A better world through kindness to animals
Best Friends Animal Society is guided by a simple philosophy: kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us. In the late 1980s, when Best Friends was in its early days, roughly 17 million dogs and cats were being killed in shelters every year. Despite the commitment of shelter workers to the animal in their care, the conventional belief was that little could be done to lower that terrible number.
Best Friends' No More Homeless Pets campaign created a new vision: a grassroots effort to place dogs and cats who were considered "unadoptable" into good homes, and reduce the number of unwanted pets through effective spay and neuter programs. since then, the number of dogs and cats being destroyed in shelters has fallen to approximately 5 million a year. There has been much progress, but there is still much more to do.
The next phase of this work – bringing the number down to essentially zero – will take more work and
some bold new initiatives. Shelters are crowded with pit bulls, dogs abandoned after being bought from pet stores, stray cats rounded up on the streets and not looking their very best when they’re brought in, and other pets abandoned or neglected.
As the flagship of a grassroots network of people and organizations that care about animals, Best Friends continues to lead the way towards this future. And that's why our purpose remains: A better world through kindness to animals.
At the sanctuary
The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary at Angel Canyon, at the heart of the Golden Circle of national parks in southern Utah, is home on any given day to about 2,000 dogs, cats, and other animals, who come from shelters and rescue groups around the country for special care they can only receive at Best Friends.
ARF saves dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters and brings people and animals together to enrich each others lives. ARF strives to create a world where every loving dog and cat has a home, where every lonely person has a companion animal, and where children learn to care.
ARF was created in 1991 by Tony and Elaine La Russa to address the needs of companion animals. Their vision for ARF is an organization that can not only aid abandoned and homeless animals, but also promote the concept that people's lives can be enhanced by strengthening the bonds between humans and animals. With these intertwined goals as the guiding principles, and an intention to become a national as well as local leader, ARF has designed progressive programs for many populations including abused children, the elderly, victims of violence and others who can benefit from the healing contact of animals.
ARF is growing to meet the demands of the 21st century with the first private adoption and education center in Contra Costa County, California. ARF will continue to respond to the immediate needs of animals who have been neglected, abused or deprived of love to ensure they find high quality homes. At the same time, ARF will embody the vision of a better future-one where animals are respected for the unique role they can and do play in making the world a better place for people to live and where there is a stable and loving home for every pet to complete its natural lifespan.
We welcome you and all creatures great and small !