National Adoption Weekend: It’s not too late to help local shelters combat growing animal welfare crisis

Sep 17, 2022, 12:54 PM | Updated: 12:59 pm
Weber County shelter (Best Friends Animal Society)...
Weber County shelter (Best Friends Animal Society)
(Best Friends Animal Society)

SALT LAKE CITY — Best Friends Animal Society is joining forces with a network of shelters across the U.S. to host another adoption weekend, encouraging people to volunteer in shelters, foster pets to help find them homes, and to adopt, not buy, their next pet.

“There is a growing shelter crisis across the country and the animal welfare community won’t just sit by and let innocent pets die,” CEO of Best Friends Animal Society Julie Castle said.

Throughout Utah, 27 shelters are partnering with Best Friends, offering waived adoption fees, discounted and even free adoptions, as well as resources for people who cannot adopt a pet to help through staffing, volunteering, and more.

Best Friends recently released data that showed that U.S. shelters are seeing significant increases in animal intakes, and a decrease in pet adoptions from shelters.

The Salt Lake County Animal Services said their kennels are full, and another stray pet moves into any new vacancy immediately. This Friday and Saturday, they partner with Best Friends for the Bring Home Happiness adoption event, offering $5 adoptions, all pets are already fixed, chipped, and vaccinated.

“Over the past few months, we have begun to double up dogs in kennels due to a lack of space,” SLCAS communications manager Callista Pearson said.

Best Friends’ Lifesaving Center in Sugarhouse and Kanab are offering fee-waived adoptions on all pets through Sept. 18, including bunnies, cats and kittens, puppies and dogs. All animals are fixed, chipped, and vaccinated, ready to go home.

The campaign coincides with “Puppy Mill Awareness Day” on Sept.17, a day to bring awareness to the for-profit dog breeding facilities. According to Best Friends, breeding dogs are often kept in stacked cages at the minimal legal size, with 6″ of space between the dog and the wire walls. Most puppy mill dogs have inadequate medical care and socialization, leaving the cage only to be bred.

“Best Friends encourages anyone considering a new pet to adopt from a shelter or rescue group to avoid inadvertently creating demand for commercially-bred pets by buying from pet stores and online retailers,” CEO Julie Castle said.


🐶 #PuppyMillAwareness Day 🧡✨#adoptdontshop ✨ for a kind & #peacefullife#puppytiktok #SaveThemAll

♬ original sound – Best Friends


According to a 2021 American Pet Products Association study, Gen Z and Millennial dog owners are about twice as likely to purchase their pet commercially. Because of this, Best Friends urges people of all ages, especially younger generations, to opt to save lives by adopting their next pet and to stay informed. Retailers may use the term “adoption” to make people feel better about their puppy purchase. Unsuspecting buyers may be mistaken to think they are buying from the best source despite frequent reports of these puppies having congenital or communicable disease, which later may cause heartache and expense.

There are more ways to help Best Friends Animal Society in their effort to end the killing of pets in shelters. Salt Lake County Animal Services has a foster program that helps match a pet to their new home by short term housing the pet.

Fostering is a great way for people to try having a pet in the home if they’ve never had one, and it helps pets show their true personalities in a home where
they can relax,” Pearson said.

SLCAS will be hosting another “Petapalooza” adoption event next weekend in Murray. More adoption or fostering information and adoptable pets can be seen in person or online at AdoptUtahPets.org.

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National Adoption Weekend: It’s not too late to help local shelters combat growing animal welfare crisis