Compassionate community-minded solutions in times of crisis

By Julie Castle

In animal welfare, there are three things we can always count on being popular: funny cat videos, innovative ideas and kindness. Right now, those last two are leading the charge against the global spread of COVID-19 as people all over the world join forces to support one another while remaining physically apart.

Inspired by the #ViralKindness postcards created by a woman in Cornwall, England, Best Friends just rolled out new community kindness cards that people can use to help their neighbors and their pets during shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders. Available in both English and Spanish, these cards are an easy way to reach out to fellow community members who might be in need and offer them help while still following physical distancing precautions. 

This is what I’ve always loved about people in our field, and the human race in general: We adapt to survive and we do it in creative ways.

Over the last week, the 2025 Action Team quickly pivoted to accommodate COVID-19, shifting their traditional door-to-door grassroots organizing efforts to a more hands-off and virtual style of neighbor-to-neighbor support. And simple tools like the kindness cards and team calls on Zoom are just the beginning. 

I believe that community-based lifesaving is where the animal welfare field is headed. Like-minded, compassionate individuals will be working alongside their neighbors to share resources, support one another, and take care of the animals with whom they share their lives, as well as those in need of safe places to call home. 

Now is the time for all of us to let our community-minded instincts and ideas shine. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the no-kill movement has been successfully turning necessity into lifesaving magic for a very long time.


Julie Castle


Best Friends Animal Society