NiSHA Programs

Pet Shelter

Homeless, abandoned and relinquished pet shelter. NiSHA takes in and cares for Nantucket’s stray and surrendered pets, whether given up due to a move or allergies or found wandering the lanes of Nantucket. We will never turn away an animal in need. All incoming animals receive sterilization, vaccines and microchip before going on to new homes. 

Stray Dog Shelter

NiSHA is the town’s contracted stray dog shelter. All lost dogs brought in by Nantucket’s Animal Control Officer or citizens are cared for and safe until their owners can be located. With our public Facebook page and Twitter account, strays go home more quickly than ever.

Land to Sea Pet Rescue

NiSHA helps overcrowded Massachusetts shelters with their overflow of adoptable cats and kittens, finding them loving homes on Nantucket. We also partner with Little Mountain Rescue in Mississippi, and other dog rescues, to transport adoptable dogs to Nantucket, thereby saving lives!

Pet Food Pantry

NiSHA has food for any pet in need. People can come up and get food straight from the shelter. We also partner with Meals on Wheels to ensure that both people and their pets have reliable nutrition. 

Lucky Whiskers and Wags Fund

While all of our animals receive an exam, vaccinations and neutering, NiSHA’s Lucky Whiskers and Wags fund covers the costs of “above and beyond” medical expenses for animals needing surgery, medications, or other long-term medical care. Providing this medical treatment is not a luxury; treating medical issues while the animal is in our care is the humane thing to do and makes the pet more adoptable. This program is made possible in part by the Carlee Charitable Trust, ASPCA’s Lil Bub’s Big Fund and the Community Foundation for Nantucket. Donations are always welcome for this program.

Community Outreach

NiSHA visits community groups in order to publicize our services for animals: the Rotary, NHA Brown Bag Lunch series, Sherburne Commons, the Island Fair, the island nursing home, and the Farmer’s Market are all outlets for educating community members about pet overpopulation, the rewards of pet adoption, and the humane treatment of companion animals.


Spay/Neuter Island Pets Program. NiSHA offers low-cost sterilization vouchers for island pets. All qualified animals receive a discounted spay or neuter, thereby helping to keep Nantucket’s pet population in check. This program made possible in part by the Massachusetts Animal Coalition and the Cape Cod Foundation’s Thomas C. McGowan Fund for Animals. Donations always welcome.

Humane Education

NiSHA’s Humane Education program focuses on teaching young people the value of humane thinking. Our program includes animal safety, compassionate living, animal adoption and our responsibilities towards our animal companions. Summer programs include Read to Me. . . ow and Humane Education in Art (HEArt).

Seniors with Pets Assistance

The SPA Fund makes grants to seniors to cover various one-time or short-term medical and other incidental costs for pets to help Nantucket residents 65 years of age and older keep their animal companions in their homes. Funded by the Michael C. Graham Foundation.