Northeast Animal Shelter, established in 1976, is one of New England’s largest non-profit, no-kill animal shelters. Our record of saving over 130,000 pets since we were founded shows that we are staying true to our mission to save as many adoptable dogs and cats as we can and find them loving forever homes.

At NEAS, even if an animal has a medical condition that can’t be fixed but can be managed, we’ll try to place the dog or cat with an adopter willing to give it loving care during its remaining life. At Northeast Animal Shelter, no adoptable animal will ever be euthanized.  However, “no-kill” does not mean “never kill,” and we occasionally have to make the difficult decision to euthanize terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous to public safety.

When we have difficult-to-place dogs, volunteers and staff spend extra time socializing them. We also may send troublesome dogs to live several weeks outside the shelter with a professional trainer. In 2017, we spent over $15,000 on such training.

If a dog or cat causes injury to people or other animals, several staff members meet and discuss the circumstances. When did it bite? How many times? Whom did it bite? How serious was the bite? Where did it bite? Was the animal provoked or scared? Can the animal be trained?

Here is a history of all of the dangerous dogs and cats that we have made the difficult decision to euthanize in recent years:

  • 2018: Two dogs with multiple bite histories. One bit its adopter in the face in an unprovoked spontaneous attack for no apparent reason and sent him to the hospital. The other dog was evaluated by a professional trainer who determined that the dog was dangerous and likely to cause severe injury in the future. We are currently on track to successfully adopt out as many pets as last year.
  • 2017: One dog (adopted and returned twice) with an extensive history of biting its adopters and shelter staff, and one cat that attacked a shelter employee and visitor without warning. Our employee required emergency treatment at the Salem Hospital. During 2017, we processed 5,214 adoptions.
  • 2016: Two dogs, both adopted and returned, with a history of biting their adopters. During 2016, we processed 4,354 adoptions.

Making life and death decisions is always difficult and heart-wrenching. We view every pet’s life as precious, and we always go to great lengths to find a suitable adopter.

We are thankful to have so many wonderful supporters and families who opt to adopt.