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Best Friends memberships help homeless pets

Like many senior dogs, Stella has a touch of arthritis. But thanks to Best Friends’ members, she’s living a life free of pain. Membership donations provide the comforting arthritis medications that allow Stella, and many other older dogs at Best Friends, to live quality lives.

"She’s a couch potato," dog caregiver Joyce Wallace says about the 11-year-old Australian shepherd and border collie mix. "She loves soft, cushy beds."

How donations help animals

Best Friends members can feel good knowing that their dollars are making life better for all the animals at the sanctuary, as well as animals Best Friends helps through its rescues and other outreach programs.

For instance, a $25 membership can pay for Stella’s monthly meds, or it could pay for neutering one male dog, or it could buy a case of apple cider vinegar, used as a supplement for Best Friends horses.

Best Friends membership

And with our "Give the Gift and Pass It On" campaign, the benefits multiply.

As part of Best Friends’ 25th anniversary, the campaign is aimed at increasing membership, which will allow us to successfully complete the No More Homeless Pets movement we pioneered a quarter-century ago.

Back then, there were about 17 million animals being killed each year in this country’s shelters; now there are 5 million. It will take an extraordinary effort to save those 5 million … and we’ll need your help.

The "Give the Gift" part of the campaign encourages our members, and others, to give friends and family a $25 Best Friends membership, which includes a subscription to Best Friends’ bimonthly "good news" magazine.

The "Pass It On" part asks that when people finish reading the magazine, they leave it at their doctor’s office, hair salon, veterinarian’s office or other gathering place where others can enjoy it.

Those who "Give the Gift and Pass It On" are helping Best Friends reach out to animals in need.

Examples of what pet donations pay for

To illustrate how the benefits add up, think about giving the gift to just two people – say your cousin Zach and your neighbor Andrea. The $50 from those two memberships can feed a rescued dog for a month or spay one female dog.

If Zach and Andrea each give the gift to two people, that $100 can spay or neuter four bunnies. Then, if those four people each give two more memberships, Best Friends can provide a tray of vaccines for 25 cats AND a series of three vaccines for a rescued puppy.

The next level of gifts could provide a livesaving bloat surgery for a dog AND a 40-gallon horse trough AND feed one senior horse for a week.

Each subsequent round would:

  • Support a one-day protest at a pet store AND rescue one puppy mill dog
  • Spay or neuter 30-40 cats, feed 1,500 cats for a month and buy 60 humane traps AND provide six weeks of formula for a motherless newborn puppy AND supply a salt block for each pasture at Best Friends
  • Build a free-flight aviary for parrots AND pay for cruciate ligament surgery to enable a dog to walk
  • Just eight rounds of giving the gift in this manner would raise $6,400 – enough to sponsor one special-needs animal at the sanctuary for one year AND provide nearly a month’s worth of hay for all the horses at Best Friends.

It all begins with a single $25 membership.

This is your chance to give someone the perfect Christmas gift and help animals at the same time. Check out Give the Gift and Pass It On or call 435-644-2001, ext. 4801, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Mountain Time, seven days a week.

Senior Australian shepherd and border collie mix dog

Meanwhile, Stella is living a comfortable and happy life, thanks to Best Friends members. And although Joyce and the other caregivers are very attached to Stella, they’d love to see her get the chance to live out her golden years in a forever home.

"She loves sleepovers and outings, and she’d love to be adopted," Joyce says. "She’s been here most of her life and she would love to have a big, soft, cushy bed in a home to retire on."

Photo by Best Friends staff photographer