Best Friends Animal Society

Rating: 4.68 stars   115 reviews

Issues: Animals

Location: 5001 Angel Canyon Rd Kanab UT 84741 USA

Mission: Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. To this end, Best Friends works with shelters, rescue groups and our members nationwide on a variety of grassroots programs. By implementing targeted spay/neuter and community cat programs – trap/neuter/return (TNR) programs – to reduce the number of animals who enter shelters, and by increasing the number of people who adopt pets, we know we can end the killing. We know we can Save Them All®.
Results: When Best Friends began in 1984, some 17 million animals died every year in our nation’s shelters, simply for not having safe places to call home. Today, that number is down to about 4 million.
Target demographics: pets in shelters find homes.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 160,381 animals
Geographic areas served: local and national arenas
Programs: • Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. When Best Friends began in 1984, some 17 million animals died every year in America’s shelters, simply for not having homes. Today, that number is down to about 4 million. That’s incredible progress, but it also means that more than 9,000 wonderful dogs and cats are still losing their lives every day. Together, we can change that. • For 30 years, Best Friends has been running the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and building effective programs all across the country that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes. Join us. Together, we can Save Them All®. .
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 23-7147797
435-644-2001
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Best Friends is one of the best run organizations in the non-profit industry, not just animal welfare. The sanctuary amazing and how they treat their animals second to none (they have a freakin' water therapy treadmill!), but being leaders in animal welfare initiatives is where they also shine. Pitt Bull Terrier education, cat initiatives, national conferences, and the work they do to send money to and help smaller shelters. Across all departments and channels this organization is top notch.

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

Marketing, public relations, visits to the sanctuary, local initiatives in my community.

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

Get more involved politically at a local level is possible. I think that is where a lot of change can happen.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

How did you learn about this organization?

Through the TV series Dogtown on National Geographic.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

2011 will be my third year volunteering at the Best Friends Sanctuary in Kanab, UT. It is a trip that I look forward to each year! Interacting with the animals and working at the Sanctuary is truly a life changing experience that really can't be explained in words. You must visit the sanctuary and experience the magic yourself!

The Staff at Best Friends are all so friendly and welcoming to the volunteers as well. They really make a positive impact for the animals in the world and I'm grateful to be a part of it.

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

I've worked hand in hand with the animals and staff at the Sanctuary which changed my life!

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

I would like for them to be able to reach more people and 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?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

None that I can think of.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

It changed my life for the better and also helped me to better understand the programs and campaigns that they have to help animals in the world and also to achieve their goal of No More Homeless Pets, which I hope to see and experience one day.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Amazing!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I finally had the chance to visit the Sanctuary, and I'm glad I did. I can honestly say that they must hire their staff based on how nice they are, because everyone seemed *earnestly* happy that you were there. (warning if you go: it gets HOT in july.)

Coming from the northeast I'm used to seeing dogs running around in grass, so it was a bit shocking to see them running around on that red earth. My first thoughts were "aren't they hot?" But I volunteered at Dogtown and none of the dogs seemed uncomfortable. It's a little depressing to see how many dogs are there, especially the older ones that are going to have such a hard time being adopted. But I suppose that's better than being in a shelter.

And if you do go stay at the sanctuary.... VOLUNTEER AT THE PIG AREA! It's wonderful!!

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

on the actual sanctuary (in Dogtown)

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

uh, change the weather! Other than that, all the office buildings (for humans) seemed in disrepair. I'm glad to see they're not spending money on expensive offices, but still... these were pretty bad.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

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

A lot

How did you learn about this organization?

Can't remember... word of mouth?

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a supporter for many years, and finally was able to spend a week volunteering this summer. The experience far exceeded my expectations. Every staff member we met, without exception, was incredibly dedicated to making sure that the animals in their care received the best care possible, including daily walks, outings, socialization, training, diet, medical care, etc. Even caretakers who worked in other areas would know the names and history of dogs that I was walking, as I passed them by. I witnessed the elation of caretakers when one of their dogs left to go to their forever home, and the deep sadness when one dog lost her battle with cancer while I was there. They put the needs of these dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and others ahead of their own, and have created a true sanctuary, in every sense of the word. The staff members were also incredibly welcoming and patient with the volunteers, including those of us who hadn't been there before and had tons of questions.

