One of the core values of Aratana Therapeutics is our responsibility to improve the lives of our pets. It’s reflected through our dedication to developing new therapeutics for the unmet medical needs of pets and the families who love them. We also bring that principle to life through our commitment to giving back through volunteerism for companion animal-focused causes and institutions. Two members of the Aratana team – veterinarians Linda Rhodes, chief scientific officer, and Marie-Paul Lachaud, our head of program management in Europe – recently spent two enriching days at the Best Friends Animal Society sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.
Best Friends helped pioneer the no-kill movement nearly 30 years ago. The organization was an early proponent of reducing the number of homeless pets euthanized in America’s shelters. They promote spay/neuter and trap/neuter/return programs to reduce the number of animals entering shelters, while increasing the number of people who adopt pets. Their efforts have worked. Best Friends has helped reduce the number of pets dying in shelters to approximately four million annually, a decrease of 76% since they opened their doors.
Located in Utah’s picturesque Angel Canyon, the Best Friend Sanctuary is home to about 2,000 homeless animals, including dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits, goats, sheep and pigs. The animals that come to the sanctuary face different challenges. Some are ill while others have suffered from neglect or abuse. All are homeless. But once at the animal refuge, they receive everything they need physically, emotionally and psychologically to thrive in new homes.
Linda and Marie-Paul rolled up their sleeves and did what comes naturally to them: nurture animals in need. Linda spent time caring for puppies, bathing them and helping with their socialization. She also attended a board meeting of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, an organization dedicated to the betterment of companion animal health and welfare by expanding options for pet population control.
Marie-Paul worked in several of the sanctuary’s wide open pastures, tending to horses, and in the bird facility, home of a variety of birds, including parrots. She also cared for cats that have been maimed or face other physical challenges; kitty stroller rides were a highlight.
“What a wonderful place!” said Marie-Paul. “The design of the premises and gentleness and motivation of the Best Friends staff were extremely impressive.”
The Aratana team strives to improve the lives of the pets that make such an impact in our lives. Linda and Marie-Paul are shining examples of how we fulfill that promise.