Our Mission

The Friends are dedicated to the rescue and protection of animals in the community, while inspiring healthy relationships between people and their companion animals.  As animal advocates, we are committed to:

  • Saving all adoptable animals.
  • Providing high-quality animal care and adoption services.
  • Delivering innovative outreach programs and activities that promote education.
  • Promoting animal welfare legislation.
  • Embracing environmental responsibility with earth-friendly practices and facilities.

Our Journey

The Friends organization was founded by inspired volunteers who recognized that homeless animals in our community deserved a chance to get adopted, a second chance at life, even if they required extra assistance along the way.  Building on our strong sense of animal welfare, the Friends have grown to an organization of great reputation in the animal-sheltering industry. Small in comparison to other facilities in physical size, the Friends have a broad influence.

“Rescuing over 2,500 dogs and cats annually, reaching out to the community daily with education and training, lending a hand to other animal organizations regularly, advocating for animals and improving the relationship between humans and their pets, the Friends’ continued success is attributed to the generosity of it supporters and donors.  You are the lifeline of our operations, growth, and ability to care for the animals that enter our shelter each year and all who are touched by them.”   – MaryAnn Wright, Chairman of the Board, Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter.

Our History

The Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter (the Friends or FFDAS) was formed as a private, nonprofit organization in 1993 by a small group of people who wanted to improve the conditions for the animals at the Dearborn Animal Shelter and promote their adoption into loving homes.

Prior to our involvement, the shelter was run as a “pound” and animals were sold for $5 without adoption screening. We worked closely with the mayor and the chief of police and in 1995 submitted a proposal to the city to actually run the shelter. This was approved by the city council and in July of 1996, we took over. We hired a licensed veterinary technician to manage the shelter and instituted significant policy changes.

All animals adopted from our shelter are now fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and are identified by a microchip. We also participate in over 100 community outreach programs including low cost spay/neuter clinics, off-site adoptions, and city events. We care for 2,500 dogs and cats each year and are grateful for our 113 active volunteers.

Although we receive a subsidy from the city, we are dependent upon donations and fund-raisers for the majority of our operational costs.

Check out our accomplishments over the past years.

Our Future

Our dream has always been to build a new shelter. The goal is to institute enhanced and innovative animal care, and to provide a fully integrated service to the community.

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