History of Best Friends in Utah 

As Best Friends Animal Society’s home state, Utah has been the proving ground for most of our no-kill initiatives and programs. Best Friends began outreach work in Salt Lake City in the early 1990s. In 1994, we organized the first Utah’s Week for the Animals, a statewide promotion of pet adoption, spay/neuter and animal advocacy. This grew to include the first Strut Your Mutt, which has since blossomed into an annual national fundraising event for animal rescue organizations. 


No More Homeless Pets 

In 2000, Best Friends launched a separate initiative called No More Homeless Pets in Utah, which included a coalition of shelters, rescue groups, businesses and government leaders, sponsored by Maddie’s Fund. The coalition cut the number of dogs and cats killed in shelters by almost half, proving that we can accomplish more by working together rather than separately. 

Before No More Homeless Pets in Utah began, approximately 46,000 animals were being killed in Utah shelters every year. By the end of 2018, that number had been reduced to less than 3,500 per year. 

No More Homeless Pets in Utah pioneered the following: 

·        The marketing of adoptable animals through creative avenues such as retail-style adoptions and large-scale adoption events 

·        High-volume spay/neuter programs through low-cost clinics and statewide mobile clinics 

·        Creative and innovative cause-marketing partnerships 


Best Friends Animal Society in Utah and NKUT 

In 2011, No More Homeless Pets in Utah was re-absorbed by Best Friends Animal Society and renamed Best Friends Animal Society in Utah, with a focus on helping two of the largest municipal shelters in the state: Salt Lake County Animal Services and West Valley City Animal Services. Our collaboration with these two shelters led to the creation of Best Friends’ NKUT initiative, which brings together passionate individuals and local shelters and rescue groups to make and keep Utah a no-kill state.  

Today, Best Friends in Utah has a number of partnerships with shelters and rescue groups, providing support via fundraising events, pet adoption promotions, stipends and more.