Best Friends Blog

New adoption center in Salt Lake City

When Best Friends/No More Homeless Pets in Utah opened Furburbia in Cottonwood Mall in Salt Lake City in 2000, it was one of the first retail-style pet adoption stores (if not the first such store) in the country. It was an instant success and a literal lifesaver for shelter pets. It was followed by another highly successful mall adoption center in Park City that was another instant hit.

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 17, Best Friends, in collaboration with Salt Lake County Animal Services, will celebrate the grand opening of Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in the upper level of the venerable Trolley Square near downtown Salt Lake City.

A big “woo hoo!” for Salt Lake County Animal Services and our terrific Utah team who have combined to take the Salt Lake County shelter to no-kill.

The center aims to place 500 pets from the Salt Lake County shelter in new homes in the next six months. Having already been spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated, every dog, cat, puppy and kitten will be ready for prime time.

In addition to a collection of beautiful pets for adoption, the grand opening will feature an exhibit of shelter dog photographs by Melissa Lipani and a “pup crawl” with food and refreshments.

Mall adoption outlets cover a lot of ground beyond the most obvious of being a great way to get pets out of the shelter and into the public eye. They also satisfy the mall’s desire to have a popular animal outlet without going the nasty pet store/puppy mill route. The adoption outlet also serves as a great promotion for the municipal shelter, and the mall benefits from turning an empty storefront into a thriving attraction that draws customers to other retail outlets. Happy pets, happy people, happy shopkeepers!

This type of operation is genuinely a win-win situation and is surprisingly easy to engineer because all parties have complementary needs. It’s just a matter bringing the parties together and ensuring a high level of service and presentation.

This is something that your shelter or rescue coalition can do, and we’d love to pass along the ABCs of how to put it together. For details on how to do it all, have a read of “Taking the Animals to the People: The Furburbia Story.”


Julie Castle



Photo credit Melissa Lipani

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  • ZaleskaDorota

    How do you prevent evil or cruel people from adopting your pets? Do you check the background of the future owners?

  • Diane Lee

    Congratulations to everyone who made this happen!  What a coup for animals!

  • I love that! 

  • halfpintdynamite

    I lived in SLC from 1969-1973 and loved it.  I am so very happy you have been successful in turning these centers into no-kill operations!  Kudos to your hard work and SLC’s progressiveness!  I am very excited and happy for these blessed animals.

  • Can’t wait! I will surely see you this afternoon. 🙂

  • This is awesome! YAY!

  • Diane

    This is SO needed in New York City where thousands of animals develop illnesses while in Animal “Care” and Control shelters and are ultimately euthanized either for those illnesses or for space.

  • Melissal

    We are so excited, we hope to see you all at tonight’s Grand Opening Celebration!

  • Anonymous

    Great news and some more great information.  One more step in the right direction for animals.  Wonderful.