About

Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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 that are committed to saving the lives of homeless pets through effective adoption, spay/neuter and intake prevention programs. The network is at the heart of the collaborative spirit that helps define Best Friends. Working together with partners, we are inspiring communities and implementing proven methods to increase lifesaving of dogs and cats across the country.

We believe that each shelter and the community it serves has its own individual personality, just like each animal in its care. And because of that, each shelter deserves support and resources designed to address its specific lifesaving needs. Network partners have access to the following resources and tools:

  • National fundraising events like Strut Your Mutt and national adoption promotions
  • Support from a dedicated regional team for shelters in each state and region to have the opportunity to participate in coalition-building, to learn from shelters in surrounding counties and states, and serve as lifesaving models for others
  • Opportunities for grants that support lifesaving programs, such as adoption, spay/neuter and intake prevention
  • Access to specialized resources and webinars presented by Best Friends staff members and experts from across the country
  • 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 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
  • Be in good standing with Best Friends

Click here to apply

Any shelter, dog or cat rescue group, spay/neuter or animal welfare organization operating in the United States and fits criteria listed here: 

  • Be willing and able to establish a positive working relationship with Best Friends and submit the required reporting of dog/cat intake, spay/neuter, and other statistics.

  • 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 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

  • Be in good standing with Best Friends

Can municipal shelters participate?

We strongly encourage municipal shelters to become network partners. 

What if my organization is not currently a 501(c)(3) but is involved in the application process to become one?

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 united network of groups working to save lives, is an ongoing requirement for network partnership. Click here to learn more about reporting your stats.

Yes, you can find a complete list of partners by clicking here.