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, nearly 2,200 cats and dogs are killed in America’s animal shelters simply because they don’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.


Smiling woman with a cat and kittens

Retirement as a kitten nursery volunteer
A retired woman in Los Angeles finds purpose, passion and therapy in retirement by becoming a lifesaving volunteer in the Best Friends kitten nursery.
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Smokey the black Labrador next to a fireman's helmet on a fire engine

Rescued dog offers support to firefighters
A special adoption program pairs a homeless dog named Smokey with a firehouse in Toledo, Ohio, and helps start the healing process for a devastated community.
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Man wearing an Army veteran hat hugging a yellow Labrador mix dog on a Best Friends leash

A military veteran with PTSD finds her service dog
A once-homeless dog helps a veteran in California work through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through a Best Friends program called Canines with Careers.
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