. Robin likes to share his crate with his new little buddy.



Beautiful Bertha, now Mosie, goes home with the Dailys.



Mr. Fang Poe and new dad Jimmy.



The eyes have it! Abby goes home with Billy.



Richard found himself a family, a “failed foster” family at that!



Moo didn’t last a minute in the shelter. Briana scooped him right up!



Jetty finds love with Alyssa.



Mrs. Sowerberry, now Haven, scored a great home with her new best buddy Huckleberry to show her the way.



Fluff and Buttercup get a wonderful indoor home!



Samantha joins the Gould Clan!



Mrs. Cornay, now Money Penny (far left), joins the Penrose brood, all big Patriots fans!



Patty takes on both Aaron and Alexa (not shown), so as not to separate the sibs.



The Artful Dodger becomes Odi and goes to live with the Thornewills.



Fagin, now Finn, decided to be a manny, and is charged with caring for the Brooks twins!



Keith waited a long time for his very own Princess. Now he and Sandy can live happily ever after.



Adele becomes Summer and goes to live with Griffin, Amy and family.



Brady finds a new family with Maria and Zach.


Bill Sikes (now Bruno) found himself some great friends in Nikolas and Victoria, who are already clicker training him!


Bella got scooped up when the family came to volunteer. Not expecting to adopt, they fell instantly for Bella, and away she went!



Lottie, now Bella, goes home with the Murrays. Sue is one of our Nantucket Steamship Authority angels, so she gets to see the LMR pups coming and going!



And last, but certainly not least, Lori Smith, our own Dog Adoption Coordinator, snagged Robinhood (now Cooker), bringing her personal Mississippi Mutt adoption total to 6!

And THAT is how lives get saved. THANK YOU to all of our adopters, fosterers, volunteers, and supporters. Together we can save them all!

The Lady, the Prince, and the Frog: A Foster Tale

Nitro leaves Nantucket with Tara.

Covered in fatty tumors, walking at a rambling snail’s pace, 13-year-old Nitro was surrendered to the shelter due to a move. His sister, surrendered at the same time, had such a large tumor that she sadly did not survive the surgery to remove it. Left without his lifetime companion, Nitro was looking at a sad future: a long time spent in the shelter while he awaited that very special person willing to adopt a large senior dog.

Nitro, however, had one more card to play: he was one of the sweetest, gentlest, most caring dogs we’d ever met. And he was going to play that card in spades!

At NiSHA, we believe in fostering: getting a shelter pet into a real home allows that pet the feeling of family life, even if only for a short time. We also believe that you have to be creative to find the best option for an animal.

So when the opportunity for an off-island foster home arrived, Lori Smith, our dog adoption coordinator, jumped at the opportunity and came up with a plan to make it work.

Tara, the potential fosterer, was in a difficult transitional period in her own life, and thought a dog would be great company and therapy for her. However, she knew that she was not financially ready for the commitment a pet brings. Fostering would be the perfect fit for her. So she started searching PetFinder for adult and senior dogs near her, and that’s where she found Nitro!

When volunteers were in Hyannis to pick up the LMR dogs, they’d get a visit with Nitro and Tara!

Since she manages the educational farm at Camp Burgess & Hayward (a branch of the South Shore YMCA in Sandwich, MA), she figured she could foster Nitro in the quieter winter months, but in the summer, when camp is in full swing, he’d need to come back to the island.

But she didn’t figure on that card Nitro was carrying. His sweet nature and easy-going, therapeutic personality quickly worked their magic on the other staff and the campers. Tara writes:

“Nitro’s lumpy face, mismatched ears, and incredible disposition won over everyone who met him, whether he was holding down the fort in the office, keeping an eye on the livestock at the farm, accepting love and pets as campers filed into the dining hall, or lounging in the pond by my dock watching the boats go by. On one extraordinarily difficult day, when one of our young staff members unexpectedly passed away, Nitro stepped up as an unofficial therapy dog for our grieving campers and staff—many campers who weren’t comfortable talking to their peers or to the grief counselors instead opted to sit with Nitro, taking comfort in his quiet, loving presence. It’s no exaggeration to say that he brought joy to hundreds of lives during his time at Camp Burgess.”

Nitro lived at the camp surrounded by natural beauty—a pond to wade in, trees for shade—and loving children and adults who adored him. He was experiencing what maybe were the best months of his entire life in what must have seemed like heaven to him.

