As I sit here on the cusp of 2020, and look back at the last decade, it’s stunning to see just how far we’ve all come in this lifesaving movement, how much we’ve done, and of course how much we have left to do.
Saving the lives of animals in need is intensely emotional work. Whether you’re a loud and proud no-kill champion or a quiet lifesaving force to be reckoned with who questions the idea of no-kill itself, the deep, profound passion that you bring to the table every day is what drives you. And that’s why this field we’ve chosen is so beautiful and often so challenging.
Animal welfare has gone through quite an evolution over the last decade, as have Best Friends and the thousands of other organizations that comprise this rich, wonderful field we work in. With that kind of change comes challenges and difficult decisions. With each day comes the need to thoughtfully examine what we’re doing to save every pet who needs to be saved, and what we need to improve upon and tinker with to make sure that progress keeps happening.
A remarkable team of leaders from Best Friends and other animal welfare organizations from every corner of the country are spearheading collaborative regional lifesaving plans and professional training to support communities of all shapes and sizes. National data collection efforts and groundbreaking shelter partnerships have led to new blueprints for sending expert help and support where they’re needed most.
We figured out a long time ago that just one organization, even Best Friends, can’t be all things to every animal in need. But together, if we decide to take everything we’ve done, everything we know, everything we’ve learned and are still learning, everything others have learned, and share that with people who care as much as we do, we can in fact save all those animals who aren’t irreparably sick, injured or dangerous.
This is what drives me every day. This is what makes me willing to choose change and growth over comfort and fear of the unfamiliar every day.