The Healing Center and Animal Friends have teamed up to create happy tales for animals and families throughout the region. 

With the help of The Almanac, the medical cannabis dispensary and animal shelter have launched an adoptable pet of the week program called Best Buds to publicize available dogs, cats and rabbits to help them find their forever homes.

The program launched in February and has already secured forever homes to 12 of their Best Buds - Rory, Eugene, Bexley, Phoenix, Carrot Top, Mellow, Layla, Pickles, Pooka, Benz, Rainbow, and Ravioli.

Chris Kohan, The Healing Center’s co-founder, said their new partnership with Animal Friends has been natural. “We’ve supported Animal Friends independently in the past,” he said. “We’re excited to be a part of this.”

Animal Friends is grateful for the support. Each year, they rescue and rehome roughly 2,500 animals. Since the pandemic began, they’ve had to alter their adoption process as the shelter is closed for walk-in adoptions. Exposure, especially from corporate partners like The Healing Center, helps create vital awareness about the shelter and its services.

“We hope that this partnership and the resulting pieces will shed light on the amazing animals that can be found in a shelter and clear up any misconceptions about shelter animals,” Cody Hoellerman, Animal Friends’ chief community engagement officer, said. “We truly believe there is an animal for every family at the shelter.”

If you are considering adopting an animal, Dr. Alina Teplitskaya, Director of Retail Operations at The Healing Center thinks that pets are great for a number of physical and mental conditions.

“Animal therapy can be done using various animals, the most common being dogs, cats, horses, and birds. This therapy can be used to cope with many mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, autism, dementia, ADHD, and schizophrenia. It can also help with physical conditions such as epilepsy, heart failure, pain from cancer treatment, postoperative recovery, and recovery after a major stroke or another condition that causes a person to lose motor skills. Adopt your best pal today and start your healing process!”

Best Buds will continue to be featured throughout 2021. While Hoellerman is hoping for more weekly success stories, he’s optimistic this program will create a trickle effect for other animals at the shelter.

“We really hope that people have the opportunity to reach out to us and let us know what they are looking for in a pet,” he said.

To see the current list of Best Buds, visit To learn more about Animal Friends, their services and their current adoptable companions, visit

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