Best Friends Animal Society and Southern Utah University partner in offering scholarships to Paiute Tribal Members

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Michelle Sathe : 661-803-2909 or


Best Friends Animal Society and Southern Utah University (SUU) continue to evolve the Contemporary Animal Services focused learning opportunities with a ceremonial signing of a scholarship agreement that took place on March 7, 2023, at the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah Tribal Administration Building in Cedar City, Utah. The agreement for the Best Friends Southern Paiute Scholarship was signed by Tribal Chairwoman Corrina Bow from the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah (PITU) and Julie Castle, CEO for Best Friends Animal Society. 


“The Tribe is very excited about this collaborative partnership, and the positive benefit the investment in educational opportunities will be for our communities. We are excited for the scholarship recipients and look forward to the difference they will make to benefit our communities,” said Shane Parashonts, Tribal Administrator for the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah. “We are thankful to Best Friends Animal Society and Southern Utah University for their partnership and their sincere interests in supporting the growth and development of our people.” 


This is the third time Best Friends Animal Society is offering a scholarship for a Southern Utah University (SUU) Online General Studies bachelor's degree with a focus in Contemporary Animal Services, as well as four seats to multiple professional development certificate courses. The Best Friends Animal Society and SUU scholarships will be offered once a year for five years, with a cumulative value of $78,640. 


“Animal Services is an essential component to community wellbeing and celebrating companion animals in our lives. Best Friends is honored to work closely with the Paiute Tribe and Southern Utah University to make these learning and development opportunities available,” said Julie Castle, CEO for Best Friends Animal Society and a 1994 graduate of Southern Utah University. “The goal is that graduates will bring this knowledge back to their communities to lead the way in the creation of programs and services to help both community members and animals.” 


At the time of the award of the scholarship, the recipient should either: 


  • Work or plan to work or volunteer directly for the PITU or with one of the Southern Paiutes 

  • Work with or volunteer for an animal welfare nonprofit or other organization who is supporting the PITU or Southern Paiutes 

  • Engage or plan to participate in substantial activities that support the PITU’s or Southern Paiute’s animal services and veterinary needs 

Preference will be given to candidates who are enrolled members of the PITU, then secondarily to those who have demonstrated ties, familial or otherwise, to the PITU, specifically members of the Southern Paiute tribes. 

“We are pleased to be working with Best Friends to further extend animal services educational opportunities,” said Melynda Thorpe, SUU Community and Professional Development executive director. “This partnership builds careers, builds degrees and benefits our communities.” 


The scholarship offerings include: 


  • Four scholarships each year for the Principles of Contemporary Animal Services Certificate - offered twice a year and upon completion award 3 CEU credits applicable to SUU degrees. 

  • Four scholarships each year to the following micro-credential animal services courses – Dog Lifesaving Course, Cat Lifesaving Course and Studies in Contemporary Animal Services. These courses are offered twice a year and upon completion, the trio of courses award 3 CEU credits applicable to SUU degrees. 

  • One scholarship each year for five years for the SUU Online General Studies bachelor’s degree with a focus in Animal Services. 


The application deadline is March 28, 2023, and the scholarship recipient announcement will be March 31, 2023. Please apply for the scholarships here: 

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to 380,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,400 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit