Back by Popular Demand ... Comedian Carol Leifer Hosts North Shore Animal League America's 10th Annual Lewyt Humane Awards Luncheon

May 20, 2011, 12:58 ET from North Shore Animal League America

Honorees include: Actress Kathryn Erbe to receive the Mutt-i-grees® Advocacy Award and Nestle Purina PetCare Company to receive the Outstanding Corporate Support Award

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- North Shore Animal League America, the world's largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, will honor several individuals, organizations, and a hero pet at its tenth annual Lewyt Humane Awards Luncheon.


The event, which is being held at the Garden City Hotel, Garden City, New York, on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, from 12 p.m. until 2:30 p.m., will be hosted for the second year, by Emmy Award-winning writer, producer and stand-up comedian Carol Leifer.  Back by popular demand due to her charm and wit, Ms. Leifer is a great supporter of the Animal League, and pet parent of seven rescue dogs. 

The Lewyt Humane Awards are being presented to those whose actions reflect the Animal League's mission to rescue, nurture and adopt orphaned animals into loving homes. The honorees are:

The Mutt-i-grees Advocacy Award – awarded to Actress Kathryn Erbe, Law & Order: Criminal Intent.   As a pet owner, animal lover and spokesperson for the American Mutt-i-grees Club, Ms. Erbe has helped to promote the uniqueness of mixed-breed shelter pets through public service announcements and campaigns.  With more than 25 million mixed-breed dog owners in America, she has encouraged potential adopters to consider a Mutt-i-gree, helping to reduce euthanasia rates.  Ms. Erbe is the proud owner of two American Mutt-i-grees named Lilah and Tallulah, both adopted from North Shore Animal League America.

Outstanding Corporate Support – awarded to Nestle Purina PetCare Company.  Purina has an exemplary history of helping North Shore Animal League America expand its national cooperative and mobile pet adoption programs significantly.  In addition, during their sponsorship, Purina has generously donated food that has nourished over 250,000 animals in our care, making it possible for us to save so many more lives.

Scarlett Award for Animal Heroismawarded to ABC News Chopper Pilot Randy Empey's dog Sasha for her remarkable act of heroism.  The actions of this incredible dog saved the life of her elderly neighbor who had fallen in the snow in the early morning hours of a cold winter's day.  Sasha's understanding of knowing that someone's life was in danger reflects the very spirit of this heroic award.

The Alex Lewyt Award for Mill Dog Rescue awarded to well-known pet groomer, Jorge Bendersky.  His passion is evident as he donates hours of his time to the Animal League grooming mill dogs, which were rescued from inhumane conditions.  Jorge's empathy enables him to gain the love and trust of the pet in his care and make them feel wonderful inside and out, bestowing love, grooming, dignity and preparing them for their permanent homes.  

Spirit of Compassion Awardawarded to Rescue the Animals, Abilene, Texas, for their incredible effort and dedication to saving the lives of animals.  Their partnership with North Shore Animal League America and the Tour For Life has been extraordinarily impressive.  This was evident in 2010, when 50 dogs were on death row and Rescue the Animals adopted out all 50 dogs by the end of the event.  Then in 2011, they held a 48-hour long TFL adoption event and when the clock struck midnight, one-hundred pets had found loving homes that day.

Friend of the Animal League Award – awarded to Petland Discounts in recognition of their dedication to helping save animal lives through inviting the Animal League to hold regular adoption events at their locations throughout the Tri-State area.  They have also been dedicated to fundraising for the animals not only through their donation box program, but also the successful campaign, "Paws to Give Thanks."

Media Award of Distinction – awarded to WABC-TV's The View, for providing a platform to millions of viewers promoting the mixed-breed dog through its annual "Mutts Show," aka Mutt-i-grees®.  With The View's support of Mutt-i-grees, this will ultimately help save the lives of homeless pets.

Proceeds of the Luncheon, named in honor of Animal League founders, the late Alex Lewyt, and his wife Elisabeth Lewyt, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, benefit North Shore Animal League America's mission to rescue, nurture and adopt an average of 20,000 homeless animals annually.

To purchase tickets or for more information on the Lewyt Humane Awards Luncheon, contact or 516.883.7900 ext 821 or visit

Devera Lynn

SOURCE North Shore Animal League America