Group of five pugs lying or sitting on an outside lounge chair

In loving memory of Lillie, Maxine, Henry and Maggie

The love that BJ and Steve Hansen and their pugs shared will live on and is honored here at the Best Friends Pet Resource Center.

heart with paw print

In loving memory of Lillie, Maxine, Henry and Maggie

“Pugs are like potato chips — you can’t have just one,” BJ Hansen says when explaining why she and her husband, Steve, adore the fun-loving little dogs. The couple always had an affinity for pugs but didn’t share their lives with them until Steve surprised BJ with one on their wedding anniversary about 15 years ago.

The first pug’s name was Lillie. Then came Maxine, Henry, Maggie and Frankie, bringing the Hansens’ pug pack to five. The dogs spent a lot of time being chauffeured around the country in the family’s motor home. Once, at a rest stop in Canada, four of them climbed up to sit in a row on the wide dashboard of the motor home, drawing a crowd of admiring tourists.

Today, Frankie (originally found wandering on a highway by a good Samaritan) is 13. He shares the Hansens’ hearts and home with another rescued pug named Millie and a herding dog named Zari, who was adopted from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary during one of the Hansens’ many volunteer trips there.

Pugs are more than companions and copilots to the Hansens. They are also teachers. The Hansens believe that pugs can teach us humans many things about life and unconditional love. Their main message? Be like a pug: Cherish life, be joyful. Live in the moment and have a good time.

You can help keep Lillie, Maxine, Henry and Maggie's legacy alive

The Best Friends Pet Resource Center in Northwest Arkansas is a first-of-its-kind, fully reimagined animal shelter designed to support both pets and the people who love them.

As the future of animal sheltering, the Best Friends Pet Resource Center is more than just a place to adopt a pet. It’s a community destination that gives people better connection to adoptable pets and to each other, provides support for families to keep pets in homes, and offers opportunities for animal lovers to help make the state of Arkansas and the entire country no-kill in 2025.

It's also a place where we pay tribute to beloved pets like their pugs with the sculptures you see displayed around the center and grounds, and a place where we express gratitude for generous donors like BJ and Steve Hansen.

You can save the lives of homeless dogs and cats in Northwest Arkansas and help keep families together.

Adopt a pet and save a life

Millions of cats and dogs enter shelters each year. One of them may be your new best friend.

When you adopt from a Best Friends location, or from one of the many shelters and rescue groups around the country, you’re not only adding a loyal and loving companion to your family, you’re helping to save lives.

You can also help today by adopting, volunteering, fostering and advocating for the pets who need you most in your community.

Person wearing a Best Friends orange T-shirt being kissed on the face by a small white dog

Volunteer to help pets

There are countless ways to save lives by volunteering your time for pets in need.
Person wearing a sweatshirt featuring a cat wearing sunglasses holding a tabby and white kitten

Foster a pet and save lives

Welcoming a pet into your home for a short time not only helps that pet, it saves more lives by freeing up space in shelters.

More stories from Northwest Arkansas

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these pets and their stories of hope, love and resilience.

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About Best Friends

Best Friends Animal Society is working to save the lives of cats and dogs all across the country, giving pets second chances and happy homes.

Just a few years ago, cats and dogs were killed in staggering numbers in this country simply because shelters didn’t have the community support or the resources to save their lives. As of 2023, that number is 380,000 per year, but there’s still work to do to ensure a bright future for every dog and cat in America. 

Best Friends operates the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and is saving the lives of homeless pets across the country by working with shelters and passionate people like you. Together, we will bring the whole country to no-kill in 2025. Together, we will Save Them All. 

Let’s be friends!

Connect with us on social media to stay in the loop about what’s happening at the Best Friends Pet Resource Center.

Follow along to see photos and videos from our events, hear about upcoming adoption events, admire adorable adoptable pets, discover kitten care tips, check out foster success stories and so much more. 

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