Behind the Scenes

Scroll down to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Best Friends, which includes animal care statistics and animal rescue facts.


Shelter care statistics

Total animal care staff (including all caregivers and other support staff, maintenance, administration, etc.) is 175.



  • 267 animals have received hydrotherapy since mid-2005, including 1 cat, 1 horse and 1 pig
  • Yearly clinic averages, not including the department satellite clinics (estimated):
    • Surgeries: 4,259 (Includes spay/neuter, misc., and after-hours surgeries)
    • Appointments: 15,000
    • Dentals: 396
    • Total spay/neuter surgeries since May 2007: 13,000+ and counting

Emergency response 

Since Katrina, we have rescued almost 9,000 animals via 15 response efforts, including Hurricane Katrina, Reno, Pahrump, South Dakota floods, recent wildfires, and dogs on cliffs, etc.


  • 2,377 pounds of food per week (average)
  • 123,604 pounds of food per year (average)
  • In 2012, we averaged 435 dogs at the Sanctuary (monthly average)
  • In 2010, we used 4,434 bags of dry food and 3,160 flats of wet food
  • Approximately 25 loads of laundry are done every day in Dogtown

Cat World
  • Cat World uses about 464 pounds of litter per day!
  • In 2013 (through July), we have admitted more than 30 kittens.
  • The oldest cat ever adopted was Antoinette. Not only was she over 21 years old, she was also FIV-positive! Jasmine, also over 21 years old, was adopted in 2013.
  • In 2012, 23 FIV-positive cats and 13 FeLV-positive cats were adopted.
  • 2013 (through July): 15 FIV-positive cats and 7 FeLV-positive cats have been adopted
  • Our average monthly kitten population is 42.
  • Over 2,500 feline sleepovers have taken place since the cat sleepover program began in December 2008.
  • There are currently 146 cats approved to go on overnights.
  • How much food do we go through a week?
    • Approximately 523 pounds of wet food and 390 pounds of dry food per week
    • Approximately 27,208 pounds of wet and 20,120 pounds of dry food per year
    • In 2012, we averaged 608 cats at the Sanctuary (monthly average).

Bunny House & Rescue Village Rabbits
  • Per day: 52 cups of pellets, 240 cups of greens per day
  • Per year: 18,900 cups of rabbit pellets, 85,000 cups of greens
  • Approximately 280 bunnies live at the Sanctuary.

Horse Haven (Horses and Pigs)
  • Horses are fed at least twice a day.
  • Average population per month: 72 (includes horses, mules, donkeys, sheep, and goats) 
  • Our pigs eat up to four boxes of lettuce each day and are now group fed.
  • Although pigs are omnivores, they don't require meat in their diet. So at Best Friends, they eat a vegetarian diet.
  • The average horse eats about 20 pounds of hay per day. For horses with dental issues or other special dietary requirements, we supplement concentrated feeds that contain other things, such as beet pulp, grains, etc.

Parrot Garden (Birds)
  • Approximately 9,000 pounds of pellets per year
  • Approximately $1,500 worth of fresh and frozen vegetables
  • In 2012, we averaged 97 birds at the Sanctuary (monthly average)
  • Birds do not live on seeds alone. Diets of too much seed cause liver problems, and birds should actually have lots of fresh fruit and veggies.