Francis Battista

Francis Battista is one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, and today is considered to be one of the foremost thought leaders in animal welfare.

Francis was co-director of animal care at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and he managed the Best Friends rescue shelter in Tylertown, Mississippi, for four months following Hurricane Katrina. He was also involved in the negotiations with federal agencies and courts that brought 22 of Michael Vick’s dogs to the Sanctuary. In 2011, Francis was instrumental in launching No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), a Best Friends initiative that has reduced shelter deaths from 23,000 to 14,000 in its first two years and is on track to achieve no-kill status by 2017.

Francis (and Best Friends Animal Society) is an example, in the truest form, of the “Biggest Little Citizen,” someone who believes that all life, including the lives of our four-legged citizens, has intrinsic value and who joined with others who share that belief to create the most dynamic revolution in social change in animal welfare, the no-kill movement.

Reno is a role model for our shift toward becoming a no-kill society, achieving a community-wide status in which animals are not killed in shelters as a method of population control or to make space for other animals. There are now more than 230 communities around the nation that have sustained a 90% save rate (regarded as the threshold for a no-kill community). And it’s only the beginning. Francis and Best Friends Animal Society have one goal for our country: to Save Them All, ending shelter killing within a generation.

Co-founder, Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, Utah
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