Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Behind the Scenes Peek at Best Friends' NYC Pet Adoption Center

When I was at Cat Camp  this past March my favorite spot was the adoption area. It was great to see so many local shelters participating (such as The Patricia H. Ladew Foundation) as well as great organizations such as Best Friends Animal Society. I was happy to learn that Best Friends was opening an adoption center right here in New York City. I have a lot of respect for Best Friends and applaud their endeavors to give all animals the best life they deserve and for their efforts to make the USA “No-Kill” by 2025. You can imagine how happy I was that Lola The Rescued Cat was accepted as a Best Friend’s Ambassador this past July! 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

Last month I was lucky to get a personal tour of the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in SoHo by Hannah Stember, their Public Relations Manager. The center is described as a “state of the art” facility, and with its sleek and modern design, it lived up to its reputation. 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC


The Pets' Living Quarters

At any given time up to 30 pets are housed in the center. There are two cat rooms that are enclosed behind floor to ceiling windows.


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC


The cats have plenty of comfortable spaces where they can lounge and relax, and cubbies hide in if they want some alone space. 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

All of the cats wear collars with their names written on them. Blue for boys, pink for girls. I think this is a great idea! 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC



All of the cats looked happy, relaxed and very well cared for, and I'm always impressed when a facility that is home to so many cats is clean and well organized. 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC



The kittens are separated from the larger cats until they are strong enough and reach a certain weight. At that time they go into the general area. 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC


The dogs have roomy suites which feature partially frosted glass doors with small sniff holes to mitigate noise and distractions. This aids in reducing any stress the dogs may be experiencing. I love how the dogs' living areas are referred to as "suites" and not "kennels"!


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

Small play rooms and consultation spaces are available that visitors can utilize to meet and play with the animals and complete adoption papers.


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC
This handsome guy was coming back from a walk when I arrived. He's hanging out in one of the consultation rooms. 

A soft day-to-night lighting system communicates the time of day by dimming to a warmer light in the evening and in the morning, mimicking the outside color temperature and helping to keep the animals healthy and connected to the outside world.


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

Kittens! 

The center is staffed 24 hours a day to man the round-the-clock kitten nursery so the most vulnerable homeless pet population can be bottle-fed. Similar to a real nursery, the neonatal unit has strict protocols to ensure the health of kittens who have been separated from their mothers before they are old enough to survive without them. 

I wasn't able to enter the nursery, but I did get to snap a few photos of the cutest little kittens. 

Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC
That little cutie in the top left corner taking a bath looks like a baby Lola.

Design

The center’s physical design is inspired by the slot canyons in Southern Utah (where Best Friends runs the country’s largest no-kill sanctuary) and features warm, natural materials so that visitors feel as though they are walking through a natural and warm landscape. The atmosphere is very soothing, making visitors, and their current residents, very comfortable and relaxed. Best Friends wanted to make sure to have a careful balance of materials to make their space inviting, which they accomplished nicely. When you enter the center you do not feel like you’re entering a “shelter”.  I think their choice of colors is brilliant. If you read about the psychology of colors, the properties of orange are physical comfort, food, warmth, security, and fun. The properties of brown are seriousness, warmth, nature, earthiness, reliability, and support. 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

In case you haven't noticed yet, this facility is not referred to as a "shelter", it is a "pet adoption center." This phrasing, accompanied with the unique design, makes an immediate impact on people looking to add a furry family member to their home and to people who walk in as they pass by.  You will not see any cages or bars, and there is no echo in the building when dogs bark or people talk.  It is a comfortable space for the two-legged and four-legged alike. 

Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC



Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC


Cause Cooperative Model

Best Friends opened this national concept space in New York City to raise awareness for the nearly 5,500 dogs and cats killed every day in U.S. shelters and to engage people in the work Best Friends is doing to end the killing. This no-kill concept space introduces a “cause cooperative” model. The center showcases adoptable dogs and cats from eight local and regional non-profit organizations, and the New York City-run shelter, Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC). Cooperation and coalition building is a core component for a community to achieve no-kill, and Best Friends is using the new center as a demonstration of collective impact. The local shelters/rescues were chosen by their ability to keep a constant flow of animals needing forever homes coming into the center. When one animal is adopted, another comes in to take its place. This way the center is always at maximum capacity. 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

Best Friends and NYC

Best Friends is no stranger to NYC. They have been involved here since 2009, working with local shelters and rescue groups. They have helped thousands of animals find loving homes and helped local and regional humane organizations and shelters raise close to $1.2MM through Best Friends’ Strut Your Mutt event. 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC


No Kill by 2015

One of the goals of the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center is to inspire and educate visitors from around the country. 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC



The center was launched in coordination with a new national initiative to lead the country to no-kill ** by the year 2025, which means that dogs and cats will no longer die in U.S. shelters due to lack of space. The space serves as a physical demonstration of the huge progress and momentum underway to end the killing of dogs and cats in our nation’s shelters. (*“No kill” is commonly defined as a “save rate” of 90 percent of the dogs and cats entering shelters.) 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC
This cute little guy hardly stayed still for a photo!

