Laws, ordinances, and policies deeply affect the animals we love. They can make the difference between a pet going to a shelter or staying in a home. They can also determine which animals get second chances and which ones are killed in shelters.
That's why advocacy is a key part of our work to reach no-kill in every community nationwide by 2025. Best Friends is working with lawmakers across the country on the most pressing issues our nation’s pets face.
Overturning a breed ban
In 1987, Minot, North Dakota, banned pit bull terriers and all pit-bull-terrier-like dogs. Best Friends’ shelter partner Souris Valley Animal Shelter (SVAS) was the only safe haven for blocky-headed dogs in the city. But in 2022, a local official notified the shelter that it could no longer care for or adopt out these dogs.
If picked up by animal control, they could be killed. Using grassroots organizing tools from Best Friends, SVAS started a petition. Best Friends’ 2025 Action Team helped, and the petition gained more than 2,000 signatures in the first 24 hours.
Within two months, the dedicated shelter staff and caring community overturned the breed ban.
“There is so much injustice for pups, especially (pit bull terriers). They need protection not banning.”
Rachelle, petition signer
By the numbers: Advocacy and legislation
Best Friends 2025 Action Team members took over 100,000 actions to support pet-friendly laws and policies across the country.
Legal/legislative wins in 2022 helped fight puppy mills (10), end breed-specific legislation (five), protect outdoor cats (seven), and keep pets with their people (four).