Making a difference through kindness to animals

Black dog outside on leaf-covered grass
From a community cat hero to a puppy parade, these stories of kindness toward animals will warm your heart.
By Mary Daly

Kindness is powerful, and even the smallest act to help an animal, the planet, or another person plants a seed for more good to come. That’s why Best Friends’ vision is a better world through kindness to animals. Every day, animal lovers are making a difference through their actions and helping to bring the entire country to no-kill by 2025. We’re excited to share a few of their stories here.

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Full of inspiration and positivity, Best Friends magazine is full of uplifting tales, gorgeous photos and helpful advice.
When you become a member of Best Friends Animal Society by making a donation of $25 or more to the animals, you’ll receive Best Friends magazine for a year. Inside, you’ll read about what Best Friends is doing to save the lives of homeless pets nationwide. 

Community cat lifesaver

Every cat deserves a caring neighbor like Katina Koller. Working with the Park County Animal Shelter in Cody, Wyoming, and with many volunteers, Katina and her family are making sure the community cats (aka cats who live outdoors) in her area can have healthy, happy lives. They have worked to provide trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) for around 200 adult cats so far and, over the past couple of years, have fostered 50 kittens to find homes for them. In addition to investing her time and energy in these lifesaving efforts, Katina has helped pay for the cats’ medical care with her own money.

It takes a village

Tragedy struck when an Ohio man was out walking his dog, Sherlock. The man was hit by a car and had to be rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, Sherlock ran away amid the chaos. But kind neighbors jumped into action, and after two days of searching, they found Sherlock safe and sound. Then, when Sherlock’s person needed more recovery time in the hospital, several neighbors — even those who had never met the man or Sherlock — volunteered to rotate taking care of the pup until he could finally be reunited with his best friend.

Leave no kitten behind

When a historical reenactment group set up camp in a wooded area of Michigan for a weekend event, they likely weren’t expecting to stand guard over little felines. But when some of the group members came across three distressed kittens who were soaking wet from a storm, they rallied the troops, bringing the kittens by their fire and getting them warm and fed. They even set up a watch duty at the camp to keep an eye on the kittens. By the end of the weekend, they were in love with their furry new comrades, who found homes with members of the group. Talk about a historic event in the lives of these sweet kittens!

Beyond the call of duty

A call about a kitten who had allegedly been thrown from a vehicle turned into a beautiful (and snuggly) friendship for one Virginia police officer. When Officer Timothy Rugg went to pick up the kitten and bring her to the animal shelter, little Penny had other ideas. She immediately crawled onto his shoulder and started purring, and when he tried to drop her off at the shelter she just wouldn’t let go. Upon finding out that the shelter was near capacity, Timothy offered to foster Penny — and before long he knew Penny was home for good.

Birthday puppy parade

A 100th birthday party surrounded by furry friends? Sign us up! The family of a canine-loving California man asked neighbors on social media to drop by his house with their dogs to celebrate his milestone birthday. They expected only a handful of pups to show up. Instead, about 200 dogs (and their people) answered the call, and the event became a full-fledged puppy parade. Everyone lined the streets, waiting for their chance to greet the birthday boy, and the centenarian thoroughly enjoyed petting all the party animals.

This article was originally published in the November/December 2023 issue of Best Friends magazine. Want more good news? Become a member and get stories like this six times a year.

Let's make every shelter and every community no-kill by 2025

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill by 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. 

Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

You can help save homeless pets

You can help end the killing in shelters and save the lives of homeless pets when you foster, adopt, and advocate for the dogs and cats who need it most.

Saving lives around the country

Together, we're creating compassionate no-kill communities nationwide for pets and the people who care for them.

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