With programs in cities across the country, Best Friends is no stranger to road trips, but rarely do we get to travel by car for days on end and combine loads of fun with a lifesaving message. That changes this summer. From July 26 through August 10, we’ll be on the road for a coast-to-coast trip with MINI USA and hundreds of MINI owners in MINI TAKES THE STATES. While the main goal of the event for MINI drivers is just to enjoy the open road, we’ll be there every step of the way spreading an important message about saving pets.
The MINI cross-country rally takes place every other year, with a different charitable partner designated each time. Patrick McKenna, head of product planning and events at MINI USA, says, “We know from our research that 63 percent of MINI owners have pets, and 40 percent of those are dogs; that’s a key reason we chose Best Friends as the charitable partner for the rally this year.” In past rallies, organizers noticed that many participants brought dogs with them, but this year, it’s all about the dogs (plus a few cats, one bird and one reptile). To date, over 2,200 people with more than 100 pets have signed up for the rally.
Fun, with a purpose
Best Friends will receive a $10,000 donation from registration fees, and staff will be along for the ride in a Best Friends–wrapped MINI, sharing the message to Save Them All. The rally kicks off in San Francisco and will cross 18 states and 15 cities, ending in Boston. At each of the 15 stops, Best Friends will put up a tent where people can learn what they can do to help end the killing of over 9,000 pets in America’s shelters each day.
When the rally heads to Wendover, in Best Friends’ home state of Utah, a special party will be held to celebrate Best Friends’ 30th anniversary. The party will include a pet parade and lookalike contest (with any combination of lookalike welcome: pets and their people, people and their cars).
At three of the rally locations (Albuquerque, New Mexico; Memphis, Tennessee; and Buffalo, New York), weekend adoptions will be hosted by MINI dealers to invite the public to come out and adopt a new best friend. The pets available for adoption will come from Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network partners. With any luck, they’ll go home in a MINI with a new family.
Patrick says, “We’re just excited that this partnership puts MINI owners in the driver’s seat to help Best Friends. We’re looking forward to a lot of support along the way and (hope) that Best Friends is able to raise funds and awareness in MINI TAKES THE STATES.”
Images by Sit Stay Pet Photography and Katherine Lara