San Antonio: Courage, creativity and a community commitment to no-kill

As we celebrate the holidays here at Best Friends, we have many blessings to count and many friends for whom to be grateful.

Foremost amongst our blessings is the privilege that we share with you of having been touched and moved by our connection to the animals – the joy and blessings that they bring and the horizons of compassion and understanding that they open to us. I can’t imagine a life without the companionship of dogs, cats and other household pets.

Personally, I get immense pleasure and inspiration from my little rescued Chihuahua, Ray. He is older, a little overweight and also blind. He is the ultimate charmer. And as I watch him hustling around the house or exploring in the backyard, I’m inspired by the complete absence of victimization he shows. And of course, he has no difficulty in bossing my 100-pound German shepherd around!

That special connection with animals is the very heart of what we do, and we are grateful to all of you for celebrating and elevating the no-kill mission and message of Best Friends to a national movement that is changing the face of animal shelters across the country and around the world. This fall, we launched our call to action “Save Them All,” the first of its kind, to put an end to the needless killing of 9,000 shelter pets every day. Make no mistake about it. Together we are changing the world for our animal friends.

At the same time, we know that all is not rosy all the time. We know that many families are hard hit by tough economic times or by personal loss. Sometimes the blessings that we count are the moments that we were able to share with friends and loved ones – human and animal. Our sadness, for example, at the loss of three of our Vicktory dog heroes, Oliver, Lucas and Georgia in 2013, is so greatly outweighed by the joy that we shared in their rescue, rehabilitation and the loving last years that they enjoyed. So, when we toast to the blessings of the season, we will remember all of our friends even as we toast to Save Them All.

All of us here at Best Friends wish the happiest of holidays to all of you who hold a place in your heart for our animal friends. With your help and support, Best Friends and our partners are saving lives every day. It is important work that embodies the highest of values – kindness, compassion, and the intrinsic value of all life.

Together, we will Save Them All.