Images of cats and dogs with the text The Humane Society of New York Since 1904

Nellie's Story

Nellie the bulldog with a Christmas collar of bells

Donate To The Sandy Fund In Honor Of Nellie

The Humane Society of New York helps thousands of homeless animals become the star of someone's life. One of them is Nellie the Bulldog, who was adopted from the Humane Society of New York by Dorothy and Bill Berloni. Nellie went on to star on Broadway in the hit show, Legally Blonde: The Musical, entertaining hundreds of thousands of people as well as the Berloni Family.

Broadway animal trainer William Berloni discovered Nellie at the Humane Society of New York in 2008 at 10 months of age. He worked with Nellie and she became a regular character in the national road and regional touring shows of Legally Blonde: The Musical. She traveled all over the country, appearing in more than 700 consecutive shows. Later, a demonstration tape made of Nellie led to her being selected to play the canine role in Paterson. During production it was discovered Nellie had cancer and her schedule was altered to accommodate her medical treatment and health issues. Nellie died at the age os eight after her shooting had wrapped. She was nominated for best dog actor at Cannes in 2016 for her performance and became the first Palm Dog winner to receive the award posthumously. Producer Carter Logan accepted the prize, a golden collar, and urged folks who were inspired by Nellie's story to adopt a dog as opposed to purchasing one from a store or breeder.

Nellie passed away of bone cancer in 2016. Like the famous Sandy from the musical Annie, she wants to give back to the HSNY, the organization that initially saved her life, so that she could be adopted. The Berlonis ask you to make a donation to the Sandy Fund at the Humane Society of New York in memory of Nellie to support the work of the Society.

You might also want to visit the Society to adopt your next star. – Dorothy & Bill Berloni

The Sandy Fund of the Humane Society of New York was established by Dorothy and Bill Berloni to honor the memory of the rescue dog who originated the role of Sandy in the Broadway production of Annie, which opened on Broadway in 1977. The Sandy Fund provides for the needs of homeless dogs, cats, and other animals.