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Uniting shelter animals with survivors



To unite shelter animals with survivors of sexual assault and/or domestic violence one adoption at a time, granting both a new leash on life as they embark on the journey of healing together.

We pay for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence to adopt shelter dogs and cats free of charge. We also fund medical costs for adopted pets to become emotional support animals (ESAs).

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What We Do

Survivor’s Best Friend (SBF) is a registered nonprofit that rescues shelter animals while at the same time empowering survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. SBF pays for all adoption expenses for a shelter dog or cat of a survivor’s choosing. These expenses cover not only the cost of the animal, but also up-to-date vaccinations, veterinary exams, and spaying/neutering procedures.

SBF also funds the medical costs associated with getting adopted pets to become Emotional Support Animals (ESAs). Medical providers must write a letter verifying that pet owners suffer from a psychological disorder for which adopted pets provide relief.

We fund adoptions and ESA letters for pets across the country and help all survivors of sexual assault and/or domestic violence who are able to care for an animal regardless of sex, gender, race, age, religion, or any other facet of identity.



SBF was born as tribute to Founder Sophie Capshaw-Mack’s journey of healing from trauma with her trusty canine, Biscuit, by her side. After surviving childhood sexual abuse and being drugged and raped in college, Sophie adopted Biscuit to help her cope. Biscuit eased Sophie’s PTSD symptoms and empowered her to go outside again. Sophie rescued Biscuit from the shelter, and Biscuit also rescued Sophie—saving her from the darkness of her past.

Inspired by other survivors with shelter animals, Sophie decided to create Survivor’s Best Friend in 2018, believing that the mutual impact that shelter animals and survivors have on one another transforms past traumas into future hope. Sophie hopes to shift the conversation away from the perpetrator and the trauma—itself—to instead focus on the resilience and strength of the survivor.


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