Best Friends Animal Society

Total Grants to Date: $13,041,362 (since 2000)

For over twenty years, Maddie’s Fund® has partnered with Best Friends Animal Society to provide support for their No More Homeless Pets Utah program, sponsorship for and scholarships to their national conferences and funding to transform shelters into community resource centers, including the Maddie’s® Shelter Embed Project.

Maddie’s® Shelter Embed Project
In May 2019, Maddie’s Fund® provided Best Friends Animal Society with a $1.5M grant to support their Shelter Embed Program. This project helps shelter staff learn what they can do to improve animal shelter operations and increasing positive outcomes. Helping to activiate and properly resource communities and animal shelters to create systemic change that results in exponential and sustainable operations.

The Shelter Embed Project takes the approach of Best Friend’s team members working side-by-side with partner shelters and was piloted at Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas, and Palm Valley Animal Center (PVAC) in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. This project was initially supported by a 2017 grant from Maddie’s Fund® that expanded Best Friends Animal Society’s Regional Programming team and launched the Shelter Outreach program. Best Friends and their partner shelters saw success focusing more on overall operational and systems improvements rather than specific programs and decided to continue their work in the Rio Grande Valley at PVAC and Humane Society of Harlingen and expand the program to Santa Rosa County Animal Services in Florida.


  • Palm Valley Animal Society: save rate increased from 54% to 91.6% with 18,555 lives saved.
  • Humane Society of Harlingen: save rate increased from 29% to 92.6% with 8,595 lives saved.
  • Santa Rosa County Animal Services: save rate increased from 34% to 88.4% with 1,588 lives saved.
  • The original goal for this project was to save 12,000 lives; from June 2019 to December 2020, 28,001 cats and dogs were saved through this project.

In May 2021, Maddie’s Fund® provided an additional $1.4M grant to expand the Shelter Embed Program to additional shelters across the country.