Shelter partnerships Home
Cat Crusaders and Pit Crew

Lifesaving partnerships with shelters

Best Friends–Utah is working hard to help cats and dogs in shelters find forever homes. And by partnering with the state’s shelters through outreach programs, we know that we truly can Save Them All. As part of our shelter partnerships, we provide Utah animal shelters with the tools and resources they need to save lives, such as fundraising events, adoption promotions, stipends and more.

Best Friends programs help shelters increase the number of pets adopted into homes and decrease the number entering shelters. Programs like the Cat Crusaders and Pit Crew help find homes for the most at-risk pets in shelters. And last year, Best Friends–Utah, in collaboration with Salt Lake County Animal Services, opened the Best Friends Kitten Nursery in Salt Lake City. Our shelter partners send kittens less than two months old and weighing less than two pounds to the nursery, where they receive around-the-clock care, including bottle-feeding every two hours. This intensive care, which most shelters don’t have the resources to provide, is crucial for kittens’ survival.

Making Utah shelters no-kill

Best Friends’ collaboration with the state’s two largest animal shelters has proven invaluable for saving homeless pets in Utah and led to the formation of the NKUT Coalition. Both Salt Lake County Animal Services and West Valley City Animal Services have been transformed into no-kill shelters, each with a save rate of more than 92 percent in the first quarter of 2014, bringing a no-kill Utah well within reach.

We’re not there yet, however. In 2013, more than 12,000 dogs and cats were killed in Utah shelters, simply because they didn’t have homes. But by working together, Best Friends–Utah, coalition rescue groups and shelter partners are determined to take that number to zero.

Cat Crusaders

Since cats are the pets most at-risk of being killed in shelters, Best Friends–Utah combined efforts with Salt Lake County Animal Services (SLCoAS) to form the Cat Crusaders. This program helps to increase cat and kitten adoptions in Salt Lake County and to educate the community about the problems faced by cats in shelters.

Cat Crusaders are volunteers who help to photograph and write wonderful adoption profiles of cats in shelters so that they can find homes faster. The volunteers also serve as ambassadors for shelter cats by greeting people who come to the shelter and helping with adoptions.

And, of course, the Cat Crusaders volunteers help to save the most fragile of all felines: neonatal kittens. At the Best Friends Kitten Nursery, hundreds of kittens are given around-the-clock, lifesaving care.

Check out the Cat Crusaders Facebook page to learn more.

Pit Crew

Pit bull terriers make up a disproportionately high percentage of the pets killed in shelters. Best Friends–Utah works with Salt Lake County Animal Services’ (SLCoAS) Pit Crew program to help more pit-bull-terrier-type dogs find homes and ensure that every dog, no matter his or her breed, is treated like an individual.

The Pit Crew program also provides low-cost spay/neuter resources for families with pit-bull-terrier-type dogs in the Salt Lake County area, which helps decrease the number of these types of dogs entering shelters in the future.

For more information on the Pit Crew, visit the SLCoAS page.