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Hometown Heroes: Animal Lovers League of New York

Joan Phillips of the Animal Lovers League in Glen Cove, N.Y., shares her shelter's proudest accomplishment

"Hometown Heroes" highlights local shelters and grassroots rescue groups who help animals in need around the country

  • President Joan Phillips welcomes a new arrival. One of the shelter's proudest accomplishments, she says, is its feral cat TNR program. Animal Lovers League

  • Sparky gets some handholding—literally—during a training session. Animal Lovers League

  • Cats enjoy the high life. Animal Lovers League

  • Volunteer Ted helps socialize new arrivals to the shelter. Animal Lovers League

  • The Animal Lovers League is Nassau County's only privatized municipal shelter. Animal Lovers League

The hands-on work of local shelters and rescue groups, and the efforts of The HSUS, complement each other. Both are essential to building a strong animal welfare movement—and a society where humane treatment of all animals is valued.

For the launch of this series about local rescue groups, we asked Joan Phillips, president of the Animal Lovers League in Glen Cove, N.Y., to tell us about her shelter. A privatized municipal shelter founded in 1998, Animal Lovers League relies on community support and volunteers.

All photos above provided by Animal Lovers League. This series is reported by HSUS staffer Jim Baker, who writes for Animal Sheltering magazine.

HSUS: What is the most satisfying part of your job?

Joan Phillips: Sharing what I have learned and the sheer joy of seeing the results of a successful adoption!

HSUS: What is your proudest accomplishment?

JP: Our feral cat TNR program. We enlisted the veterinary community and a corps of non-medical volunteers to provide the spay/neuter of free-roaming "community cats." A high point is seeing our staff and volunteers helping feral cat caretakers load their newly-altered felines into their vehicles at the end of one of our free spay/neuter clinics.

HSUS: How did your career evolve?

JP: My sheltering career began in 1994 at a shelter in an old wastewater treatment plant. The conditions were abominable, and information I acquired [at] Animal Care Expo helped us make the best of the situation. We had the passion and willingness to work, and The HSUS "put the tools in our toolbox"!

HSUS: What advice do you give to other shelters?

JP: There is always someone who has faced (and solved) the problems you are experiencing. Utilize the wealth of information available from Animal Sheltering magazine, Humane Society University, SPCA Shelter Pro [records management software], the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA), webinars, listservs, and groups where you can share knowledge and problems with colleagues.

Learn more about TNR and view animals available for adoption at Animal Lovers League»

Did You Know?

The HSUS publishes a magazine for shelter professionals and volunteers, offering resources on shelter management and animal care. Learn more in Animal Sheltering magazine»

The Shelter Pet Project is a serious but light-hearted campaign that takes aim at pet overpopulation and highlights the positives of pet adoption. Learn more»

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