National adoption weekend for dogs and cats

Smiling person sitting on a couch while holding a cat
Thinking of adopting a pet? The time is now.
By Best Friends staff

Life is better with good friends, and one of the best friends to have is a pet. Right now, there are one-of-a-kind dogs, cats, and other types of animals in shelters because they’ve lost their homes, and they need you. Shelters everywhere are full, and that means animals are at risk of being killed for lack of space.

Pets keep coming in, and adoptions aren’t keeping up. That’s why Best Friends is joining together with shelters and rescue groups across the country for the fifth national adoption weekend happening June 30-July 2.

During the three-day event, people are encouraged to adopt a pet from local shelters, rescue organizations, and Best Friends Lifesaving Centers across the country. Our goal is for every shelter nationwide to reach no-kill by 2025, and part of that means making adoptions easy, accessible to all, and low cost.

Free pet adoptions

Adoption fees will be waived at Best Friends Lifesaving Centers and programs in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Houston, Northwest Arkansas, and Kanab, Utah. All pets will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and ready to go home.

[6 smile-worthy pet adoption stories]

Around 600 shelters and rescue groups are participating in national adoption weekend and will also be waiving or reducing adoption fees over the three-day weekend. The goal is to inspire people who have been thinking of bringing home a new pet to adopt one — and soon.

Recent data released by Best Friends showed that in 2022, 57% of shelters in the U.S. were no-kill, but 378,000 dogs and cats were killed nationally, largely due to a continued decrease in dog adoptions.

Adopt a pet near you this weekend

“This crucial turning point for animal welfare shows that it’s possible to save every healthy and treatable pet in a shelter, and it’s sustainable,” says Julie Castle, Best Friends CEO. “But shelters can't do it alone. We need community members to come out and support their local shelters and rescues nationwide.”

At a time when so many shelters across the country are short-staffed and well over capacity, people can save animals’ lives by choosing to adopt a deserving pet from a shelter or rescue group instead of purchasing from a breeder or pet store. If you can’t add to your family right now, you can still help by spaying or neutering your pets, fostering a dog or cat (or litter of kittens), volunteering, donating, and advocating for programs that lead to no-kill.

[Tales of pet BFFs in honor of Best Friends Day]

“Right now, there’s a dog or cat perfect for your family waiting for their loving home in a shelter,” Julie says. “By adopting from a local shelter or rescue organization, we can make the entire country no-kill by 2025.”

Pets in shelters right now need a miracle. Maybe that miracle is you.

Large dog smiling with tongue out next to a bush
Photo by Lori Fusaro

Adopt a pet as unique as you

Adopt a pet during national adoption weekend at a shelter near you.
Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

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.

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

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

Let’s be friends! 

Connect with us on social media to stay in the loop about the lifesaving progress we’re making together.  

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