March 23 marks National Puppy Day, and to celebrate, Best Friends Animal Society is launching a new adoption initiative.

The Best Friends Animal Society’s Adopt Local Challenge will run for the rest of March and the entirety of April, and is part of the organization’s mission to make Utah a “no-kill state,” KSL NewsRadio reported.

What does “no-kill” mean? Best Friend’s mission to make the entire country no-kill by 2025 is based on the percentage of animals that enter a shelter who are ultimately saved and not euthanized due to overcrowding — “we designate shelters meeting the 90% save-rate benchmark as no-kill,” their website says.

The organization was founded in southern Utah nearly four decades ago, and runs the largest no-kill sanctuary in the United States. Since its beginning, the organization has expanded to help animals throughout the U.S.

“Sadly, in 2021, nearly 900 dogs and cats were killed in animal shelters in Utah,” says Julie Castle, CEO at Best Friends Animal Society. “If every community member looking to add a dog or cat to their family adopted from their local shelter during this challenge, we would be able to add Utah to the growing list of no-kill states, and be on track to take the rest of the country no-kill by 2025,” ABC4 reported.

So, if you’re looking to add a new furry-friend to the family, make sure to “adopt, don’t shop,” to give that pet a second chance at life, and free up a spot at the shelter for another animal in need. Even better, if you’re in Utah, adopting a pet from a local shelter or rescue in the next month can help push the beehive state across the “no-kill” threshold, a significant accomplishment for animal welfare.

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