Nonprofit Spotlight: Best Friend Pet Adoption

Foster volunteers Brianna, left, and Wendy McMillan arrive at PetSmart in Cary for an adoption event with Darcy, a great dane.

Best Friend Pet Adoption, a 100% volunteer nonprofit, has been working since 1998 to get dogs and cats off the street and placed in their “fur-ever” homes.

In the last 22 years, BFPA has rescued over 3,800 cats and dogs, regardless of breed, size and health condition. The organization doesn’t have a physical building, so BFPA relies on its 20 foster volunteers to care for the rescued animals in their own homes.

Danielle ReBant is a supply chain planning manager by day and dog intake/foster coordinator and board member for BFPA by night. She began working for the nonprofit as a foster volunteer in 2006, after taking in a neighborhood stray. She has lost count of the number of dogs and cats she has fostered in the years since.

Michael, part of BFPA’s “The Office” litter, stretches up to say hello. Other dogs in his litter include Dwight, Jim and Pam, who were all adopted through the nonprofit.

“Most of these dogs and cats have already been through so much before bringing them into the program,” said ReBant, who also helps organize dog adoption events.

“We want to make sure we put them into quality foster homes that help prepare them for adoption, and then an application process where we do vet and reference checks and eventually a home-check to make sure they are being adopted out to a quality home.”

The nonprofit doesn’t have a building of its own, BFPA relies on adoption events, their website and social media to get the word out about available dogs and cats. Usually there are about 50 adoptable animals listed on the nonprofit’s website — around 30 dogs and 20 cats.

The adoption process begins with an online form, complete with requests for vet information and references. Once the prospective owner’s information is thoroughly vetted, a meeting is set up with the chosen furry friend, typically at an adoption event.

Laura and Alex Lewis show Michael some love. The couple saw the pup online on BFPA’s website and decided to adopt him after meeting him at the adoption event.

After a successful meeting, the pet will have a two-week trial in the new home. At the end of that time, a BFPA representative will make an in-person visit to complete the adoption process.

“We have high standards for taking care of our cats and dogs as well as the homes they are adopted out to,” ReBant said. “We have a very low return rate, and I believe that is due to all of the up-front work that is done ahead of the adoption process.”

Foster volunteer Carrie West began working with BFPA in the fall of 2018, when there was an increased need for fosters after Hurricane Florence.

“We jumped right in when we saw that there were dogs that were displaced and in need of homes after the hurricane came through, and we’ve been doing it ever since,” she said.

So far, West has fostered nine puppies in her home, where she lives with her husband and dog.

Along with volunteers who care for the pets, there are others who shop for food and medical supplies. Funding mainly comes from donations, grants and adoption fees.

“BFPA is grateful for all of the volunteers no matter their contributions,” ReBant said. “We are always looking for new foster homes. That is the only way we can take new animals into the program.”

Rich Baek holds onto Maple as she waits patiently for her nails to get cut by BFPA volunteer Carol Cook.

How to help

Starting about three months after Christmas, puppies and kittens given as presents begin showing up at shelters and rescue groups. And because dogs and cats give birth in spring, litters of baby animals also arrive at shelters around the same time.

“We call it the busy season — March through May,” said Chris Hudson, a foster volunteer.

As more dogs and cats arrive at these shelters, the need for fosters and donations increases. To learn more about supporting BFPA, visit

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