Why pets are important in our lives

Pets are important to our well-being and they enrich our lives in an infinite number of ways. They provide companionship, teach our children about responsibility, give us new purpose during career changes or retirement, play vital roles in our communities, and offer much-needed laughter and love at just the right moments. They are our best friends.

Yet every day in 2021, more than 970 cats and dogs were killed in America's animal shelters simply because they didn't have safe places to call home. These are animals who could be service dogs, therapy pets, beloved companions, public servants and more.

Explore the featured stories below celebrating the roles that pets play in our lives, or discover other inspiring animal stories from Best Friends Animal Society.


Small fluffy dogs, Squirrel and Squeak

When two homes are better than one
What to do when a family falls in love with a pair of adorable pups? Shared custody proves the perfect answer for two homes - each with room for only one.
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Young woman wearing a baseball hat with a gray pit bull terrier type dog

From scrappy shelter dog to exceptional service dog
It was clear right away: Chunk just seemed to "get" people. But little did anyone know how life-changing he would be for a teenager struggling with depression and PTSD.
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Two orange tabby kittens on an iPad with a woman behind them

Special-needs kittens find their ideal family
Middle school is tough enough. For a young girl with cerebral palsy, adding two kittens with a neurological disorder to her family helps provide confidence and joy.
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Young girl smiling and holding small furry black dog

A bright future for the dog named Stormy
Nine-year-old Eden can tell you: Pets aren't the only ones who find thunderstorms stressful. Enter a sunny young pup named Stormy.
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Young boy with a dog on a leash in the water

When lost in fur is the safest place to be
An unusual disorder leads seven-year-old Dalton to wander off - sometimes into dangerous places. But thanks to a dog named Wash, safety is always at the end of a leash.
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