By Alicia Brown, News Editor
Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) was founded in 1991 as an nonprofit animal welfare organization. BFAS works nationwide in outreach programs with shelters, rescue groups and individual members to promote pet adoption, no-kill animal rescue, and spay-and-neuter practices.
I started volunteering at Best Friends Mission Hills during my freshman year, when I heard about it through a group of friends at school. We all wanted to join, to be able to help the community while working with animals. We had all heard about hospital volunteer programs or parks and recreation positions ,but BFAS really caught our attention.
Now a junior in high school, I have had countless people approach me asking how they can join. The interest I have seen people show has blossomed over the years. Through BFAS, you are not just helping a single shelter save a couple hundred animals. You are contributing to an organization with a cause that aids shelters nationwide with the beautiful goal of “Saving them all.”
Locally, Best Friends Los Angeles (BFLA) is a very unique shelter that also functions with No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), which has a shelter in North Hollywood.
BFLA and NKLA work collaboratively with animal rescue groups, city shelters and passionate individuals who wish to convert Los Angeles into a no-kill city.
Best Friends is very active in the community as they host adoptions and fundraising events, run the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay Neuter Center in Mission Hills, and lead the NKLA initiative.
According to their website, the mission of BFAS is to ensure that there are no more homeless pets. They plan to reach this goal by fighting to help end the killing of animals in America’s shelters through building community programs and partnerships all across the nation.
BFAS in Mission Hills is a popular volunteer site for adolescent volunteers living in the San Fernando Valley. BFAS creates a welcoming environment for all people so they can provide the same for the animals.
They hold events for the volunteers such as cat yoga and exercise buddies where you can go on a hike with adoptable dogs.
“I have been volunteering with Best Friends for about three years now, and it has made me value the life I live and how thankful I should be having a loving family. None of these dogs have experienced the love and affection that I experience, so I try to give them as much as I can while volunteering,” junior Maria Gonzalez said.
Of course, you do not have to volunteer at the shelter or organization to help. You can also adopt, donate, neuter, or even foster a pet. Fostering is a popular option for people who do not feel ready for adoption, but want to temporarily open their home to a furry friend.
According to the BFAS website, in 2017, nearly 5,500 dogs and cats are killed every single day in animal shelters across the country. But Best Friends is working to reduce that number to zero by the year 2025.
They wish to one day live in a nation where animals no longer have to be euthanized and can all have a loving home.