A fun way to save animal lives
It was back in 1995 when Best Friends Animal Society started a small dog walk event in its home state of Utah. Back then, even the most optimistic animal welfare enthusiast could not have imagined that the community event would grow to a national, multi-million dollar fundraiser benefiting hundreds of shelters and rescue groups around the country.
Eighteen years later, Best Friends, now the flagship organization for the no-kill movement in the United States, has established its “Strut Your Mutt®” event in Los Angeles, New York City and nine other cities between Aug. 31 and Sept. 28. The first event Aug. 31 will be held at the Best Friends national headquarters in Kanab, Utah, home of the nation’s largest no-kill companion animal sanctuary.
What makes this event special in the world of non-profit organizations is that Best Friends Animal Society puts on the event to help other animal welfare organizations raise money. For many benefitting organizations proceeds from Strut Your Mutt provide the bulk of operating funds for the year.
The “Strut Your Mutt” concept is built around a community dog walk and festival that allows people to raise funds in advance, and then celebrate together with fellow animal lovers and multiple rescue groups/shelters at the event, which includes doggie themed activities like doggie yoga and massage, paw readings, food, contests and much more.
This year’s fund raising goal is $2 million nationwide for 240 local animal shelters and rescue groups. The donations raised through Strut Your Mutt will be used by groups to fund adoption programs and spay/neuter services, and other life-saving programs, ultimately impacting the number of pets entering and leaving the shelters. Last year, $1.3 million was raised for some 180 groups.
“When we started Best Friends, the conventional wisdom was that killing homeless pets was an unfortunate but unavoidable fact of life,” said Gregory Castle, Best Friends’ chief executive officer. “Back then every day some 45,000 animals were being killed in our nation’s shelters. Best Friends was one of the very first organizations to challenge the idea that killing animals in shelters was acceptable, we believed then and believe now that together we can save them all. And the number has dropped to 9,000 every day but that number can be zero and should be.
“For close to 30 years, Best Friends Animal Society has been working to reduce the number of deaths and put an end to this senseless killing once and for all. Strut Your Mutt is a celebratory way for the shelters and groups to come together and invite the public to join them and Best Friends in the fight to save shelter animals’ lives,” Castle said.
For more information, visit www.strutyourmutt.org.
Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement since its founding in 1984, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as life-saving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from 17 million per year to 4 million. No other animal welfare organization has the knowledge, technical expertise and on-the-ground network to end the killing and Save Them All™.
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