Eight reasons to attend this year’s Best Friends National Conference

When Best Friends took on animal rescue responsibilities during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many of our programs had to be put on hold. We spent nine months rescuing thousands of animals who were displaced following one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. We are proud of the fact that Best Friends was the first national rescue organization on the ground, and we were the last to leave — long after the television cameras were gone. Because our Katrina rescue efforts took a tremendous amount of staff time and resources, we canceled our annual conference.

The 2005 national conference, then called the No More Homeless Pets Conference, was planned for the fall in Boston, and (surprise) the main plenary session was going to be about pit bulls. The event went on a three-year hiatus before returning in 2008.

Seven years later, here we are, looking forward to one of our biggest and best conferences ever. We’ll be holding the event for the first time in Atlanta, Georgia. Coincidentally, this year is also the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — which means we will be looking back on that watershed event and its profound effects on the work that we all do.

So why should you attend the Best Friends National Conference?


  1. With more than 1,600 expected attendees dedicated to saving them all, you’ll be among a large group of inspiring people who, just like you, are working to save lives.

  2. This year’s conference tracks will cover just about every aspect of animal welfare work. Whether you’re looking to increase adoptions, raise more money, keep your animals healthy or become a better leader, the conference will deliver everything you need to know.

  3. The conference’s many speakers are always terrific, but they are especially so this year. You’ll hear from the country’s most effective animal welfare leaders, all of whom are radically changing the future for homeless pets.

  4. It’s been a decade since Hurricane Katrina, so we’ll review that time and celebrate how far we’ve come. (Hint: It’s a long way.)

  5. The general sessions are always inspiring and uplifting. They will recharge your batteries so you are ready to return home and implement all the lifesaving lessons you learned.

  6. The exhibit hall gets bigger and better every year, and 2015 will be no exception. We are extending the hours of operation in the “marketplace” section of the hall, so you’ll have more opportunity to experience the exhibit hall and all it has to offer.

  7. If you live in a town that is far from no-kill (but you want to learn how to get there), then you’ll surely want to be in Atlanta. Each year at the conference, we profile eight communities that have either achieved and sustained no-kill, or are very close to that goal. Their stories will not only inspire you, their lessons about what worked and what didn’t will give you the tools you need to save more lives.

  8. It just won’t be the same without you!

  10. Check out this video we put together:

It is possible to Save Them All, but all of us need the benefit of each other's experience to know how to do it. The Best Friends National Conference is simply the best place to learn. Click here to register right now.


Julie Castle with Sunny the dog
Julie Castle
Best Friends Animal Society