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Best Friend's Friend - Best Dog Shelter or Rescue Contest

Man's Best Friend, and Some Startling Stats

The dog is truly "Man's Best Friend"! Their eyes show their undying love for you. Their antics while playing show they want nothing else but to be with you. Their licks attempt to console you when you are feeling low.

And all they ask in return is your love, your occasional attention, and a tiny bit of food and water.

Despite all the benefits of dog ownership, there are these startling statistics:

  • Less than 50% of all dogs stay with the same family their entire life. The remaining dogs are either given away to another family, surrendered to a shelter or pound, or just abandoned!
  • Approximately 4 million dogs arrive in a pound, rescue, or shelter every year. Unfortunately, the US does not keep actual statistics on this, so the number can be much higher.
  • While polls show that 78% of dog owners claim that their dogs are spayed or neutered, only 10% of those dogs that end up in a shelter/rescue/pound were actually spayed or neutered before they arrived.
  • About 60% of the dogs entering a shelter/rescue/pound wind up being euthanized. That means 2.4 million dogs a year are killed needlessly, or 45 dogs every 10 minutes!
  • Municipally run (or taxpayer funded) dog pounds typically have a much higher kill rate, at a cost to taxpayers of over $2 Billion.
  • Privately run shelters and rescues are much more successful in adopting these abandoned dogs out to loving families, but they can only do what they can afford to do, with most of them relying on the generosity of fellow dog lovers like you and me.

Enter the "Best Friend's Friend" Contest!

Dog Nation suffers with all of you given the statistics above, and has decided to do some small thing about it! We want to help some well deserving dog rescue or dog shelter out a little, and perhaps save a few more dogs' lives in the process!

But rather than just selecting a few neighboring shelters/rescues (from here on out we will just use shelters to mean both), we have decided to leave it up to you, our dear readers, to select the top three shelters in the US. Thank all of you for making last year's contest a success! We are proud to continue the contest this year. The cash prizes are now linked to revenue generated by this site, and are considered minimum. As the site becomes more popular, the prizes will grow (I have personnaly commited to putting 10% of net revenue into this contest).

Starting on October 1, nominations will be open for you to suggest your own favorite shelter as being worthy of the distinction of being the "Best Friend's Friend" for 2016. Simply fill out the form (link will be provided at the top of this page when nominations are open) and confirm your nomination, and perhaps your shelter will win! Nominations will automatically close at midnight eastern time on December 31.

Voting will begin January 1 and continue until the last day of February. You can vote one time every day that voting is open. Make sure you tell all your friends and get them to help you too! Again, a link will be provided at the top of this page when the voting period is open.

So what do the winners receive, and is there anything in it for you? Let us answer the second question first. For whoever nominates one of the top three shelters (winning nomination in case of duplicated shelters) the donation made by Dog Nation will be in their name.

Prizes that will be awarded to the top three shelters are:

  • First place will receive the gold medal depicted above. They will have the opportunity to display this medal on their own website, displaying their recognition as the top shelter in the US. They will receive a permanent link from us on every page of this site (on the right sidebar) as well as one in our historic winners page. But the most important thing they will win, by far, is a donation of $500 to help them help others.
  • Second place will receive a silver medal similar to the gold for display on their site. They will also receive a permanent link on our historic winners page. And finally and more importantly, they will receive a donation of $300 for their continued efforts.
  • Third place receives a bronze medal, permanent link on the historic winners page, and a donation of $100 to show our confidence in them.

And So the Contest Begins!

So there you have it. We definitely are pumped up to sponsor this contest, and hope you all are eager to help your local shelter out.

Who will join the Sighthound Underground (SHUG) and Animal Aid for Vermilion Area (AAVA) as winners of the Best Friend's Friend contest? It is totally up to you!

Please tell all your friends about this contest and urge them to either nominate or vote themselves. And let us know what we are doing right and how we can improve this contest in the comment space below.

