MINI USA’s not-so-mini support

MINI USA loans two cars to Best Friends to raise awareness in New York and Los Angeles of our work to save animals in need in those cities.
By Best Friends staff

Whether it’s a bright orange MINI Countryman cruising beneath palm trees in L.A. or weaving through Manhattan streets, two cars provided by MINI USA are helping Best Friends in our work of making sure pets aren’t killed in shelters, simply because they don't have safe places to call home.

The cars, on loan to Best Friends for use in New York and Los Angeles, not only raise awareness of our work in those cities, but they also carry precious cargo (of the four-legged variety) from shelters to organizations that participate in our lifesaving programs. And that’s a mighty task indeed.

Best Friends MINI car travelling the country

MINI USA and Best Friends

MINI USA has been supporting Best Friends since 2013 — first as a sponsor of Strut Your Mutt, and then as a charitable partner through the company’s MINI Takes the States and Next Sales events. MINI’s current Defy Labels campaign fits perfectly with the Best Friends mission to Save Them All, by shattering the myth that shelter pets aren't desirable or might have trouble transitioning into a loving home.

Driving pets home in New York

The MINI Countryman is on the streets each day in New York City, transporting homeless pets from Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) to vet appointments, foster homes and adoptive homes. And the Countryman has proven to be invaluable during adoption events.

Because the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in New York hasn’t yet opened, Best Friends–New York hosts adoption events all across the city to find homes for pets. The MINI Countryman is essential to quickly transport pets from ACC (where all adoptable pets with Best Friends–New York come from) to the where they need to go.

“It’s amazing how much the MINI Countryman helps us,” says Kristi Adams, Best Friends–New York foster and adoption coordinator. “In a place like Manhattan, it’s great to have a car that can get us places fast in traffic and can fit in all the animals and supplies we need. We can park easily in the MINI, too, which helps us transport pets easier. It’s amazing how much we can fit in the MINI.”

Best Friends MINI car in New York City

Drawing a crowd in Los Angeles

Sheila Kouhkan, manager for No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), is one of several Best Friends employees who drives the car to outreach and adoption events.

“We park the MINI right in front and it brings great attention to both the event and our outreach booths,” Sheila says. “People love the car. It piques their interest so much that they immediately want to speak to us about who we are and what we do. Sometimes people want to take pictures with the MINI, which helps spread the word about our efforts via social media.”

Such local engagement is important as Best Friends’ NKLA initiative nears its goal of making Los Angeles the nation’s largest no-kill city.

Collaborating with MINI is an innovative way to showcase shelter pets in a positive, mainstream way. We’re grateful that MINI is helping Best Friends reach the masses through participation in our work to Save Them All.

Best Friends MINI car at NKLA

Photos by Shannon Kirkman and Best Friends staff