Photography By: Katie Kaizer

NiSHA changes the lives of families and animals alike.

So many children (and adults!) dream of one day opening up the door to find a new furry friend running toward them with a bow fastened to their collar. Indeed, when it comes to unforgettable gifts, few compare to a pet companion. Since 2012, Nantucket Island Safe Harbor for Animals (NiSHA) has been making these moments possible through a thriving animal adoption program that has changed the lives of hundreds of animals and families alike.

NiSHA serves as a safety net to the island’s most vulnerable animals. As Nantucket’s housing crisis forces many animal owners to relinquish their pets, NiSHA has opened its doors to them and found them a home. Just last year, 178 dogs, 68 cats, four turtles, three rabbits, three birds and one guinea pig were taken care of by NiSHA’s dedicated staff and volunteers. Many of these rescued animals come with remarkable survival tales, like the kitten who was found at Altar Rock after she had been dropped from the talons of an owl. Appropriately enough, NiSHA’s staff named the kitty “Hootie.”

From its Humane Education program, which teaches children about kindness and care through interactions with animals, to its Land to Sea Pet Rescue program, which brings together islanders with rescued animals from overcrowded shelters elsewhere in the country, NiSHA has made a tremendous impact on the community here and beyond.

On August 2nd, NiSHA’s annual fundraising event at Bartlett’s Farm, with a theme this year of UN-LEASHED: Animal Wonderland, will give guests an opportunity to support this vital organization. And for those who can’t make the event, there are still many animals back at NiSHA’s headquarters who are looking for a friend. For more information, visit

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