When Best Friends planted the stake in the ground and announced the no-kill 2025 goal in 2016, we realized that to achieve the goal, we needed to know much more about what was happening to animals in shelters across the country. But, unfortunately, the data available at that time was very minimal. So much so that no one even knew how many animal shelters there are in the United States.
As the annual data collection effort to support no-kill 2025 moved forward, we wondered. What if we turned the gathered data into an easy-to-understand visual representation of the lifesaving progress, and what if it were made available to the public? Doing so would put the most current lifesaving statistics for every shelter in the country at the fingertips of individual advocates, policymakers, animal shelters, and rescue organizations for the first time.
With the release of this year’s Best Friends 2020 national data set, the dashboard saw some significant upgrades - building on a tool that already earned recognition from Fast Company magazine, which announced its annual list of the world’s most innovative companies for 2021. How we collect, analyze and use data, including the development of the dashboard, put Best Friends in the top 10 in the data science category.
So what is the pet lifesaving dashboard, and how can it help in your lifesaving work? This week’s guest is one of the architects of the tool - chief missions officer for Best Friends, Holly Sizemore.