Best Friends recognized in Fast Company’s 2022 Brands That Matter

Best Friends CEO Julie Castle sitting on the floor with a cat in her lap and other cats around her
By Julie Castle

A brand is often understood to be simply a name or a logo, but it’s much more than that. It’s not marketing tinsel or public relations. A brand is a term that captures public image, public expectations and, most important, public experience based on real-world interaction. An organization’s brand is not what it believes itself to be, but what an informed public understands it to be, and that’s what Fast Company is pointing to in naming Best Friends as one of its 2022 Brands That Matter, and only one of two Brands That Matter in the public service category.

You can read more about the award here, but this quote from Jeff Beer, the senior staff editor for Fast Company, describing the award recipients sums it up:

Brands from around the world — from multinational conglomerates to small-but-mighty companies — were judged on relevancy, cultural impact, ingenuity, and business impact. Our goal with Brands That Matter is to honor brands that are more than the products they sell or the services they provide, but also demonstrate their relevance through cultural impact and social engagement, while authentically communicating their missions and ideals.”

This recognition is reflective of the work of every single Best Friends staff member, volunteer and member who make it all possible. We’re in this together.

We do passion-driven work and it’s hard sometimes to look at ourselves through an objective lens. To have Fast Company, a highly visible and influential media brand with no ties to animal welfare, look at us and objectively acknowledge that we are doing important, relevant and impactful work, and that we are communicating about it in an engaging and authentic way, is so validating. We work to save lives, so to be recognized with this award confirms that we’re doing so at an incredibly high — even aspirational — level.

I also want to point out that this is not an accident or the result of a promotional campaign. It is at the core of Best Friends and has been since the founders proclaimed the intrinsic value of the lives of animals, the importance of the human-animal bond and the urgency of the no-kill philosophy as a key to creating a better world.

My pledge, and our brand promise as we work with individuals and organizations around the country to bring every community nationwide to no-kill by 2025, is to continue to meet those expectations for our movement and the animals whom we serve.

Together, we will Save Them All.

Julie Castle


Best Friends Animal Society