Working to bring diversity, equity and inclusion to animal welfare

Creating a no-kill country for pets

Best Friends is committed to saving the lives of dogs and cats in every community in every corner of the country and ending the killing in shelters by 2025. To honor that commitment and create a bright, safe future for pets and all the diverse people who love them, people from all communities and all walks of life need to get involved.

That’s why we are dedicated to making diversity, equity and inclusion part of everything we do, from how we approach and implement our lifesaving programs to how we build partnerships with other organizations to how we save animals’ lives and grow the no-kill movement.

Making the case for diversity, equity and inclusion in animal welfare

Over the past few years, Best Friends has collected data from animal shelters nationwide, giving us a more accurate picture of the state of animal welfare in America. And that data has done more than help guide our work toward making the country no-kill by 2025: It has shown us why pets in every community need help.

We now understand that some of the reasons that pets end up in shelters are due to housing inequities, lack of access to veterinary care and other resource disparities. These societal issues are created when marginalized communities do not have equal access to quality education, good job opportunities and the ability to build generational wealth. In essence, these systems feed the inequality and inequity that create the pipeline of homeless pets entering the nation’s shelters.

At Best Friends, we believe that everything is connected. That’s why embracing diversity, equity and inclusion is our strategy for creating a more sustainable and holistic approach to achieving our goals and mission. It’s about bringing everyone to the table and working to acknowledge and understand why they weren’t there in the first place.

Taking action for pets and people

The field of animal welfare is vast and we all have a responsibility to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard — that we all have the same opportunity to care for and love pets.

Best Friends is working to build cultural competencies and to recruit from a more diverse talent pool so that our organization reflects the diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce that we believe is key to maximum lifesaving. We’re working to better understand and partner with diverse communities to address reliable access to pet care, and we’re reimagining adoption practices and promoting a more inclusive process to ensure that everyone has the same access to acquiring a pet.

Most important of all, we’re going to continue to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion as part of our overall lifesaving strategy because it will, indeed, take all of us to Save Them All.

Ready to learn more?

Check out the following Best Friends resources on working together to create kind, compassionate communities for all pets and people.