Best Friends Animal Society

A place of hope, healing and friendship

For the animals who find themselves at the Sanctuary, the magic is not limited to expert medical care or the security of warm beds and nutritious meals. Healing happens everywhere, from the highest cattery perches to the dusty red dirt trails. And quite often, it's the friendship of one of their own that provides the most comfort and encouragement.

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Here are a few stories of special bonds formed at Best Friends, thanks to people like you.

Fenway and Stax

It wasn't so long ago that a scared, blocky-headed dog named Fenway ended up at the Sanctuary, unsure of whom she could trust. Thoughts of having fun or just relaxing weren't even on her radar. But then she met Stax, a quirky hound with an unmistakable gift for connecting with timid pups in need of a patient and accepting companion.

The two seemed to recognize each other as kindred spirits. Thanks to Stax, and a devoted team of caregivers in Dogtown, Fenway is learning that life can be a ball. The two pups are devoted roommates and Fenway loves nothing better than trotting alongside Stax at the Sanctuary's agility course. For Fenway, knowing that Stax has her back has brought courage and confidence where there was once worry and fear.

Paco and Rico

A best friend can take on some pretty important roles. Confidant. Playtime partner. Even guide, pointing out things you might not see. For Paco, Rico is all of those things — and a devoted and ever-present protector. Paco is the older parrot, captured from the jungle years ago and sent to the U.S. to become somebody's pet. When it didn't work out, the beautiful bird found himself without a home and mysteriously without sight in one eye.

Thankfully, he eventually landed at the Sanctuary, where he met his beloved Rico. The two chat and preen in the Parrot Garden like they've known each other all their lives. And Rico's vision of friendship is taking on even more significance because Paco has developed cataracts in his sighted eye. Indeed, Rico acts as Paco's "seeing-eye bird," placing himself between Paco and anything new or different, including strangers. Keeping Paco safe is Rico's self-appointed duty.

Spitfire and Winnie

Arriving in a new place where everyone is a stranger and nothing is familiar can be scary for anyone. For Spitfire, a shy young cat who'd had very little experience with humans before she landed at the Sanctuary, all the new faces were extra intimidating. Winnie, too, was timid and fearful during her first days after arriving. But she found her footing when she met Spitfire in Cat World. As the friendship between the two grew and solidified, so did each cat's sense of security and ability to adapt. It was like their self-confidence skyrocketed just being around each other.

For Winnie and Spitfire, having a pal brings out the best in both cats. Snuggling together, grooming each other, even jockeying for prime petting position with their favorite caregivers are now common sights. Though still shy around strangers, the pair has come so far. In fact, they have even been transferred to the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in New York. They are now in a foster home together, which brings them one step closer to finding their forever homes.

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