Saving Them All
The stories of homeless pets too often end in tragedy. Every day across America, thousands of animals with nowhere to go are put down in shelters that cannot provide for them. These animals never got a chance to chase a ball or sleep at the foot of their best friend’s bed. The only life they knew was a cramped room with a cold floor Their lives end the same way and for the same reason—because no one wants them.
This euthanasia epidemic reached its peak in the 1980s, when an estimated 17 million animals were killed every year in America’s shelter system. Such a number is staggering to anyone who has lived with animals; 17 million living souls, who wanted nothing more than to love and be loved, were snuffed out each and every year.
Through the work of Best Friends Animal Society, the fate of shelter animals has become much more hopeful. As of last year, the number of animals that die in shelters has been reduced by over 90%. Since its founding in 1984, the organization has been at the heart of the no-kill movement. They work in cities across the country to Save Them All—their mission and call to action. Best Friends seeks to end the mass killing of homeless pets in America’s shelters by 2025.
Best Friends Animal Society in Atlanta at Rescue Dog Olympics
Millions of animals have been saved since Best Friends was founded. Within the metro Atlanta area, Best Friends Animal Society in Atlanta works collaboratively with area shelters, animal welfare organizations and individuals to save the lives of pets in shelters in the region. The Best Friends Pet Adoption Center is a lifesaving hub for animals and a base for local programming and coalition-building to help the metro-Atlanta area in its final push to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters, while strengthening the movement in the Southeast. The goal is to bring Atlanta, the state of Georgia and eventually the region to the save rate of 90%, meaning 90% of animals that enter a shelter find forever homes. This has been accomplished by pulling animals out of local shelters and moving them to no-kill adoption centers. So far, Atlanta has reached a save rate of 88%, and Best Friends is continuing its efforts to save more animals in need by working with shelters and other animal welfare organizations in the city. As part of this outreach, Best Friends in Atlanta will once again participate in Rescue Dog Olympics to bring people the facts and fun of saving pets in need.
“It’s a wonderful event,” said Rachel Pomberg, the communications manager for Best Friends Animal Society in Atlanta. “The organizers are amazing. They’re very committed and we are very fortunate to be able to participate in it.”
A longside other organizations at the event, Best Friends will have a table and tent with information about their work in Atlanta, and how to get involved from volunteering to fostering to donating. There will be adoptable dogs available for meet-and-greets, as well as dogs available to adopt. Rescue Dog Olympics was founded with the same beliefs of saving lives, and helps organizations like Best Friends to find homes for thousands of animals.
“Rescue Dog Olympics does a really amazing job of bringing awareness to the metro Atlanta area about rescue pets and the need to adopt,” Pomberg said. “We are fortunate and privileged to be a part of their work.”
Thousands of animals are still waiting for their forever homes. While attending Rescue Dog Olympics, Best Friends in Atlanta hopes to engage the Atlanta community on the work they do and how people can help. They will be advocating for adoptable pets, as well as providing information and resources to help people discover their new furry family members and give them a loving home. Participating in Rescue Dog Olympics gives Best Friends a platform to reach people who might not know they are in Atlanta and able to help.
How Best Friends Animal Society helps animals in Atlanta
Best Friends Animal Society in Atlanta works collaboratively with area shelters, animal welfare organizations and individuals to save the lives of pets in shelters in the region. The Best Friends Pet Adoption Center is a lifesaving hub for animals and a base for local programming and coalition-building to help the metro-Atlanta area in its final push to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters, while strengthening the movement in the Southeast.
Should one be looking to adopt an animal, and doesn’t find their new best friend at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center, the staff refers them to network partners in the area.
Saving countless lives
The success of Best Friends Animal Society can be attributed to the dedication and drive of those who are a part of it. “My work helps to find homes for homeless pets. All pets, whether they’re dogs or cats, need a home,” said Pomberg. “I recognize the love they give back to us and the enrichment they give to our lives. I couldn’t imagine a life without a dog or cat in it.”
Adopting and inviting an animal into your family is an experience like no other. Dogs have earned the title of man’s best friend for good reason. They desire nothing more than to have a home and love their family. Thousands of pups are waiting for someone with whom to shower with unconditional love and trust, only to be left alone in cages their entire lives.
“I truly believe there is no reason for thousands of animals to be killed in shelters across the country because they don’t have a place to go,” Pomberg said. “My work is about finding homes for those animals. That’s what drives me every day. Animals are individuals and have a lot of love to give, long lives to live, and can give so much joy and happiness to their families.”
Every animal in every shelter deserves a loving forever home, and organizations like Best Friends in Atlanta need help from the community to find them. By attending Rescue Dog Olympics at Piedmont Park on March 10, 2019, the Atlanta community can discover all the ways they can protect the thousands of animals that share the city with them.
Images used with permission from Best Friends Animal Society Photo Gallery.
Sean Eikhoff is a staff writer at the Sentinel Newspaper, a short story author and a video editor.