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Expert Research for Shelters and Rescuers

This page will continue to be updated with new research documents and peer-reviewed publications. Please check back.

Best Friends Research

Peer-reviewed Publications


Best Friends Research

  • 24PetWatch Owner Surrender and Acquisition Source Analysis- This analysis quantifies the reasons for surrendering a pet in the U.S., how these reasons changed during COVID-19, how they compare to the 2009 recession and where surrendered pets are first acquired.
  • Adoption Barrier Study - A qualitative study to understand the pet acquisition process, existing barriers (real or perceived) to adoption, and potential solutions to overcome those barriers.
  • Breed Discrimination in the Homeowners Insurance Industry- Together with several other animal welfare groups, this white paper was created to address breed discrimination in the homeowners insurance industry. The collective goal is to end breed discrimination and urge the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to evaluate the use of breed discrimination lists. The paper is complete with testimonies and arguments, and divided into sections focusing on breed lists and discrimination, unjustified use of breed as actual risk, and recommendations.
  • COVID-19 Fostering Survey - Best Friends surveyed 321 foster families and discovered just how much opportunity there is to build on the current fostering momentum. 
  • Human & Pet Vulnerability Study - The goal of this analysis is to understand shelter intake and outcomes in the context of human vulnerability when faced with crisis.   
  • New Normal, New Data - A guide for using data to prove the community-supported sheltering model.
  • No-Kill Shelter Positive Outcome Study - Best Friends analyzed outcome type data from 2017 and 2018 for 1,844 no-kill organizations to identify which programs lead to high positive outcomes and establish goals for shelters that will further increase lifesaving. We also have an updated version that includes data from 2019, as well as 2017 and 2018 for 2,114 no-kill shelters. 
  • Summary of No-Kill Sustainability Analysis - The goal of this analysis is to understand the sustainability of no-kill status over time (2017-2020).
  • The State of U.S. Animal Sheltering, 2019 - The 2019 dataset is the most comprehensive national dataset to date, and accounts for an estimated 92% of the animals entering U.S. shelters. In this report we share detailed findings from the 2019 dataset and the short term trends impacting shelter animal populations across the nation.  


Peer-reviewed Publications