Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society

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Francis Battista is one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society. Along with his wife, Silva, Francis created Best Friends’ Los Angeles programs, launching many model programs, such as the Catnippers spay/neuter program for community cats; celebrity events, such as the Lint Roller Party; super adoptions; and public awareness campaigns, such as Desex and the City, a spay/neuter campaign. Francis currently works as an advisor to Best Friends Community Programs and Services.

Pet Radio Show is honored to be interviewing Mr. Battista for an upcoming show airing this month. Best Friends Animal Society is a national pet welfare organization headquartered in Utah.

Nearly 30 years ago, when Best Friends helped pioneer the no-kill movement, more than 17 million homeless pets were dying each year in our nation’s shelters. Today, that number is down to around four million unnecessary deaths annually – that is tremendous progress, but Best Friends is committed to reducing that number to zero. By implementing targeted spay/neuter and TNR programs to reduce the number of animals who enter shelters, and by increasing the number of people who adopt pets, we know we can end the killing. We know we can Save Them All.

In Los Angeles, Best Friends is leading No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), a citywide initiative, fueled by a coalition of 50 local organizations, including Los Angeles Animal Services, with the goal of making the country’s second largest and most diverse city into a no-kill community.

In Utah, a statewide coalition headed by Best Friends has the entire state on the threshold of no-kill.

In Jacksonville, San Antonio and Albuquerque, we sponsor effective programs with city government and local organizations to reduce the number of animals entering shelters and ultimately achieve no-kill communities.

Through our No More Homeless Pets Network Partner program, which consists of animal welfare organizations across the country who are teaming up with Best Friends to save lives in their own communities, we extend funding, resources, legislative support and know-how to every corner of the United States.

Meanwhile, our national initiatives focus on the animals most likely to enter America’s shelter system — cats, castoffs from puppy mills, and pit-bull-terrier-type dogs. More than 70 percent of cats who enter our nation’s animal shelters are killed, and many of them are outdoor community cats who should have been fixed and allowed to live out their lives, instead of being taken to a shelter. An estimated 25 percent of all dogs entering shelters are pure breeds from puppy mills, and the vast majority of dogs killed in shelters are pit-bull-terrier-type dogs.

Our national initiatives keep community cats safe and out of shelters with trap/neuter/return, battle commercial breeding operations, and fight discrimination against pit bull terriers.”