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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.

The Stray Hotel


doghotelbestMost of us have seen a stray dog running loose on a Nantucket bike path at least once. Some of us have even attempted a rescue. But then what? Where should we bring a stray dog (or cat) until the family can be located? Where is there room at the inn?

Here is the low down on stray pet accommodations on Nantucket:

If you have found a stray dog or cat, bring it to Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals at 11 Crooked Lane, SIDE DOOR to the left of the building. We are responsible for receiving all strays until they are reunited with their families. If it is after hours or you are unable to bring the animal to the shelter yourself, call the Animal Control Officer at 508-228-1212. The police have a key to the shelter and know how to bring stray dogs in and tuck them in for the night.

If you have lost a dog or cat, call NSHA at 508-825-2287 to see if he or she “checked in” overnight. If not, email a picture and details to We will post the information on our Facebook page, and we and our followers will help get your pet home in a timely manner.

Please note that stray animals are not the responsibility of Offshore Animal Hospital, the veterinary practice at 11 Crooked Lane, which is a totally separate organization from Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals (the shelter). While Offshore does run a dog hotel, it’s for “registered guests” only, and bringing stray dogs there interrupts the staff’s important veterinary work.

If you have pets, make sure they have collars and ID tags on at all times. Current contact information on ID tags saves a stay at the shelter, or, if they do end up checking in, ID tags will minimize their visit—and their bill.


Fall Forever Homes

In late September we wrapped up another 7 Little Mountain Rescue dog adoptions. One bunny, two cats and several kittens also went on home. Enjoy the photos, which show the joy that adoption brings to the whole family.

Archie, now Henry, with his new mom Sonya.


Henry Francis Black simply stole his new mom’s heart. Beth had been waiting to adopt a dog who the cats would OK. Well, the cats OK’d Henry– and the proof is in the picture.



Clay and Jackson said yes to Eddy!


Craig, Brad, Lucy and Brody welcomed Teddy Bear into their home.


Sweet Daphne has made her new family very happy!


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Jackie “O” joins Dina and her family and heads to Montana.


Finn found love with Cyndi.


Max and Carr decided on Erin, now “Grey Lady.” What fun she will have!


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NSHA Volunteers Peter, Susan, and Gwen open their hearts to sweet Sidney.

Teaching Youth about Compassion: NSHA’s Humane Education Program Takes Off

This summer NSHA had two amazing programs to teach Nantucket (and visiting) youth the importance of compassion towards animals.

Our “Read to Me . . . ow” program offered youth ages 5-9 who wanted to volunteer at the shelter the opportunity to spend time with the cats while simultaneously learning about kindness towards animals. In order to give depth to their volunteer experience, the “Read to Me . . . Ow” program asked the volunteers to spend part of their hour reading to the cats and kittens in the communal cat room and then to help tidy up the shelter. Youth read books like “Sophie the Shelter Cat” and “The Bravest Cat! The True Story of Scarlett” then socialized the cats and rabbits, swept the floor, cleaned litter boxes, and weeded the catio. One young reader joined the program in order to become more comfortable around animals. Her mom saw this program as a low-risk/go-at-your-own-pace way to learn how to interact with animals. By the end of the summer, they’d adopted one of our six kittens! We had 15 youth participate in this program.

In August, NSHA’s Humane Education collaboration with Nantucket’s summer camps  (The HEART—Humane Education in Art—Project) culminated in an art show at the Atheneum’s Children’s Library. Youth from 4 summer camps—the Seafari Girls, ACKVenture, Maria Mitchell, and the Murray Camp—interpreted a compassionate theme onto canvas. Our Humane Education intern, Kara Falk, worked with camp counselors on the themes for each age group. Campers chose from age-appropriate humane topics that included “Adopt Don’t Shop,” “Plastics in the Sea,” “Kindness to Animals,” and “Dogs in Hot Cars.” Over 150 art works were displayed at the Weezie Library. “HEART gives children of all ages a chance to think with compassion about the animals in their lives and then to create a piece of art that shares this compassionate outlook with others,” explains Susan Richards, NSHA’s Humane Education Coordinator. Dina Warren, who attended the show at the library, was impressed with what the artists accomplished: “I’m proud of all of the children’s thoughts about animals.They give me hope for the future!”

