Saving Animals with Best Friends
Best Friends Animal Society is a place that provides animals safety and a sancuary. They beleive every pet has a story and each one is worth saving. They work hard and strive to acheive no-kill across the entire country. It all comes down to the small and simple acts that helps save animal lives. Everyone deserves access to loving pet, and pets deserve a loving home. Learn more about Best Friends at www.bestfriends.org
Behind Best Friends
Where did Best Friends Come From?
Best Friends Animal Society is an animal sanctuary that works to provide homes for homeless pets as well as work to achieve no-kill across the country. Animal shelters began to pop up after people stood up against hiring bounty hunters to grab animals and kill them as a method of population control. This was a terribly inhumane way to control the situation at hand which was homeless animals and pets. Shelters were people’s way of providing more humane treatment, however, the killing was still happening, just behind closed doors. This method of population control went on for decades.
Then Best Friends came along. They asked the question “Why are we doing it this way? Why are we thinking about the best ways to dispose of our best friends, rather than trying to save our best friends?” Best Friends became the beacon of light in this broken system.
The Mission and Strategy
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary has built a strong team and continues to try to improve. Julie gives us some insight into how they built and maintained a great team. People need to understand why they are here, why they are helping, and what they are focussed on. This provides a “why'” and can instill motivation and passion. This is the foundation, that is the first step. The next step is empowering your team based on that vision, that “why”. They are going to create their own roadmap to success. They become their own problem solvers once they know the direction they are going to go. This ihelps the team grow which in turn helps the organization grow. This has provided the opportunity to achieve their vision and mission.
No Kill 2025!
What Does “No-Kill” Mean?
According to the Best Friends website, in 2021 about 355,00 dogs and cats were killed in our nation’s shelter because they didn’t have a safe home to go to. Best Friends wants to change that. They are leading programs that provide support and training for animal shelters and rescue groups, as well as getting the community involved. Aminals deserve to have happy homes all across the nation.
The “Big Fix”
Part of the initiative to end the senseless euthanasia of healthy animals has to come down to having fewer animals to begin with. Animals deserve to have a loving home. If we don’t neuter animals, then it leads to more animals than we have homes for. One of the first mobile spay/neuter clinics started in Utah and it would travel around offering discounted services to communities in Utah. This spread awareness and got people to more fully understand the why behind spaying/neutering your animals. This provided many people with opportunities in helping to stop the “hamster wheel” and reduce the amount of pregnant females that would give birth to animals that may not have homes to go to.
Keeping Up with Breeding Cycles
One of the hardest things is to keep up with breeding cycles. If you go into a community once a year, you’d be wasting money because you can’t keep up with the breeding cycles. Every community has different demographics. Some communities have more animals than others. It all comes down to targeting. It’s about formulas and following the data and being smart about the resources you have. The resources have to come from the community. Look at how the shelters are doing in your community by using the Pet Lifesaving Dashboard! Go to bestfriends.org and find your state and community and see how your shelter is doing and what you can do to help!
Being a Woman CEO
nThe Woman’s Role
We live in a society that has core foundational issues when it comes to women and the woman’s role especially in the workplace. Julie explains her experience in Best Friends. She started in the mail room and did virtually every job in the organization until she became the CEO because it is a very matriarchal organization and always has been. However, there is a certain collaboration that comes with women leaders. It is less about a sprint to the finish and more about the essence of stongers together. We are not saying men who are leaders don’t have these attributes, but there are certain things that women do that should be celebrated more and valued more in the workplace.
Environment of Kindness and Generosity
Women have this ability to create an environment of kindness, generosity, love. This is not to say that men aren’t capable of that, but it seems to be women’s innate nature. That why women are mothers and grandmothers. It is the nurturing side of humanity that creates a beautiful environment. These are the qualities that are hard to monetize in a capitalistic society. Most of the time people are chasing after that almighty dollar and they don’t appreciate collaboration unless it addes six or seven zeros to the bottom line. It might not be the most direct route, but it is the most sustainable route.
Investing in the Culture
When you think about life, you go through high school, maybe college, you graduate, you get your first job. Then you work from that point forward until you are 67 or 70 and you are spending most of your waking hours with a group of people that you don’t really have a choice over. Then you retire and you maybe have 10-15 years left. It’s kind of a sour view of life, but that means that where you chose to work and where you work should be incredible. The experience there should be one of respect, kindess, generosity, where you feel safe and where you feel like you are truly taken care of. That is Julie’s number one goal in being the CEO of Best Friends. They were on that everyday. When people feel that way, they show up and do their best everyday. That is the outline of the Best Friends culture.
Photo credits: Photo by Andrew S on Unsplash, Photo by jovin kallis on Unsplash, Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash
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