Best Friends Animal Society Lifesaving Centers Across the Country Will Be Waiving Adoption Fees for Big Dogs

Woman and kid, outside hugging a big, brown dog
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Alina Hauptman :

(Kanab, Utah)  — From huskies to shepherds, terriers to mutts, animal shelters and rescue groups all over the country are currently inundated with dogs over 40 pounds. Each of these dogs are awaiting a second chance at a new life. 

Kicking off on October 1, Best Friends Lifesaving Centers and Programs in Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Houston, and the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT are waiving adoption fees for dogs 40 pounds and over.  

In addition, Best Friends Animal Society has teamed up with more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters across America for the “Love Large” Big Dog Adoption campaign. Throughout the month of October, these groups will be running their own incentives and promotions to help get big dogs adopted.   

“Our goal is to get as many big dogs as possible out of shelters and into homes this October,” said Julie Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society. “Right now, there is a shelter crisis going on across the country, with many shelters at, or beyond, full capacity. It’s no small thing to adopt a big dog. And by adopting one, you are playing an important role in helping Best Friends reach our goal of making the country no-kill by 2025.” 

This past June, Best Friends Animal Society released their annual data showing that for the first time in five years, U.S. shelter systems saw a setback in lifesaving. In 2021, the number of dogs and cats killed in U.S. shelters increased from 347,000 to 355,000 and those numbers were especially dismal for big dogs as dog intake increased by nearly three times the rate of dog adoptions.  

The “Love Large” adoption campaign is an opportunity to educate the public that big dogs can be part of almost any home, no matter the size.  

“There are so many myths about big dogs that we need to debunk,” said Castle. “Pets are individuals with their own unique needs, and we are excited to dedicate an entire month to showcasing that big dogs have big hearts and can make the perfect pet.” 

The campaign aims to educate the public on why big dogs can make sure excellent companion pets, including: 

  • They can make great pets for apartment living 

  • They tend to bark less than their smaller counterparts 

  • They can be a great addition to homes with kids and cats 

  • They are sometimes just oversized lap dogs who can give double the cuddles

Those not able to commit to adoption can still make a lifesaving impact for big dogs by temporarily opening their home to a foster dog through their local shelter or rescue. Food, supplies and medical treatment are typically provided free of cost to fosters.  

“Whether it’s a foster or adoption, dogs thrive in a home environment,” Castle said. “Shelters are really struggling right now, so we urge those who can open their hearts and homes to a big dog please do so as soon as possible. Not only will you be saving a life, but you’ll be also part of the movement to make America a no-kill country by 2025.” 


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 around 400,000 last year. 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 4,600 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit