Grantee Stories

North Shore Animal League America

Sign from NSALA adoption center, advising seniors wishing to adopt senior pets that the “Olga Graham Fund” can help defray expenses.

Uniting senior adopters with senior pets and advancing the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum

North Shore Animal League America (NSALA), based on Long Island, New York, is the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the United States and world. As a pioneer and leader in the no-kill movement, NSALA has been saving lives of companion animals since 1944. NSALA’s no-kill mission means refuge and care for animals regardless of their age, medical condition or physical challenges. 

NSALA is committed to strengthening the human-animal bond, for people and animals at all stages of life. Two unique programs supported by GFF demonstrate how NSALA accomplishes this goal.  The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum for K-12 students fosters compassion for animals while promoting children’s social and emotional growth. The Seniors for Seniors® program matches seniors over 60 with older animals who have a harder time being adopted and provides a host of benefits to help them care for their new pets. 

Learn more about GFF support for the Seniors for Seniors program on their website:


Back in 2007, GFF first approached NSALA because we felt their Seniors for Seniors program was a perfect match for our priorities. Since that time, our partnership has grown to include sustained support for Seniors for Seniors and the Mutt-i-gree Curriculum for humane education. 

  • After they find the perfect match, the Olga Graham Fund helps low-income Seniors for Seniors program members by covering the cost of their pets’ medical treatment, hence removing obstacles to the adoption of older pets. 
  • GFF also provides funding for the routine preventive care benefits that are offered to Seniors for Seniors Program participants.
  • GFF provides stipends for 16 public school National Mutt-I-gree Student Ambassadors annually to support their community projects for saving the lives of homeless animals 

We have also sponsored targeted capital projects to grow NSALA’s shelter and adoption capacity. Over the years, we have funded: 

  • Cat “condos” to provide comfortable living spaces for cats awaiting adoption; 
  • Remodeling of the Cat Sanctuary; 
  • A dedicated feline exam room in the Special Recovery Center;
  • Support for the newly constructed Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center. 

The Graham Family Foundation has provided support to North Shore Animal League America since 2008. We consider the foundation a valued partner in our lifesaving work. Their support has made a significant difference in our no kill mission to Rescue, Nurture, Adopt, and Educate.

Grants and donations over the years have helped build and sustain important programs at Animal League America such as the Seniors for Seniors®Program, Olga Graham Fund, Cat Habitat with cat “condos”, Special Recovery Center, Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center, and the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum.

The foundation’s thoughtful charitable giving positively impacts animals and people with a focus on helping the older and younger generations of both. We are honored by the trust they place in our ability to save homeless animals and enrich their lives. We greatly appreciate the foundation’s continuing partnership and confidence in our ongoing work.


Seniors for Seniors adoptions of senior animals by senior citizens annually


Schools and libraries reached by Mutt-i-grees Curriculum humane education program

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Seniors for Seniors pets offered free annual Wellness Program and needed vet treatment by the Olga Graham Fund since 2008

Sandra Atlas Bass Philanthropist Award
Sandra Atlas Bass Philanthropist AwardNorth Shore Animal League America
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Dorothy Graham, recipient of The Sandra Atlas Bass Philanthropist Award, has spent her life in the company of remarkable cats, including Mitzi, Taffy, Shameless, and Pepsi. Each was an individual who contributed something unique to Dorothy’s life — and to her “cat fanatic” family. In honor of those felines and in memory of her beloved parents, Dorothy has become a generous supporter of Animal League America and its no-kill mission.
Seniors for Seniors Program
Seniors for Seniors ProgramNorth Shore Animal League America
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Participants in the Seniors for Seniors Program who have limited income may qualify for assistance with their pets’ medical care through a grant from The Olga Graham Fund. Pet owners must meet Animal League America’s guidelines for eligibility and, because funds may be limited, will be chosen on a first-come first-served basis.
Paw Prints Newsletter
Paw Prints NewsletterNorth Shore Animal League America
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Each year, nearly 80 senior citizens adopt adult pets at North Shore Animal League America as part of our Seniors for Seniors Program.

Image Gallery of Our Projects

Bringing the Mutt-i-grees to School

Learn more about NSALA on their websites