Best Friends Blog

Once more with feeling: Save Them All!

Couple volunteering with dogsThe Best Friends call to action, Save Them All, is a statement of commitment and resolve. It is the flag that we wave to rally the public to our cause: ending the killing of shelter pets in this country. It is also a vision of our preferred future and a goal that will keep all of us striving to deliver compassionate, lifesaving outcomes for the most difficult cases well beyond the point at which we are able to declare that the entire country is saving 90 percent of the pets entering shelters (the commonly agreed upon no-kill threshold).

Save Them All is as much aspirational as it is inspirational.

Save Them All is not, however, a demand, an instruction or an exhortation for any individual or organization to become overextended. We understand the inclination to push the envelope and we hope that everyone will implement more efficient and effective programs and protocols. But no one should feel pressured to put themselves, their organizations or the animals they serve at risk.

It’s entirely understandable to want to do more and, of course, the needs of pets in shelters are many. But I hope that the last thing anyone will do is to hear the Save Them All call to action and to then start stuffing their home with incontinent poodles! Or for a local rescue group to take in more and more animals without a practical plan for placement and without any sustaining fundraising mechanism. Those kinds of misplaced good intentions don’t advance the no-kill cause and are just counterproductive.

Sometimes, it can only be a matter of time before overextended rescue groups and rescuers need saving themselves. That failed rescue story feeds the narrative of those looking to discredit the no-kill movement as a costly and impossible-to-achieve fantasy.

Of course it isn’t a fantasy. More than 200 communities across the country are already saving 90 percent or more of their local shelter pets and sustaining that level of lifesaving. Each year at the Best Friends National Conference, we profile eight communities that are either very close to achieving or have already achieved that 90 percent threshold. Their stories are instructive, powerful and inspirational. While their paths to no-kill vary, the one constant is their rallying cry to each other and their communities to Save Them All.

If you are somehow still on the fence about the reality of no-kill, I encourage you to check out the playbooks that we put together each year for the conference. They tell the story of the individual communities and the ways that each one is saving them all. They show even the biggest non-believer that no-kill is not a vague dream or unattainable goal. It is, in fact, what we owe every animal entering a shelter.

Our call to action of Save Them All is not a matter of individual heroics. Rather, it summons all of us to work together, to set aside the obstacles that stand in the way of a united front for shelter animals, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in our commitment and to be open to new and effective ways of doing our work.

Don’t stress. Together, we will Save Them All.

Love reading the Best Friends Blog? Make sure you never miss a post by clicking here to subscribe and receive every post right in your inbox.

Francis Battista
Best Friends Animal Society

How corporate partnerships save lives

Nature’s Variety Instinct will supply pet food to the animals at our sanctuary and regional centers, as well promote our mission on special product packaging.

Read More »

The AVMA leaves the door open for killing community cats

Revised policy endorses lethal methods of controlling free-roaming cat populations, despite the fact that trap/neuter/return is the only proven method to work.

Read More »

Why shorter hold times save lives

Returning lost pets to their homes is a priority, but strategies other than long shelter hold times should be implemented to Save Them All.

Read More »

Dont blame Craigslist or any other marketing channel for adoptions gone wrong

A number of posts deriding Craigslist as an unsafe venue for adoption promotions have crossed my screen recently. These tend to bubble up following an expose of some animal abuser who adopted a dog or cat via a Craigslist ad. The sky isn’t falling. Such anger and distress is misplaced. Craigslist, like Petfinder, Facebook or […]

Read More »

Solving the problem of puppy mills

Las Vegas joins an ever-growing list of more than 100 communities that have enacted a local ordinance banning the sale of mill-bred pets in local pet stores.

Read More »

2015: Another banner year for Best Friends and homeless pets, with 207,000 animals directly helped

A look back at Best Friends and our No More Homeless Pets Network partners’ efforts in 2015 shows many lifesaving highlights in our work to Save Them All.

Read More »

Happy New Year from Best Friends

As 2015 comes to a close, I am taking a moment to pause and reflect over the last year, and I am truly amazed at the incredible things that happened. Each year, it seems our work together grows bigger and bigger, and that means more lives saved than ever before.

Read More »

Shelter Animals Count launches national database effort

It’s the launch of a crucial national database for shelter and rescue statistics.

Read More »

Guess who’s coming to Best Friends? The world!

For the first time in its history, the internationally respected travel guide Fodor’s Travel named a No. 1 world travel destination for 2016, rather than its usual collection of equally worthy locations, and it chose Utah. More to the point, visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary was picked as one of the top 25 “must do” […]

Read More »