For almost 30 years my husband and I worked for State Government in South Dakota. We had good jobs with excellent benefits. Those jobs allowed us to raise 5 children. We were not rich, but we could provide for everyone’s needs. I was good at my job, and it gave me a degree of satisfaction. That ended the day I watched Nat Geo’s series DogTown.
The show highlighted the dog department of Best Friends Animal Society. It ran for 3 years and Kevin and I watched every single episode. I knew that I had finally found an organization whose mission I could believe in. In 2010 I followed my heart to come work for and with the animals. It has been amazing.
Best Friends is the only animal welfare organization whose primary purpose is to ending the killing of healthy animals in America’s shelters. To that end BFAS supports many different projects. (credit to the Best Friends website for this data).
- The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is spread on approximately 3,700 picturesque acres in the red rock country of Southern Utah. On any given day, it’s a place where about 1,700 dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and more find healing, medical care, behavioral training, love and a home between homes. Last year more than 1000 animals found their new home.
However, Best Friends’ work extends well beyond the Sanctuary. The data below is from 2013.
- More than 160,000 animals were helped by Best Friends programs.
- 3,353 pets found homes through the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles. Our NKLA Coalition found homes for more than 24,000 pets in Los Angeles shelters, while helping to reduce shelter deaths from about 19,000 in 2012 to approximately 14,000 in 2013.
- Around 23,000 pets received spay/neuter services from Best Friends–Utah programs and across the state. For the first time, 23 Utah shelters and communities reached a 90 percent or better save rate, a big step toward taking the entire state to no-kill status.
- 763 pets from 65 organizations found homes at Best Friends’ fall and spring super adoption events in New York.
- Community cat programs have helped bring the save rate for cats in shelters up to 74 percent in San Antonio, Texas, 87 percent in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and nearly 86 percent in Jacksonville, Florida.
- Breed-discriminatory legislation was defeated in 36 cities, four counties and six states, while more than 540,000 pit bull terriers were positively impacted by Best Friends’ pit bull initiatives nationwide.
- More than 3,600 dogs took Best Friends’ Pup My Ride to safety, while Best Friends was directly involved in banning the retail sale of puppy mill dogs in 11 communities across the country, including Chicago and Los Angeles.
- The number of Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network partners saving lives across the country surpassed 800 (this number is currently more than 1100). A grand total of 9,524 pets from network partners were adopted through Best Friends adoption promotions.
In the coming weeks, PBS will be highlighting Best Friends on their show Visionaries. But you can watch the episode now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy__ruG0XNo It is well work a half hour of your time.
Everything that we do is funded by donations, big and small. The organization was built on $25 member donations. If you take a look on Charity Navigator, you will see that Best Friends has one of the highest ratings of any animal organization. That is because the majority of every dollar donated actually does what you intend it to do: help animals. It isn’t paying cushy salaries or for golden parachutes for executives. It is going to help Save them All.
You can be part of this amazing work. You can help a heart keep beating. You can help save dogs from the ravishes of Breed Discrimination. All you have to do is become a Best Friends member. Not only will your $25 donation go to help the animals, you will receive the Best Friends magazine, which is amazing!
If you would like to join us…..you can become a member here: http://www.bestfriendsgive.org/JJohnson