We started with little fanfare and even fewer resources: creating a sanctuary for homeless and special-needs animals literally from the ground up, forging roadways and erecting buildings with our bare hands. We were creating a better world through kindness to animals.
We did it with passion, believing that a humane path forward — one in which every pet has the chance to know love and companionship — was the only path forward.
There was no how-to manual for realizing such a vision, but we soon found we didn’t need one. We emphasized positive change and what we could accomplish together, never guilt or shock to force people into joining us.
Even in those early days, each discrete act of lifesaving counted, no matter how small or unseen. Because we weren’t just building a sanctuary. We were laying the groundwork for changing how this country looks at — and looks out for — its homeless dogs and cats.
What began as a few makeshift structures in the middle of nowhere grew into a movement — to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets — shaping the way we care for our most beloved companions. Even when money was tight, we shared whatever we had — and the more we shared, the more we were given to share.
Today, the Sanctuary remains our anchor, and as we’ve grown, our national network partners and pet lifesaving centers have become hubs for innovation and inspiration. We’re bringing tangible lifesaving tactics to shelters and rescue groups across the U.S, touching every community in the country.
Working together, we’re building on this foundation of compassion and inclusion to help both pets and people. We’re making sure that everyone has the same access to loving pets and that every adoptable pet has access to the comfort of a foster home instead of a kennel in a shelter.
But, even today, it still comes down to small, simple acts of kindness — and the belief that every animal deserves a chance.
Back in 1984, a scrappy group of friends from far corners of the globe settled in a remote area of Utah’s high desert … and took the first steps to forever changing the future for pets in shelters.
It’s the story of Best Friends, but it’s much more than the history of a spot on the map. This group of ordinary but passionate people believed that every pet has a story, too, each one worth saving, each life individual and important. Today, nearly four decades after they broke ground for a sanctuary in a remote region of the Southwest, achieving no-kill across the entire country is within reach.The Story of Best Friends »
At Best Friends, we absolutely love animals — and we think humans are pretty swell, too.
That's why we’ve got people around the country working to make the world a kinder and more compassionate place. We’re committed to creating communities, including our own workplace, in which everyone is valued and respected. Even if your cat ears stay on for video calls. OK, especially if your cat ears stay on for video calls.
Come work with us and help make a difference for all. But only if you're interested in having some fun while you're at it.Work for Best Friends »
Corporate Partners »
From helping out with simple donations of dog food in those early days to sponsoring online adoption events today, Best Friends’ corporate partners have demonstrated their commitment to making a difference for homeless pets.
Foundation Partners »
Thanks to the generosity of our foundation partners, we are reaching animals in every corner of the country, creating programs that focus on community and that recognize the importance of keeping pets and their people together.
Network Partners »
At the heart of our collaborative spirit is the Best Friends Network — shelters, rescue groups, spay/neuter organizations and other animal welfare groups in all 50 states that are united in the goal to save more lives.
Celebrity Supporters »
When celebrities use their voices, the no-kill message and mission reach more people. These voices also help inspire people to foster pets, volunteer in shelters and their community, and donate to save more lives.