We are following a path or a vision. People identify with this. It is actually a better life. –Gregory Castle
A couple of weeks ago, we shared the story of Pumpkin, the anxious-reactive American Bulldog who managed to find her forever home. Stories like hers, that end well with a dog finding a loving home, are the stories we always want to hear. All too often, however, we instead hear stories of dogs languishing in shelters or being euthanized because nobody chooses to adopt them. These are the stories that are so heartbreaking because we know it doesn’t have to be that way. Best Friends Animal Society knows this, too, and works hard every day to help dogs and other animals find their forever homes. Their motto, “Save Them All,” is why we are thrilled to have Best Friends Animal Society as our 1% partner this month.
From humble beginnings over thirty years ago, Best Friends has grown into a powerful voice for animals who need to be given only a chance to have a wonderful life. Back in 1984, when a small group of animal-loving friends got together to start Best Friends, more than 17 million companion animals were being euthanized in American shelters every year. The problem felt overwhelming, but the group knew that something, even something small, must be done. They started out by building a sanctuary for local animals in southern Utah and have grown into a national movement to save all abandoned and abused companion animals.
Largely through their efforts, and the efforts of like-minded animal lovers across the country, the national number of animals euthanized yearly has shrunk from 17 million to just over 345,000!
Founded on a shared belief in living with compassion, integrity, and kindness in all things and on a desire for connection to something greater than themselves, it is no wonder that Best Friends Animal Society has come so far and achieved so much for animals over the years. They maintain the original sanctuary in southern Utah, where they home at least 1600 rescued animals every day. And Best Friends doesn’t just rescue dogs and cats – they also have available for adoption rabbits, birds, pigs, horses, donkeys, guinea pigs, rats, mice, goats, donkeys, and even a snake! Their advocates work to spread their message and techniques across the country with partner sanctuaries and collaborations with other rescue organizations. Best Friends partner sanctuaries can be found in California, New York, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Utah, and their collaborators take their reach even further to virtually every state in the country.
At Best Friends, it isn’t just about the animals, either. They understand that animal welfare is intricately tied to human welfare, and that is why they also focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work. They take a holistic approach to saving animals that recognizes the interconnectedness of societal issues with animal welfare issues, including the ways in which access to fair housing, education, and job opportunities impacts both people and animals.
Earth Animal is proud to have Best Friends Animal Society as our 1% Partner this month, an organization that shares our values and goals for the betterment of the lives of both animals and people. They are accomplishing amazing things, and we are proud to help them work towards their goal of saving every single animal from senseless killing. Working with folks like this to spread kindness and compassion throughout the world is one of the most rewarding things we do, and we hope that through this work we can help Best Friends Animal Society to “save them all.”