A high-stakes job with unpredictable working schedules is the leitmotif of news publicists, always at the ready to relay updating events regardless of the time. This truth was encapsulated in the career of Jim Acosta, the notable CNN anchor and chief correspondent who spent several years engrossed in political campaigns and reporting from the White House.
Upon transitioning to his new role, Acosta discovered a clarity of purpose. Having bid farewell to the White House in 2021, he found himself open to embracing a dream – owning a dog. His departure from the relentless pace of White House events prompted a newfound vision, one that encapsulated a more leisurely lifestyle, free for the companionship of a canine.
With this aspiration in mind, Acosta got in touch with an associate who was engaged with an animal rescue organization. In a short span, he found himself bonding with a sprightly beagle puppy, named Duke, whose mother had a tragic backstory involving an abandoned house.
His undeniable affection for dogs stoked this desire and Acosta facetiously claims, “I must have been a dog in a previous life,” indicating his natural inclination towards canine companionship once he had the leisure to devote.
Annually, CNN involves its hosts and correspondents in its “Champions For Change” venture, nudging them to spotlight uplifting stories of individuals bringing about significant changes, who have also touched their lives personally. Acosta’s choice was immediate – Julie Castle, the dynamic CEO of Best Friends animal sanctuary, who played an instrumental role in connecting him with Duke.
Best Friends manages two animal sanctuaries, one nestled in Utah, the other in Arkansas, both providing comforting havens that welcome adoptive visitors. The vast expanse of the Utah location, referred to by Acosta as a national park replete with rescue animals, shelters diverse species including dogs, cats, pigs, goats, horses, turtles, and parrots.
The welcome amenities at their Arkansas facility include plush beanbag chairs and an inviting coffee bar, aiming to cultivate a close connection with animals. Acosta even likens his experience, to an Apple store encounter, albeit targeting animal rescue.
Operating in collaboration with other shelters, Best Friends aims to revolutionize the pet adoption experience, effectively lowering euthanasia rates for healthy, adoptable pets. By 2025, they hope to have 90% of all shelter pets adopted, rather than entailing the eventuality of a grim animal shelter experience.
When Acosta approached his friend involved with Best Friends for assistance with adopting a dog, the process of finding his ideal canine happened quicker than he anticipated. Upon receiving the picture of the beagle puppy rescued in Arkansas, he was overcome by an immediate, emotive response and knew he had found ‘the one’.
After he met Duke, their bond quickly deepened and Acosta shares, “we’ve been best friends ever since.” Inspired by his personal experience, he’s keen to increase awareness about the commendable mission of Best Friends. He personally believes that uniting stressed-out individuals with pets in need could bring about an immense positive impact.
He chimes, “You’re stressed out … and then you come home, you open the door and the dog’s looking at you like ‘I’ve got to go to the bathroom!'” Acknowledging that the simple, innocent demands of a pet do wonders in defusing the intensity of stress and grounding you back to life’s simpler, more fundamental joys. He is an ardent believer that cohabiting with a pet is a significantly therapeutic experience. He’s intrigued by this paradox – the seemingly insignificant concern of a pet, juxtaposed against the modern world’s tumultuous rush, a reality check like no other. However, he reiterates, “it’s a tremendously healthy thing.”