Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications

Pleasanton, Calif., July 17, 2019 - Best Friends Animal Society received a $1.5 million grant from Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, to expand its Shelter Outreach Embed Program in two phases over 24 months.

Phase One of this project, Maddie's® Shelter Embed Project in the Rio Grande Valley, TX, will include temporary long-term "embedded" leadership positions in the Rio Grande Valley. These hands-on leaders will help hard working shelter organizations, who may be stretched too thin or are unfamiliar with the latest lifesaving protocols, with operational best practices and programs along with a much-needed morale boost.

"Best Friends is incredibly grateful and excited to receive generous funding from Maddie's Fund, which has been responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of lives through their innovative grants," said Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. "This embed expansion grant will save up to 12,000 dogs and cats from the highest priority shelters and put all of the participating organizations on the pathway to sustainability. Thanks to Maddie, significant headway will be made toward our shared goal of making America no kill by 2025."

The Phase One project will encompass the Palm Valley Animal Center along with its second facility, the Laurie P. Andrews PAWS Center. This will create a progressive outpost equipped to provide assistance to multiple cities and Hildalgo county. The goal of this phase is to increase the save rate to 80% up from its current 47%.

"We are proud to support this embed program to help create a safety net for communities who are in need of support," said Mary Ippoliti-Smith, Maddie's Fund Executive Leadership Team. "This type of program creates a lifesaving ripple effect of communities learning and doing and then helping to expand these best practices to their surrounding communities."

Phase Two of this project will be determined in the coming months.

About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 2,700 animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has regional centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City, and operates the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from an estimated 17 million per year to about 800,000. That means there are still nearly 2,200 dogs and cats killed every day in shelters, just because they don't have safe places to call home. We are determined to bring the country to no-kill by the year 2025. Working collaboratively with shelters, rescue groups, other organizations and you, we will end the killing and Save Them All. For more information, visit

About Maddie's Fund

Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $275.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie's Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.