ANIMAL FRIENDS HUMANE SOCIETY

Rating: 3.47 stars   17 reviews

Issues:

Location: 23445 Hwy 281 N San Antonio TX 78258 USA

Mission:
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EIN 74-2956981
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As a volunteer for this organization for over 5 years, I have seen the growth it has gone through. They have been around for over 10 years and have experienced many changes throughout those years. All along, keeping the mission as the number one priority, helping homeless animals. The organization has welcomed anyone with questions to visit or call anytime. As with any organization, there are those who love and those who hate. Those who love, support them and care about the animals. Those who hate, are only trying to satisfy personal issues and obviously care nothing for the animals.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

I was a former board member and volunteer of this organization. I saw issues with them as far back as 2005. Poor records, poor cash management, outright theft from the director, allowing children to clean cages, no rules, regulations or procedures. Several of us tried to clean up the organization, tried to establish policies and procedures and worked tirelessly only to no avail. You could only do so much when you constantly butted heads with Paula, Cheryl and her family. So we gave up and left.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you tell others about this organization?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

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Rating: 1 stars  

I gave $1,000 in a directed donation to have rabbits spayed. This money was not used for that purpose as the rabbits were not spayed. They had 13 rabbits and ended up with over 100. Dozens died due to poor conditions. I later learned a vet had offered to spay these same rabbits for free and was turned down. This so-called rescue is actually a hoarding situation.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Close them forever!

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Wanted to prevent baby rabbits by spaying the mothers. Also, most female rabbits die from cancer if left unspayed.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

The rabbits were still at a manageable number if spayed. I was one of two volunteers caring for the rabbits.

What would you tell others about this organization?

This is not a rescue. It is a hoarding situation. They have been evicted, but refuse to leave or give up animals to rescues offering to take them. They want to keep the animals for some unknown reason.

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Rating: 4 stars  

I've volunteered and have been involved with this facility for 8+ years and I have first-hand experience that the animals are cared for and constantly showed love and affection. The folks there work tirelessly to care and nurture all of the animals at the shelter. It's unfortunate that there are people out there because of whatever anger they keep, would rather criticize and actually work to hinder the shelter instead of channeling that energy into a positive force that benefits the animals.

Keep up the good work, Animal Friends!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing many animals be adopted to good homes and experienced the workers and volunteers attention and care for the animlas.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

institute stricter guidlines on whom we let volunteer at the shelter.

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Rating: 1 stars  

Issues personally observed:

Substandard facility and general care of animals:
No proper protection from the elements for animals housed in outdoor pens - only tarps protect them from the wind and cold in winter or harsh sun in summer and they rest on gravel, not a concrete base which can be disinfected or allow proper drainage for waste; animals eat in same area they defecate; water bowls dirty and not generally filled in a timely manner - especially in summer; inside, dogs placed in crates stacked on top of each other; 50 plus cats housed in one room with no ventilation - most cats had bloody stools and mother cats were forced to deliver their babies in this same room which resulted in mother cats eating their own offspring at times; no proper isolation area for puppies or new intakes; no proper cleaning protocol followed, close quarters and no exercise caused animal aggression and fighting; no smoke alarm or sprinkler system and animals were kept locked in cages, overnight, unattended.

Animals fed any food donated - no matter if cans were extremely dented and/or missing labels. No food was ever checked for expiration dates or screened for recall.

Mismanagement of funds and population headcount to the extent that animals are at risk of running out of food each month.

No proper record keeping method for vaccinations, veterinary procedures, or heartworm preventive and testing, as well as adoptions.

Vaccinations administered by Director were not kept properly refrigerated or stored.

Despite repeated attempts by many volunteers, no formal volunteer training program was able to be initiated and continued for any length of time due to Director's lack of knowledge, experience or willingness to learn how to conduct a successful program.

Despite repeated attempts by many volunteers, no formal fundraising program was able to be initiated and continued for any length of time due to Director's lack of knowledge, experience or willingness to learn how to conduct a successful program.

Minor age children were allowed to use dangerous mange dips, unsupervised, and dips were done in the same sink used to clean animal food bowls.

Animal food bowls were routinely cleaned with brushes used to clean litterboxes.

Despite repeated attempts by many volunteers, no formal adoption program was able to be initiated and continued for any length of time due to Director's lack of knowledge, experience or willingness to learn how to conduct a successful program. Shelter did not participate in public adoption events.

Despite repeated attempts by many volunteers, no formal training and exercise program for shelter dogs was able to be initiated and continued for any length of time due to Director's lack of knowledge, experience or willingness to learn how to conduct a successful program. Shelter did not participate in public adoption events.

No formal foster home program was developed. There was no training, handouts etc. for the few fosters that did help.

Qualified adoption applicants were dismissed out of hand with no background or reference check conducted.

Qualified adoption applicants told animals had "multiple applications" when none had been received.

Board of Directors mostly comprised of family members. Only one "outside" member. No formal Board meetings held. No meeting minutes posted or published.

Donated funds and items used for shelter Director's personal use and no formal accounting of cash donations.

Director did not participate in the rescue community at large nor attend continuing education training or seminars on shelter management.



I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

serving as an example of how NOT to run a shelter

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fire the Director, hire one with verifiable experience and set up a proper Board of Directors. Set up a proper shelter environment with adequate housing and sanitation. If this cannot be accomplished, it should be closed and the animals placed with reputable rescues.

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Rating: 1 stars  

Our two dogs came from this place, before we knew better. Both have turned out to be wonderful pets, but the conditions they were living in before we adopted them were absolutely awful. In the few weeks we knew her through volunteering before adopting our heeler she was left outside, unexercised, for several weeks during which she developed a very bad dog aggression problem. Additionally, she was suffering from a badly injured rear leg - both the knee and hip, likely from being struck by a car.

Once we adopted our heeler, we took her to our vet for evaluation and were absolutely shocked at the condition of her leg. There was a pin through the knee, placed improperly, so clearly on the X-ray that it's obvious Animal Friends never had a proper veterinary evaluation performed. She needed to have reconstructive surgery and physical therapy to recover from the damage, which ended up being several thousand dollars. Furthermore, we needed a lot of help from a pretty costly trainer in order to get her behavior problems in check. All because she was left unattended outside for long stretches of time.

Our experience there was awful, and the lies we were told about how the animals are cared for were worse. I would not trade our dogs for anything, but this place needs to be shut down. It is not a rescue organization, it's one person's sad hoarding disease writ large. Do not support Animal Friends, give your money to a legitimate rescue that's trying to do real good.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Animal Adoptions, animal care, animal rescue

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have it disbanded by the ASPCA and the animals divided up between legitimate local rescue organizations.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

Animal Friends Humane Society's governing board is comprised
of the shelter manager/director Cheryl Wildenstein, her mother Billie,
brother John, and family friends Paula Oberle and Laura Alderman. The board does not meet formally or informally, and AFHS does not provide annual reports to the public or maintain accurate financial
records. AFHS relocated in 2009 to land owned by Paula Punkin, LCC, an entity owned by AFHS board member Laura Alderman. Land use and facilities are donated to AFHS, and Cheryl and John Wildenstein, both paid employees of AFHS, reside on the property. The conflict of interest violations within this organization are appalling, and the lack of disclosure fraudulent. As a nonprofit management professional I would strongly urge the public to consider donating their funds to more legitimate organizations.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

animals that were in their care several years ago remain there today. Adoption is not a top priority - hoarding is.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

institute a proper nonprofit governance structure and a new director, or dissolve 501(c)3 status.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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Review from Guidestar