Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society

by | Jul 14, 2021

Julie Castle—the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, the national animal welfare organization, founded in 1984, and based in Kanab, Utah—describes the organization currently in broad strokes, offering notable contrasts to when she scrapped plans for law school and began working there some 25 years ago, as just the 17th employee of this now-sprawling entity. Castle addresses the philosophy underpinning Best Friends’ major initiative, “Save Them All,” a central piece of the organization’s messaging for a number of years, whose guiding principle is to end the killing of animals in shelters. This naturally leads into a discussion of “No Kill 2025,” a campaign by which Best Friends aims, in 2025, for every animal shelter across the country to embrace a “no kill” policy. That means, Castle explains, that under this policy, 90% of any shelter’s animals are to remain alive as a national benchmark–no more than 10% of shelter animals would ever be euthanized, pointing out that this figure acknowledges there may always be a small cadre of cats and dogs who are so severely ill or behaviorally incapacitated that it would be inhumane to unnecessarily preserve their lives. In response to my observation that all kinds of animal organizations, large and small, highlight the importance of “no kill,” but that it’s exceedingly rare for an organization to commit to a deadline, Castle notes that she decided on the 2025 cut-off date, moving it five years earlier than the original master plan had called for. She goes on to speak to the importance of employing science and research in formulating Best Friends policy and making decisions, while heeding the organization’s underlying ethos: “Do the right thing.” (https://bestfriends.org, https://www.facebook.com/bestfriendsanimalsociety?ref=ts, https://www.facebook.com/BleeckerStFilms, https://www.instagram.com/bestfriendsanimalsociety/)


ALSO: I also spoke briefly with Dr. Sandhu, a veterinarian who primarily practices at Companion Pet Hospital in Thonotosassa, but every other Saturday, additionally offers his services at multiple locations through his Mobile Pet Hospital. We highlighted the location at Leo & Lucky’s, at 8943 US Highway 301 North in Parrish, Florida, where the Mobile Pet Hospital was slated to be parked from 1-3pm on July 17. (They’re scheduled to return on July 31.) Dr. Sandhu explains that for the mobile clinic patients, he provides a basic exam, often at no charge, and that the primary purpose is to provide vaccinations and other measures to maintain good health and prevent illness. Sandhu does not see ill animals at the Mobile Pet Hospital, and if one turns up there, he and his staff refer the owner to full-service veterinary hospitals.  The list of Mobile Pet Hospital clinic locations, dates, and other information, can be found at: https://www.mobilepethospital.org

COMEDY CORNER:  Nick Turner’s “Rescue Dogs”   (https://www.instagram.com/nicksturners/?hl=en)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Genesis’s “A Trick of the Tail”


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