Dogs like this rescued Chow mix at a Best Friends adoption event are just one of many reasons to rescue a pet.

Adopt a pet and save a life

In 2023, 380,000 dogs and cats were killed annually in our nation's shelters. But it doesn't have to be that way. An estimated 17 million people will add a new pet to their families this year. If more of them would choose to adopt a pet, instead of buying one, we could reduce the number of animals killed in shelters significantly.

Reasons to adopt a pet:

  • You will save a life.
  • If you adopt an adult pet, there's a possibility you can avoid some of the hassles related to house-training and teething, which are associated with puppies and kittens. Of course, if you prefer a puppy or kitten, rescue groups and shelters have plenty of those available as well.
  • You'll save money because adoption costs less than buying an animal from a pet shop or breeder.
  • Perfectly "perfect" animals of all breeds, shapes, ages and sizes are available at shelters and rescue groups. Just because an animal ends up there doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them. They are just in need of a second chance, and there are even more reasons why you should adopt a pet, that will all lead to saving more animal lives.
  • You just might meet your best friend. Start your search now.

What Best Friends is doing

Thanks to so many rescue proponents around the country, both individuals and organizations, we believe that adoption is fast becoming the hip way to acquire a pet, and that it's just a matter of time before buying a pet feels as strange for most people as throwing a recyclable plastic bottle in the trash.

But just because we're on a good trajectory doesn't mean we can let up. So encouraging adoption is a common thread that runs through nearly all the work we do.

Here are just a few of the things Best Friends is doing to make adopting a pet convenient and desirable:

  • Hosting super adoption events in cities across the country. Each event finds homes for hundreds of animals in just one weekend.
  • Running adoption centers in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York, and Northwest Arkansas, where all animals up for adoption come from local shelters.
  • Creating marketing promotions for use by our Best Friends Network partners (one popular promotion is Back in Black, designed to encourage people to adopt black animals, often overlooked in shelters).
  • Hosting a nationwide database of adoptable pets right on this website. Search for adoptable pets here.

Adopt to Save Them All.