These pilot projects for NSHA’s Humane Ed program will be repeated—and expanded—in the summer of 2016. Richards points out that “a compassionate and thoughtful lifestyle begins early, with very young children. We need to give our children the knowledge, tools, and motivation to act with kindness in a world that we share with such a wide variety of beings.”

These programs were free of charge and were funded by a grant from the Nantucket Golf Club Foundation. 

“Read to Me . . . Ow” participant reads to one of our kittens.
“Read to Me . . . Ow” participants weed the catio.
Magdalena, HEART participant, and her art.
HEART participant art work.

Summer Happy Tails

Please welcome our newest Happy Tails. The first 6 below are the most recent batch of Little Mountain Rescue mutts to be taken into loving new homes both on island and off. The last two are Nantucket dogs who lucked into great new homes.

Bailey with Jamie and Josh, and new sister (and LMR alum) Daisey Rose.


Cricket (who was Becket) with new sister (and LMR alum) Iris, with Cathy. (Not shown is her new brother, Rocky, and Cathy’s husband, Tom.)


Little Hettie Merlos!


Spencer (who was Robert Goren) with new family Rodger, Georgeann, and Maritza Ballou.


Scupper (who was Scooter) with Diana and John.


Annie (who was Sharon) with Marcia.


Diamond with Sandra.


Zeus, the little min pin on the left, is now called Squid. Toothless is the bearded dragon on Jen’s shoulder. Both found a great new home with Dr. Fraker’s menagerie and family!


Bunnies: Please Re-Home, Not Release

tumblr_mach7nibBQ1rgdtzao1_500This year at Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals, we have had a record number of rabbits in the shelter. We currently have 6 for adoption, and there are at least 9 who have been reported as “stray”—bunnies who have escaped or been purposely released into the wild.

Domestic rabbits are not the same as wild rabbits. Having been raised indoors, and been fed by humans, they cannot survive in the wild. The cold temperatures of winter, our copious raptor population, dogs, feral and domestic cats, and cars are all very real threats to house bunnies who have been released or abandoned. Rabbits who have been released are also in unfamiliar territory, not knowing how to find food, water or shelter.

House rabbits are intelligent, friendly, fun pets. They live to be 8-12 years old, can live indoors and be litter trained, and they need care and attention for the duration of their lives.

Please note that it is illegal in Massachusetts to abandon any pet. NSHA provides an alternative, and we are always happy to take over care when a pet owner no longer can. We accept any animal, any time, and there is no surrender fee (though we are happy to accept donations towards their care). We can also offer spay/neuter assistance.

Rather than release, please re-home. Our staff and volunteers are compassionate and discreet and will walk you through the sometimes difficult decision to surrender a pet. We are here to help.

Wild Horse Sanctuary!

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We are releasing the first live auction item that will be showcased at this year’s fundraising event, Dressed to the K-Nines. Two lucky people will stay in a luxury teepee at the beautiful Mustang Monument – a sanctuary for wild horses in Wells, Nevada. Take a look at their video! Support NSHA and the efforts of the horse sanctuary at the same time! Thank you Mustang Monument for sponsoring our event!



Mustang Monument Logo

Things that Go Boom! (Helping Your Dog Cope with Fireworks)

July 4th—the day many a dog has been dreading all year long. Even before the 4th, Nantucket revelers are lighting off fireworks (illegally) at beach parties or in their own back yards. And your dog is not happy. And he or she may run. In fact, nationwide, more dogs run off on the fourth of July and end up in “the pound” than on any other day.

Unlike thunderstorms, there are no warning signs for fireworks—no pick up in the wind or drop in barometric pressure, so the sudden crack of a firework catches dogs off guard. In addition, a dog’s hearing is much more acute than ours. So what to us is perceived as an (admittedly loud) boom, to them sounds terrifying. And they run—it’s instinctual.

You can help your dog get through this night relatively unscathed.