“Our new state-of-the-art Center in the heart of Manhattan will demonstrate to locals and visitors alike the problems and solutions facing our country’s homeless pet population,” said Gregory Castle, CEO and Co-Founder of Best Friends Animal Society. “We’ve planted a stake in the ground to take this country no-kill by 2025, but we can’t do it alone. Our hope is that visitors leave the Center with a new best friend and feeling inspired and equipped with the knowledge needed to achieve our mission.” 

Best Friends wanted to the center to be a  playful, gallery-style setting designed to help tell a story about the problems and solutions facing our country’s homeless pet population. They nailed it! 

Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

One of the cat rooms faces the street to grab the attention of passersby (many of whom are tourists.) Visitors are invited to become part of the lifesaving work and are always welcome to stop by whenever the center is open. Through their high-end digital media of interactive displays and maps, visitors to connect with rescue groups and find adoptable animals in their own communities. Visitors can also learn about the state and progress of the no-kill movement, and share images and personal stories about their own pets.

My photos of the digital displays did not come out well, but I was able to capture a video.  



The number to text a photo of your pet to is: 646-362-4884. 


Selfie Station

When you visit, don't forget to stop by the selfie station.

Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

I thought this was just adorable! The kiosk wasn't working on the day of my visit, so I wasn't able to post my selfie. (Now I have to go back just for that!)

Best Friends Gear

The center has a small shop where visitors can stock up on their Best Friends gear. 

Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC



Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

I should have picked up a copy of their book while I was there, which I really want to read. (Another reason to go back!) 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

I love this shirt! And I can always use another water bottle. 


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC


How You Can Get Involved

There are many ways you can get involved with Best Friends. 


Volunteer

Very often when people hear the word volunteer, their first response is "I don't have time to commit to that on a regular basis." There is more than one way to volunteer, and Best Friends has them covered. 

Volunteers can assist at the center with a variety of tasks, at mobile adoptions and super adoption weekends, at special events such as Strut Your Mutt (which is taking place this year on October 17), or by transporting ( giving homeless pets a lift from the shelter to their new foster homes, to and from veterinary appointments, and to adoption events.) 

If you're going to visit the NYC area, you can volunteer for a day at the shelter. I think that's a great reason to plan a vacation here!

For more details or to sign up, visit their volunteer page

Foster

Right now, Best Friends–New York is in need of dedicated volunteers in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to open their homes to a foster pet. You can choose what type of animal you foster, from large and small dogs to kittens, nursing mothers, and adult cats. Best Friends provides all veterinary care and covers vet care costs. The only thing foster families need to provide is a loving and nurturing environment for their foster pets.

To foster, register as a volunteer and then sign up to become a foster.


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

Adopt

I think we all know that when you adopt a pet from a shelter, you're saving the lives of two animals; the one you save, and the one you made space for in the shelter. To find your new best friend search the pets at Best Friends who are ready for adoption here. You can also apply for adoption on that same page. 

Be A Community Ambassador

Community ambassadors help spread the word about Best Friends by handing out brochures and postcards and speaking with the public at New York, New Jersey and Connecticut businesses, colleges, events, restaurants and retail stores. You can also be a community ambassador on social media. Spread the word about the wonderful work Best Friends does, tweet about their events, share photos, etc. 

Donate

You can donate on line here. You can also donate by mail and send your gift to: 

Best Friends Pet Adoption Center
Attn: Donations
307 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

If you don't live in the NYC area you can either help out at a center near you or decide to be a Community Ambassador. 


 Center Details

Best Friends Pet Adoption Center is located at 307 West Broadway in Manhattan. (That's West Broadway - this New Yorker couldn't figure out why she couldn't find the center on Broadway!) and their hours are Monday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 - 6 p.m. For additional information you can call them at 347-76ADOPT.


Best Friends Animal Society|Best Friends Pet Adoption Center NYC

I really enjoyed visiting the Center (thank you, Hannah, for your hospitality) and was so impressed by everything. I'll definitely be visiting again and I'm hoping to be able to volunteer at an event soon. I think some of my fellow cat bloggers and I need to plan a "Cat Lady Retreat" in NYC and spend a day at the center. What do you think? 

You can follow Best Friends' NYC Adoption Center on Facebook or visit their website for more information. 

Visiting the sanctuary in Utah has been on my bucket list for quite some time. After seeing the Pet Adoption Center I need to start working on planning my trip out west. Have you ever visited the sanctuary in Utah? 

Dawn

31 comments:

  1. What an amazing and beautiful facility! There is a Best Friends Adoption center in Mission Hills, not too terribly far from us. My human has been there, but not for a few years, and she wonders if they have upgraded since then - it was nice, but it wasn't this kind of nice!

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  2. What a pawsome facility! We love everything that Best Friends does to help the animals.