Comments (17)

5/5 (7)
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Bethany says...
The Doney Memorial Pet Clinic is better than a shelter because their volunteers work tirelessly to help keep pets out of shelters. The number one reason pets are given up is because people can't afford to keep them. When people love their pets but fall upon hard times, The Doney Clinic is there to help with veterinary care, food and other items. Less fortunate people can keep their pets healthy and fed during financial struggles. Aren't tough times when we all need our pets most of all? The Doney Clinic knows how important pets are to people's mental well-being and we work to keep pets bowls full even when their owners wallets are empty. I would love to see this fabulous entirely volunteer run non-profit get $500 and the recognition it deserves. Please accept this nomination of The Doney Memorial Pet Clinic for best pet charity, keeping pets out of shelters for over twenty years.
9th December 2014 1:36pm
Rodney says...
Thanks for your nomination, Bethany. While this contest is about rescues and shelters, I will gladly accept nominations for other dog related institutions, especially when they perform actions as you describe.
10th December 2014 8:44am
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Elizabeth quintero says...
Im looking for a recue that can help a dog .. He is in miami animal shelter his id # is A1708802 his name is bruno
12th October 2015 10:06pm
Rodney says...
Miami Dade Animal Services no longer has a record for #A1708802. Further searching found this from @hero4animals:

"Bruno from MDAS #1708802 is Free!!! Going home with his foster!!! Another one rescued...Lots of love to @eliquintero73"

Great work Elizabeth!
13th October 2015 9:18am
Wendy Scarborough says...
Hi, I have entered our group into the contest. Is there any way to tell the amount of votes per entry?
Thank you, Wendy
4th January 2016 2:01pm
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Rodney says...
Wendy, that information is available, but I chose not to display that for several reasons. Primarily, it was so people would not get unnecessarily upset if their site was lower than others early in the voting process, as well as perhaps getting overconfident and not voting daily, because they thought they were so far ahead.

Contests results change all the time, and it is best for results to not be displayed until the last vote is cast, at the end of February.

Hope that answers your question, and thank you for participating in our Best Friend's Friend contest. Good luck!
4th January 2016 3:53pm
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Oregon Dog Rescue says...
Oregon Dog Rescue was entered in your contest and is located in Tualatin, Oregon. You listed it incorrectly under Washington. Can you please correct?
Thank you
18th January 2016 6:32pm
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Rodney says...
Oregon Dog Rescue was changed from Washington to Oregon.

Note that I do not list the sites on this contest. They are nominated by my readers. Looks like a small mistake was made during the nomination process
19th January 2016 6:28pm
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Jude Lorman says...
We adopted our Sadie Mae from here and know many others who have the live of their lives because of the hard work, dedication, love, care of each volunteer, Vet who gives excellent care to all the animals at these NO KILL shelters
20th January 2016 5:30pm
Rodney says...
Not sure which shelter you are discussing, but past experience with any of them is definitely a good reason to vote for them. Thanks for the feedback, Jude.
21st January 2016 1:53pm
Lindsay says...
Who won?
Sorry, Lindsay. I posted the results on your blog. Here they are for everyone else

1st place goes to The Sighthound Underground, located in McLean, VA. Nominated by Wendy Scarborough.

2nd place is Friends of Homeless Animals, in Providence, RI. Nominated by Kimberley Paderson.

3rd place is Great Lakes Boxer Rescue in Lake Ann, MI. Nominated by Lisa Michelle.

Thanks to everyone who nominated and who voted for making this 2nd annual contest successful. Looking forward to October and the start of yet another!
8th March 2016 7:33pm
Maureen Gendron says...
Wow! That's great to hear! I've been trying to find the winners. I am a volunteer with Friends of Homeless Animals and hadn't heard that we won second place! How are the winners notified?
16th March 2016 12:31am
Rodney says...
Maureen, winners were notified by me both with a personal email and with a note in their donation notification.
17th March 2016 9:28am
Wendy Scarborough says...
Thank you for allowing us to participate in your contest. The Sighthound Underground is thrilled to have made first place. It will help us support the Sighthound community positively.
Thank You for the opportunity.
Wendy Scarborough
13th March 2016 12:59pm
Rodney says...
Thank you Wendy for participating!
13th March 2016 2:19pm
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Chloe J. Thompson says...
OMG, I saw that picture of the little dog looking up and just had to read on. And then, as I realized what you were doing for these wonderful pets, tears came to my eyes. I'm so sorry I missed this contest. Is it going on for 2016? Where do I find it?

And thank you SO much for what you're doing for the rescues and shelters that help these sweet animals. ALL my dogs are adopted (and yes, cats once in awhile).

3rd April 2016 2:30am
Rodney says...
Thank you Chloe. Yes, this is an annual contest so nominations will again be open starting in October. When it is open, a link will appear at the top of this page to allow you to nominate, and later to vote. Hope to see you there! Smile
3rd April 2016 10:57am
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