The Best Friends Network is comprised of thousands of public and private shelters, rescue groups, spay/neuter organizations and other animal welfare groups in all 50 states. We are a coalition committed to saving the lives of cats and dogs through collaboration, information-sharing and implementation of proven lifesaving strategies. Our partners support each other and inspire their own communities to increase lifesaving of dogs and cats across the country. Together, we will Save Them All.
Frequently Asked Questions
We believe that every shelter, rescue group, transport group, and intake prevention organization is unique, just like each animal in their care. And because of that, each group deserves support and resources designed to address its specific lifesaving needs. Network partners have access to the following resources and tools:
- Support from a dedicated regional team for organizations in each state and region to have the opportunity to participate in coalition-building, to learn from groups in surrounding counties and states, and to serve as lifesaving models for others
- Access to specialized digital tools, research, tech solutions, and resources developed by Best Friends staff members and other experts from across the country
- Opportunities for lifesaving and no-kill sustainability grants that support effective and innovative lifesaving programs, such as adoption, spay/neuter, and intake prevention
- Exclusive access to national fundraising events like Strut Your Mutt and national adoption promotions
- Discounted registration rates for the annual Best Friends National Conference and the opportunity to attend partner-only networking and appreciation events held during the conference
- Scholarships or discounts for Best Friends workshops
- Listing on the network website that links visitors to your organization’s website
It is free to participate in the Best Friends Network. To apply and be eligible for participation, your organization/group must:
- Be willing and able to establish a positive working relationship with Best Friends and submit with required data reporting.
- Be a group or shelter operating in the United States (excluding U.S. Territories) serving dogs and/or cats and their owners.
- Be in compliance with all local laws and regulations governing animal sheltering and provide appropriate daily care to all animals under the care of the organization, including animals in foster homes or at other offsite locations. This includes, but is not limited to: sanitary living conditions, food, water, enrichment and shelter.
- Be actively working toward the Best Friends mission of No More Homeless Pets by operating or supporting an active dog and/or cat adoption, transport, and/or spay/neuter or intake prevention program.
- Be an approved 501(c)(3) public charity or municipal shelter. To learn more about 501(c)(3), please visit the Internal Revenue Service website.
- Be in good standing with GuideStar Charity Check.
We strongly encourage municipal shelters to become network partners.
We do require that organizations have their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status before applying to become a partner.
Applications are typically reviewed within five business days. After your application has been reviewed and you are approved to become a network partner, you will receive an email with website links and other important information.
Network partners are required to report annual statistics to Best Friends through our online submission form. Network partners are encouraged to report intake and outcome data on a monthly basis using Shelter Animals Count. In order to be eligible for participation in our adoption and fundraising promotions and events, and to be considered for financial aid or grants, this monthly data must be reported consistently each month. Reporting your intake, outcome and spay/neuter statistics, which is essential to assessing our strength as a coalition working to save lives, is an ongoing requirement for network partnership. Click here to learn more about reporting your stats.