top of page
Adopted Dog Driving to New Home!


Shelter Dog Expert Reviews

In addition to work with numerous shelters, including a dog training demonstration at Animal Care and Control, my ACABC Canine Behavior Counselor certification work with shelter dogs, and 19 years experience, I also volunteered with For Our Friends Rescue Group for over 4 years, performing countless behavioral evaluations to provide the best match between dog and potential adopter, and identify and treat any behavior problems present that would prevent adoption or cause a return of the dog to the shelter.

Determined to save and free as many dogs as possible from cages into love, happiness and

a forever home, I developed my Total Harmony Dog Transformation  System. With it, I have been able to save hundreds of client dogs, shelter dogs, and during my work with For Our Friends Rescue Group I greatly increased adoptability and reduced return rate from 1/2 to an unheard of 1 dog, then quicky rehomed.

August 23, 2006

To Whom It May Concern:


I would like to take this opportunity to bring this important matter to your attention. It is rare that one person makes such an impact for good as Christina Shusterich of NY Clever K9. We are For Our Friends, a small no kill rescue group. Christina is both a behavior specialist and trainer and her insight into the dogs is exceeded only by her dedication to them. Christina has been working tirelessly with our dogs for well over a year, training and evaluating them to help us place them in their new homes and trouble shooting any problems that may arise after adoption. Before Christina joined our group, one third to one half of our dogs were returned due to behavior problems. Since Christina has been working with our group only one dog has been returned. This dog has since been re-evaluated by Christina and has been successfully placed in a more appropriate home. She has also worked tirelessly to train our volunteers to handle the dogs. Because of Christina our dogs are better trained and they’re more adoptable. A trained dog is a happy dog.


In addition, she has herself adopted one of our dogs, a dog that was clearly un-adoptable before Christina began working with her.


The service she provides is priceless. Actually we don’t know how we ran the group before she joined us. We consider her to be an outstanding New Yorker.


Christina is totally dedicated to her canine clients and she has a website that offers many wonderful training


Sincerely yours,

Frederica Szilagyi


For Our Friends

For Our Friends, Inc.

PO Box 203

Oakland Gardens, NY 11364

Our Success Stories – Winter Newsletter 2005


TANYA our wild child is a beautiful greyhound mix that was left to fend for herself when her owner was taken to the hospital. Tanya was never socialized or given any training and had no idea of how to behave in any situation. She was difficult to walk and aggressive toward dogs. But she possessed such a sweet and loving disposition that we all fell in love with her. What to do with her soon became a big problem. Along came Christina Shusterich of NY Clever K9. Christina has helped us with many of our dogs. She started working with Tanya and fell in love, and adopted her. Today Tanya is a happy dog living a wonderful life with her mom and getting the training she needs.

For Our Friends is a non-profit, no kill, all volunteer animal rescue group. All Donations to For Our Friends are tax deductible.

For Our Friends, Inc.

PO Box 203

Oakland Gardens, NY 11364

August 8, 2007

To: Queens Tribune, Best in Queens


I would like to nominate Christina Shusterich of NY Clever K9 as the Best Trainer and Animal Specialist in Queens. I am president of a small Queens based canine rescue group, For Our Friends, and it has been our privilege to work with Christina for the past 3 years. She has made an enormous difference in our adoption policy. Because of Christina all our dogs are evaluated and trained prior to adoption. She has provided us with insight into our dogs that enables us to place them in the most appropriate homes. Her dedication and commitment is phenomenal. Because we are such a small group, we do not have a shelter. We board our dogs at a veterinary clinic where they do not have room to provide us with space to train our dogs. She evaluates and trains our dogs in the parking lot in all sorts of weather. Once this winter she was working with one of our dogs, her nose red and running, her fingers frozen, she turned to me after the session and said what good progress she made today. She was beaming because one of our dogs, that had a problem, was making a breakthrough. It is rare to witness such selflessness.


In addition, she has adopted a dog from us that was totally unadoptable. Sienna, a greyhound mix, was so abused that she had every behavioral problem imaginable. Christina worked with this dog extensively for over a year and decided she would probably never be adopted, so she adopted her. Today Sienna is well on her way to becoming the well adjusted dog she was meant to be.


I hope you will consider Christina Shusterich for one of the best persons in Queens because she

truly is. She is a person making a difference.


Sincerely yours,


Frederica Szilagyi


For Our Friends

For Our Friends, Inc.

PO Box 203

Oakland Gardens, NY 11364

Sherlock Rescued Shelter Lab

Sherlock- Shelter Lab Mix stays in his new home with help from Christina.

Shelter Dog Rehabilitation

Dear Christina:

Sherlock is doing so well.  He even sits on command and does not lay down anywhere as much.  He does great with walks now, pulls only a little, and only some of the time.  I have used all the tools you showed me.  I am so glad we kept him.  He is a wonderful dog.  You were right, how he would just keep getting better!  And yes, he is the biggest toy lover ever.  I get him at least a toy or two a week, as you can tell.

~ Jackie Cigliano 7/10/07

Daisy shelter pitbull mix

Daisy- Shelter Pitbull
Adopted 2x and returned,

finds forever home with Christina’s help!

Fear Aggression, Stranger Aggression

Dear Freddie & all the folks at For Our Friends- For those of you who don’t remember, my husband and I adopted Daisy about 2 1/2 years ago in 2004.  We saw her picture but unfortunately she had already been promised to another family – and in fact, she went to two different families before finally coming to us around Xmas time.  We initially had some issues but thanks to a couple of visits from Christina, we were given the guidance to work through them. She has brought such happiness to our life. She is very energetic and loves to play (her favorite toy is a squeaky ball). We find she has two speeds – full steam and fast asleep.   She’s gone from a skinny 35 pound pup to a 55 pound adolescent (healthy and fit per her last vet visit)! Good luck with your efforts!

~Adrienne Mackay 4/4/07

Sophie - Beagle, Obedience

Sophie - Rescued Beagle from garbage dump finds happy home!

Obedience, Rehabilitation

The Artemis Project 
The Artemis Project is a non-profit, grass-roots animal rescue organization operating on New York’s Upper West Side. Here are stories of some of the animals we’ve helped right here on the Upper West Side:  SOPHIE THE BEAGLE – “Sophie was found on a garbage dump in Virginia.  She was rescued and fostered for a few weeks and then brought into Animal General in Manhattan.  That is where we met.  She is the sweetest girl ever!  All she wanted from the very beginning was to be loved and cuddled.  I worked with a trainer and Sophie graduated in May from NY Clever K9.  She was a puller on the leash and has improved tremendously.  She responds to basic commands and she likes to sleep a lot!”

~Irene Breslaw Grapel 5/20/05

Best Mutt Show Kaufman Studios
Christina Shusterich intoduction as Judge Queens Mutt Show
Mutt Show Dog Kisses Christina Shusterich
Judging Mutt Show - All great!
Mutt Show Winner
Mutt Show Trophy

Queens Mutt Show!

Christina was a Judge at the Kaufman Astoria Arts District "Queens Mutt Show"  9/21/19 crowing the Best Mutt in Queens, all proceeds went to
Animal Care & Control for shelter dogs.

"Such a pleasure to have you as a judge for our Mutt show!  It was a wonderful day. I am so glad you could participate, and thank you so much for your help"
~ Jamie Hook 

bottom of page