Hyde Park, VT, resident Jan Gordon Stangel became acutely aware of an animal welfare problem when she volunteered to walk the stray, unclaimed, and unwanted animals at Lamoille County’s holding kennels. Each animal, Jan learned, was given food and shelter for a period of time assigned by each town; any animal unclaimed or unadopted at the end of that proscribed time period was euthanized. Week after week the heartbreaking realization that lives were being extinguished inspired Jan to use her own funds to establish Lamoille County Adoption Service (LCAS), a private enterprise with the goal of ensuring that no unwanted animals would ever again be euthanized for lack of an organization dedicated to finding new homes. In its first three years of operation new homes were found for 150 companion animals – many of those adopters became LCAS’s original volunteers and they gave generously of their personal time and financial resources. As the number of animals requiring rescue increased, it was apparent that the time had come to launch a non-profit 501(c)(3) state registered humane society.


Lamoille County Humane Society (LCHS) was created and a Board of Trustees assumed its governance. During the first three years as a non-profit registered humane society, nearly 400 more animals were adopted – a greater than 150% increase over Jan’s original adoption service – giving credence to the need for a safety net for innocent animals in Northern Vermont.


The Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the organization to North Country Animal League (NCAL) – a name that more accurately reflected the geographical and philosophical scope of everyone involved. NCAL is the only advocate center for animal welfare in our community and for many other surrounding towns with no service.


The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to make NCAL a limited-access facility – no animal in its care would ever again be euthanized to make room for another.


The reality that the leased location of the previous ten years could no longer meet the needs of the ever-increasing number of animals that required temporary shelter, nor could it accommodate what is required to ensure the well being of the animals being housed or the hundreds of dedicated adult and children volunteers, North Country Animal League launched a $1.629 million campaign for the construction of an animal shelter in Morrisville, Vermont, to provide a safe haven for the rescued animals and their caregivers.


The new shelter is opened in April.


NCAL celebrates its 10,000th adoption.


Tracy Goldfine joins NCAL as Executive Director.


NCAL launches humane education summer camps as a part of its growing humane education program with Humane Heroes Camp and Be a Vet Camp.


The Stowe Equestrian Center sits adjacent to NCAL’s animal shelter. The property, including a barn and 16 acres of pasture, is acquired by NCAL in November.


The COVID-19 pandemic hits. From March to July, the shelter remains operational as an essential business to serve local animals in urgent need.

NCAL’s new Equine Center opens amidst the pandemic and offers summer camps and a lesson program.

The NCAL Meals program is developed to help feed pets in households struggling financially in Lamoille County. NCAL partners with local agencies to distribute food to community members in need.


NCAL operates within a managed intake phase with pet adoptions taking place by appointment only.

The Amelia Scholarship Fund is established to make NCAL’s humane education programs more accessible to families with financial need.


NCAL’s logo is rebranded with the additional trademark names of North Country Pet Adoption Center and North Country Equine Center.

NCAL hires its first Equine Center Director to oversee the growing center, now offering year-round horsemanship and riding programs to the community.