Best Friends Blog

The power of partnership

Transport of Texas animals from Austin Pets Alive to CAWS and other groups in Salt Lake City, to make room in Texas shelters for hurricane animals.Best Friends has grown over the years, driven by the need of the animals and the passion of their advocates. From local shelter rescue to sanctuary to society, it has always been an acute awareness of the injustice of shelter killing and the integrity of the people who turn their lives upside down to do something to help them that has fueled our growth.

The Best Friends Network and our Network partners are the farthest expansion of that synergy. A universe of animal lovers cooperating to save lives.

In any normal week, the Best Friends Network, 2,000 Network partners strong, does incredible work. During a disaster, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it just blows you away!

Ahead of Harvey’s landfall, shelters in coastal Texas, and beyond, began moving animals based on the anticipation of need. When storms like this hit, any lives saved ahead of time help make room for the influx of animals post-storm. Austin Pets Alive! and others began pulling animals from the area, and to date, have rescued hundreds. Other partners, far from the southern United States, began reaching out to us – long before anyone asked – saying they could take pets and guaranteeing a positive outcome.

To date, nearly 300 of our Network partners have committed to transport and place animals. Our incredible Harvey transport team led by staffers Linda Gage and Wendy Kaplan work closely with those organizations to keep track of each partner – tracking each request for the obvious, such as where they’re located, but also the type of animal they can take, and how many. The running total of all of these offers is more than 4,000 pets!

And as the need to move Harvey pets out to safety grows, the Network’s transport component is becoming a primary rescue asset, every bit as important and necessary as the organizations on the ground.
Transport of Texas animals from Austin Pets Alive to CAWS and other groups in Salt Lake City, to make room in Texas shelters for hurricane animals.
It is very likely over the coming weeks, we will need placement for many more than the current 4,000 spots our partners have committed to. If you are a Best Friends Network partner, and you have the ability to help save lives from Texas, please email us: If your organization is willing to work with Best Friends to save lives, apply to become a partner today.

Finally today, just like you, we’re watching the news reports closely about Hurricane Irma. The governor of Florida has already called a state of emergency in all of Florida’s 67 counties. At this point, we urge anyone in the projected pathway of Irma to heed the warnings of officials and follow any orders to evacuate. We have this resource to help you and your pet be ready for any disaster.

Our ongoing commitment to Harvey rescue and recovery makes it unlikely that we will be able to deploy to Florida in aftermath of Irma, but there is no doubt that Best Friends Network member organizations are already lining up to help.

Check out this great video of the Network in action:

Together we will Save Them All.

Julie Castle
Chief Development, Marketing and Communications Officer
Best Friends Animal Society


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  • Tamara Verastegui

    Hi. I would like to volunteer to help rescue or help any animals in need after it is safe enough to leave shelter from Irma. please contact me

  • Laurie Sharkey

    I volunteered in Tylertown MS for Hurricane Katrina twice. I hear that you need some sort of formal training now in order to volunteer again. Can you tell me if thats true and if so what type of training is required?

  • Ja Moon

    So proud of Best Friends. They have really created quite a community through their Partners network for the animals. Thank you!