Three great reads for your inner animal behavior nerd and for any no-kill advocate

By Julie Castle

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is seriously one of the coolest places on earth. Am I biased? Yes! Am I sorry about that? No! For anybody who’s visited here, falling in love with the compassion, creativity and care that define this unique corner of the world is a given. From parrot Lego parties and pure horse joy to duck pool games and the dulcet sounds of pigs at brunch, you're pretty much guaranteed to find something here any day of the week that will make you laugh, cry, breathe more deeply or realize that what you really need in your life is three bunnies named Glitter, Sparkle and Smidge.

However, one of the most important things that happens here at the Sanctuary amid the fuzzy and feathered daily antics is a focus on understanding and celebrating animals as individuals. It’s a focus that is fundamental to better supporting the animals we’re working to save and to achieving no-kill nationwide for dogs and cats by 2025. Specifically, what I’m talking about is the importance of helping animals where they are, rather than trying to force them into the neat little lifestyle and personality boxes we sometimes think they belong in.

Having the time and resources to meet every individual animal’s needs isn’t a luxury that most animal shelters in our country are afforded. But doing so at places like the Sanctuary gives us better insight into the animals in our care and, most important, helps us discover new pathways for lifesaving that can be applied on a larger scale throughout the country. With 2025 only five years away, more shelters and communities will find themselves getting closer to no-kill and needing to better support dogs and cats who require more customized care for various behavior and medical needs.

Below are three recent stories from the Sanctuary that I recommend for anyone wanting to develop a better understanding of how to help individual animals in a meaningful way and learn how to save lives through the pursuit of new knowledge rather than the limitation of it.

Barn life as the best life for two cats

How a camera flash is helping a deaf cat with a neurological condition

Large dogs making big strides in an advanced behavior program

And here’s a sneak peek of Leopold from our barn cat story:

Julie Castle


Best Friends Animal Society