But now over 14 years old, his large body was slowing down and becoming ill, and soon the vet recommended euthanasia. When the day came, the staff and campers returned Nitro’s favor of supportive love and care. On the day he was humanely euthanized, the staff surrounded him with love:

Nitro enjoys his last day by the pond with a chewy.

“Nitro went easily and comfortably . . . he was lying at the edge of the pond, snacking on delicious treats and surrounded by people who love him.”

And he did not go alone. Tara relates: “As we were digging his grave, a frog came and tucked itself into his blanket and kept watch until we were ready to move Nitro—a kind little sentry to usher him along to his next version of heaven!”

This frog saw Nitro through his transition. The sweetest of Guardian Angels.

What looked like a bleak life for Nitro turned into a life-enriching experience for him, for Tara, and for all the lives he touched. Thank you to Tara, a foster mom willing to open her heart to an older dog; to the camp staff willing to step in and share his care during the busy summer months; and, most importantly, to Nitro, whose own generous and loving spirit secured him a spot in heaven on earth.

If you think you’d like to foster a shelter pet, visit our website to find out more here.

Kids Care!

Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals is proud and lucky to have kids who care for the animals in the shelter. From feeding the rabbits and reading to cats, to helping transport the Mississippi Mutts and raising money for toys and food, kids step up to the plate for animals! Here are some of our favorite pictures showing how much NSHA kids care.


Lily helps socialize Aurora, a new shy kitten, meeting her in a safe spot–her cage!



Ruby cuddles one of the arriving Mississippi Mutts, making her feel right at home on her new island.




Erin and Lizzie collected donations for the shelter pets.



William loves up little Hunter, who was abandoned.


safari girls

The Seafari Girls raise money for the shelter pets every year!



Hunter and Taylor sold lemonade, and Taylor asked for donations to the shelter for her birthday!



Molly plays with one of the kittens during her “Read to Me. . . Ow” session.



Jane, Elizabeth and Matthew sold lemonade to raise money for the shelter animals.



Marina plays an elf to help raise funds for the shelter pets at Pet Photos with Santa.



Phoebe offers Antonio a few treats. As you can see, he’s very receptive!

Our Latest Home-goings!


Lady Middleton, now known as Bella, is going to share her life with another NSHA dog, Millie, and their mom, Patti. There is a whole lot of bouncing going on at their house with these two active girls.



Dirty Harry made a clean break right into the home of Patty, Ed, and new sister Tess.


Ruby Mae and the Sargents

Introducing Ruby Mae Sargent (formeraly Margaret Dashwood). When asked how long Cade had wanted a dog, he said 14 years, (he may be 13 1/2). They think she is the smartest dog in the world.


mia and louie and the Grieders

The Grieders take on Mia and Louie, a sibling pair that couldn’t be more affectionate!


Lucy Steel with Mel Pete and Joan

Lucy Steel becomes Miss Lily. Shown here with her new family Mel, Pete and Joan: a great dog loving family who helped so much on the transport home, plus so lovely to get to know them a little.



Aaron finds love with the Rodriguezes.

Layla was Gail Peck with Mark and Jasmine

Layla, who was Gail Peck, goes home with Jasmine and Mark. The day before she went to live with them, Mark shaved off his big beard, just so she wouldn’t be frightened!


Hazel Belanger

Lucile Bates goes home with new friends Maddy, Mimi, and Lola Belanger, who now call her Hazel. They report that “it’s like she’s always been with us.”


Hannah and the Sullivans

Our own Maire Sullivan and family took on little Eliza Williams and dubbed her Mocha. Mocha is already learning the ropes with Hannah, who is using positive reinforcement to teach Mocha great habits.


Col brandon-buddy 4-16 copy

Colonel Christopher Brandon becomes Buddy and goes home with a pack of Valeros.


Sonny and Nick and Julia

Sonny Crocket here with his new mom and dad, Nick and Julia. Hopefully we haven’t lost Nick as one of our best foster homes!


buddy and the collinss

Buddy finds his final home with Cindy and Chuck. Could he be any prouder of his new situation?


Another LMR twofer, introducing Gigi (formerly Grace) and her new family. Shown here with Twig, Lori and Russell.


Rosie and the Holdgates

Rosie filled the hearts of the Holdgates, who’d just lost a pup far too young.



Zoe had the whole island out looking for her when she escaped from the shelter. This didn’t deter the Precourts, who scooped her up and safely got her home.



And for those of you who missed it, Dax finally found his perfect family, after six months in the shelter! Here is is proudly with Vicki and hubby.