Proven Strategies

two women with an adopted dog

The Best Friends Podcast Episode 119

Consumer Adoption Survey
July 14th, 2022

The Best Friends 2021 Lifesaving Dataset showed that over the last year, adoptions did not keep pace with the increase in the number of cats and dogs entering shelters. Unfortunately, that trend has continued into 2022, and with many around the country experiencing the same issues, transports are happening less frequently, adding to the strain on animal shelters.

We wanted to learn more about the public’s attitudes towards pet adoption during this turbulent time. Have we hit a national saturation point of pet ownership? Are external factors like the economy and housing issues to blame? For those who still want to add a new pet to their family, where are they acquiring them from?

To find out more, Best Friends Animal Society commissioned a survey and gathered insights from hundreds of members of the public who considered acquiring a pet or did acquire a pet in the past 12 months.

This week we sit down with the director of strategy and network operations for Best Friends, Bethany Heins. She shares the results with us, and we discuss how to use the insights to ensure you’re maximizing your adoptions.

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Bethany Heins - Best Friends Animal Society

Bethany Heins

director of strategy and network operations, Best Friends Animal Society

As the director of strategy and network operations for national programs, Bethany Heins leads the execution of strategic projects associated with Best Friends’ national program work to achieve no-kill nationwide by 2025. This role marries Bethany’s diverse programmatic and shelter operations background, partnership-building capacity and knack for strategic planning.

Prior to this position, Bethany served as the senior manager of regional programs with a focus on developing Best Friends’ lifesaving programs in Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; and Houston, Texas. Through Best Friends in 2012, Bethany launched an innovative program in San Antonio, Texas, that focuses on partnerships and grassroots public engagement to save community cats. Bethany then served as the live release manager for the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services from 2013 through early 2015.

Bethany has also worked as the executive director of Vernon County Humane Society in Wisconsin. She began her career in shelter operations working as an animal care specialist for Central Illinois Humane Society while obtaining her bachelor’s degree in natural resources and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois.

Bethany lives in Illinois with her husband and daughter, and an ever-changing number of cats and dogs.

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