If you have a few months of prep time, you can try desensitization—play recordings of fireworks at different times of day. Do it completely randomly and go about your business. This will help your dog learn that nothing bad happens and that it’s just part of an average day.

If the Fourth is already upon you, try some (or all) of the following methods to support the shaking, drooling, panting, whining mess that your dog becomes before she heads straight into the shower stall to hide:

  • First and foremost, be sure your dog is good and tired out. A long LEASHED walk will tucker him out and calm him down. If you are going to go leashless, go in the early morning, when no one will yet be thinking of blasting off random practice fireworks.
  • As afternoon approaches, bring your dog inside. Dogs in yards with electric fences can still bolt. And dogs can dig under or scale over a fence with enough motivation or terror. The safest place is going to be inside your house.
  • Put a collar on your dog with tags that include your current home and cell phone numbers and address. If you are away and you have a petsitter, you should put the sitter’s phone number somewhere on the collar. If the dog ends up at the shelter and they try to call you, and you are in timbuktu, they won’t be able to reach you and Fido is in jail for the night, now terrified not only of the fireworks, but of lock up, too.
  • Create a safe haven for your dog—in his favorite room with you or in a crate with the best chew toy he has, if he is crate-trained (don’t, however, use the 4th of July as the night to START crate-training your dog).
  • Dog massage or Tellington Touch ( are tactile options to help calm your dog and have the added benefit of quality one-on-one time with your pooch.
  • If you are out of the house for the night, put her in a room that she can’t get out of and be sure all of your exit doors are securely closed.
  • If you are at home, remain calm. Act as if nothing is wrong, and don’t coddle your dog— that just proves to him something is indeed wrong! (If you are stressed, your dog is stressed.)
  • Distract with games and favorite toys. This is a great time to try search games within the house—hide a few really good, stinky treats under things and then let your dog go in search.
  • Turn on a white noise machine, TV or radio, or play one of the “Through a Dog’s Ear” CDs, which are compilations of soothing sounds geared to the canine ear (available on iTunes).
  • Try a thundershirt—a kind of shirt that tightly swaddles your dog. Thundershirts need to be “practiced” weeks or months pre-thunder/fireworks. Otherwise, your dog will start to associate the shirt with the loud scary noises and become afraid of the shirt itself.
  • Try a calming spray or collar (there are several on the market) or a little Rescue Remedy (just 2 drops) in your dog’s water the day of the fireworks. Melatonin can also be used—Annye’s probably has it.
  • For the worst cases, your vet can prescribe a sedative that you give a little before the fireworks start. However, if you give your dog Acepromazine, you may want to read this article.

If the worst happens and your dog does dash off during the fireworks, call the Animal Control Officer (508-228-1212). Then call Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals (508-825-2287). All stray dogs found by the Animal Control Officer are brought to the shelter at 11 Crooked Lane, side door.

And then read this info on what to do if you are missing a pet.

With enough planning ahead, you and your furry friends can get through this day (and summer). “Hear” it from you dog’s ears, take necessary precautions, and let the booming begin!

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month!

Need to wake up early? Meet Sophie, up at the crack of dawn and lets you know it. Need some walking motivation? Ask for Salem, who walks each day on a leash. Or do you really just need a massage after a long day at work? Have Sassy jump on your back and make a few biscuits! Whatever you’re looking for. . . there’s a CAT for that! Pepper

And June is a great time to find one. In celebration of Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals is holding a few specials to make it easier to find your feline match.

  • Adoption fee waived on senior cats. These experienced, wise souls will have no adoption fee for the month of June and will go home with a new collar. Just looking for a lap, a window sill, some sunshine, they offer you companionship, calming energy and a listening ear.
  • BOGO on Pairs. Adopt one cat and the sibling will go home for free! New collars for these sassy ones, too. We currently have two pairs (one pair of sisters and one pair of brothers) looking for homes, both under one year old—kittens, really! For hours of free entertainment, knickknack rearrangement, paper bag occupation and string theory, come check out these young ones today!

BennyRemember that all of our cats are neutered, receive rabies and FVRCP vaccines, are tested for FELV and FIV, wormed, and microchipped before they come home with you. That is a sweet deal.