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  3. L & L......we hurd Best Friends waz headed yur way......how total lee kewl iz thiz center !!! we send best best fishez two everee one that ya findz yur for everz yet thiz month ♥♥♥

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  4. *I*LOVE*BEST*FRIENDS*
    This post only proves to me that the folks who run Best Friends know EXACTLY what they are doing, and that their eyes are on the prize...SAVE THEM ALL!

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  5. I've never seen a facility like that ... WOW. The appearance and stylish atmosphere really draws people in ... that ... and the cats, of course. I love everything about this concept. And oh my gosh ... THOSE TINY KITTENS!!!!

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  6. What a beautiful facility!!! I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been to the NKLA adoption center in Los Angeles yet. I foster for Best Friends in LA, but I always go to their shelter facility, which is just north of LA. It's definitely more of a shelter environment, but I bet the NKLA facility is more like this one in NY. I will definitely have to try and get there. Your photos of the place are gorgeous! And congrats on being an Ambassador!

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  7. Wonderful post. This is such a nice place for kitties to wait for their forever homes.

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  8. That place sounds like heaven on earth! I had no idea that Best Friends had an adoption center in NYC. And now I'm off to see if they have an online store because I desperately NEED that Purritos shirt!!!

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  9. MOL! I need that Purrito shirt too!

    This place is amazing! Truly! I would love to volunteer there for a day. If you ever plan that "Cat Lady" retreat in NYC, I really hope I would be able to go.

    Your post was just wonderful. You did a great job showcasing this beautiful place!

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  10. Thanks for sharing. Mom heard they were opening a center in NYC and its great to see pictures

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  11. OMC that is totally amazing, EPICALLY EPIC in fact!!

    Thank mew so much fur such a detailed and guided tour, we really really enjoyed today's post and can't thank mew enough fur sharing it with us.

    Big hugs

    Basil & Co xox

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  12. I enjoyed every word and every picture and thank you for making the entire rest of my year with it. How wonderful that such a facility exists. Thank YOU for showing us that it does.

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  13. This looks FABULOUS!! I wish that it was like this for all rescues. Love the large glass wall. :) - Shelby G.

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  14. I hope they all find wonderful forever homes. They are each so precious.

    Have a purrfect day, Lola. My best to your peeps. ☺

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  15. What a bright and beautiful place! I mean it's a shame that there are so many cats and dogs that are there and could really use a forever home, but at least while they are waiting they have a nice environment and wonderful people to care for the.

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  16. Wow, what an amazing facility! I am impressed with the "fanciness" and all that they are doing to make the facility comfortable for the animals (and the people too). So neat that you got to visit. I'll have to add this to my "must visit" place for when we're able to make it up to NYC! Best Friends is a wonderful organization - I truly believe in all that they do. Thank you for spreading the word about this adoption center!

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  17. Congratulations Lola! you totally deserve this honor.Loved how beautiful and thoughtful the cat adoption center is and the merchandise is super cute too!

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  18. What a beautiful facility! I love kitty area is amazing! I love the dog suites. Thank you for the virtual tour! I've heard so many wonderful things about Best Friends. Next time I am in NYC, I'm stopping by! Congrats on Lola becoming an Ambassador! Just (p)awesome!

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  19. That has to be the COOLEST and most beautifully designed shelter I have seen--I wouldn't mind living there! Hope they all find homes!

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  20. The Best Friends kitty adoption shelter is designed with cat psychology in mind; and that will lead to quicker adoptions and less stress for the cat while s/he waits for their perfect match! Fabulous work!

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  21. This will be envy of many, and keep so many cats off the streets its amazing. I SOOO want one of those tshirts!!!!

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  22. Thanks for this virtual tour of Best Friends in NYC. The facility is really state of the art! I am especially glad that there is staff there all night to help with the kittens.

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  23. I have to visit this location. This one looks super contemporary and clean. When I'm ready to adopt, I'm stopping by here and bringing hubby along!

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  24. Wow! What am amazing place. I've read so many positive things about Best Friends. Congratulations on being selected as an ambassador!

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  25. You hooked me! I just visited their home page for the Utah sanctuary and watched Katie Couric's report about this incredible place. This organization is so impressive! I totally agree with you about their color choices and branding. Even more, they are just brilliant to rename so many shelter names to banish those negative connotations. Their boutique style adds to creating a completely positive mental model around adopting a fur baby.

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  26. Fantastic facilities - thanks for reviewing, taking pictures, introducing, presenting, and letting us know how we can get involved. #AdoptYourBFF ✊

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  27. What a great place! It looks very inviting and even the music in the video was well chosen...let it be a bright shining day for all the kitties and doggies at Best Friends <3 Good Luck Pawkisses to you all <3 <3 <3

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  28. I've always wanted to visit this place. Your pictures make me smile--what a marvelous facility!

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  29. What a wonderful and beautifully designed spot. We pray that we can reach a no-kill status for the U.S, by 2025. If more "shelters" could present such state-of-the-art facilities, we know there would be more adoptions. Thanks for a great article. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo and Cooper Murphy

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  30. What a beautiful facility! I love the rooms each dog has instead of just a crate! Hopefully al of these sweet kids find their home soon!

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