North Shore Animal League Rescue Mission Life-Changing for One Employee

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David Haliski with his dogs Knox and Kayla

North Shore Animal League Rescue Mission Life-Changing for One Employee

Having served as a digital designer at North Shore Animal League America for almost eight years, David Haliski developed a keen interest in understanding the organization’s rescue operations. When his request to join the Rescue Team on a mission in Missouri was granted, he had no idea of the immense impact it would have, not just on his own life but also that of an 18-month-old Labrador Retriever named Knox.

Haliski and the team of veteran rescuers including Rescue Manager Karla Agostinello and Rescue Team Lead Ted Moriates worked alongside one of Animal League America’s partners, Colorado-based National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR), to organize the medical care and transfer of about 50 dogs back to Long Island.  

“During the two-and-a-half days it took to reach Missouri, I was truly overwhelmed by the amount of animal advocates we encountered. One supporter followed us for miles, just to show her gratitude for our work. She even offered to give a donation on the spot,” says Haliski. “It really puts into perspective the importance of these life-saving missions, and it speaks volume to the amount of support we and other rescue groups have gained throughout the years.” 

Upon arrival, Haliski was overcome with a wave of intense emotions upon laying eyes on the multitude of crates filled with frightened dogs. 

“Many were shaking and shivering, some so scared they were unable to walk and had to be carried over to our mobile unit,” says Haliski.  

With so many dogs and a relatively small rescue crew working tirelessly to make sure each pup was vetted and carefully loaded into the mobile unit for the return trip, Haliski tried to offer as much comfort as possible to those that appeared more fearful than others.

“As I sat with Knox, he reminded me so much of my own 10-year-old Lab, Kayla, and I couldn’t help but think how frightened she would be in a situation like this,” says Haliski.  

Haliski formed an immediate bond with Knox, and soon arranged a meet-and-greet with his wife and Kayla. Knox was adopted shortly thereafter and is now thriving with his new family. Kayla even took Knox under her wing and taught him everything he needed to know about being the ultimate family dog.

One of the best ways to help dogs like Knox is by avoiding commercial breeders and pet stores who prioritize profit over the welfare of animals. Adoption is a more compassionate and responsible choice, and with so many homeless animals in search of a furever home, saving a life has never been easier. If adoption isn’t an option, consider donating to your favorite rescue organization or animal shelter because funding is what makes life-saving missions like this one possible. 

For more information about Animal League America, visit animalleague.org