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

person

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

make sure that everyone knows what an amazing place it is!

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?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Let us work longer, the day ended by 3:30pm or 4pm, and I wasn't ready to leave!

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Being there for a week, and seeing how loved these animals are, refreshed my somewhat weary soul. I also work in animal rescue (exotic cats), and sometimes it all gets to be too much, and you jsut need something to bring your spirit back. This place did.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have visited two separate times and stayed for a week each time - staying in the cabins near the Horse Headquarters. Went with family members and had the best experiences ever! Walking dogs, grooming and feeding horses, taking dogs for overnights, cleaning enclosures, sitting with nervous dogs trying to help acclimate them to human beings, playing with cats and cleaning kitty enclosures - the list of opportunities to help just goes on and on - each one better than the last! The staff are absolutely incredible! they know each animal by name, all of their quirks, what their individual needs are. I am an animal rescuer myself ( exotic cats from the entertainment industry ) and know how hard these people work. Everyone should give them 5 stars!

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

volunteering situation.

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

can't think of a thing!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Disregard any quacks who indicate this is other than a sterling operation that has withstood audits, investigations, slander and libel only to remain at the top of the game. Over 100,000 volunteers contribute labor annually. Their founder Michael Mountain takes a meager salary of $40,000+ annually. Try living on that in Kanab! The Humane Society and other organizations work hand in hand with BF as do global animal rights organizations and activists.

Those who say otherwise have another agenda possibly due to envy or rejection as a poor employee or scam artist.

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

woring with therapeutic riding schools who have been connected to BF for years

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

start small cafe at visitors center

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Best Friends is an evil scam and a big money maker. Some of the volunteers think it is great, but they are the kind of people that gladly drank the Jim Jones Kool Aid. The money goes to the old "Process Church of the Final Judgement". This is who founded Best Friends. If you think they are good people, Then do the research and look them up. Stopped being fool by the cute fuzzy animal slick ads.

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

YES

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

Close it

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Rating: 2 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am curious about the specifics relating to $30,026,237 of Annual Expenses, since Best Friends uses volunteers. What are the itemized annual expense items and amounts? What are the itemized details relating of the Net Assets of $27,385,285? Is the property leased arms-length to Best Friends by a third party or is a principal getting lease rent payments? If so, how much is the lease rent payment? If the property is owned by Best Friends, was sold it to Best Friends in an arms-length transaction or did a principal make a profit? If so, how much was the profit? What disclosures have been made by Best Friends to their contributors regarding the expenses, the assets and the property ownership

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

They raise a lot of money. Who is really getting all the money? Who owns the land and gets the huge lease-rent payments?

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

Put the funds to much better use for helping animals.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As both a volunteer and a donor I have worked in the field for rescue operations as well as visitng/interviewing at the Kabab site. Best Friends is an AMAZING place. The canyon is the most peaceful setting I have ever been in. The volunteers and mid-level staff are exceptionally dedicated and talented. And of course, the animals, magnificent and take your heart away. I have volunteer on the Pup My Ride projects. Also amazing and made me feel as though I was truly helping the dogs. The staff was tireless in their efforts as was the transport organization. I have worked as an executive in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years and I know the challenges faced by management. However, I will say that there is certainly a deification of the Founders, and they suck up every bit of it as egos and personalities expand expotentiallly. They need to diversity their leadership as to dispel both the myth and reality of a cult like atmosphere among the 19 Founders. The CEO that they brought in from the outside several years ago fought a gallant battle to bring new energy and effort to the cause. However, he is gone because, among other things, he questioned the founding fathers and mothers. BFAS does amazing work and lets many people find a place for their passion and compassion to be realized. However, it is time for the Founders to pass the torch. Otherwise, the effort begins to seem more like self-angrandizement than selfless work.

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

When you drive in to Angel Canyon your breath is taken away by its utter beauty. When you pass "angel's rest" you can not help but weep at the sheer numbers of beloved buried there. Listening to John Garcia talk about the Vicktory dogs, makes one have hope for true compassion in the world. As a professional, I feel the underlying, gut level experience as it relates to the drive of the leaders is very disconcerting. The work is magnificent however.

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

diversify the leadership and begin to let the Founders step into more mentor roles as opposed to those of controlling all actions of the organization

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I first volunteered with Best Friends after Hurricane Katrina and have since volunteered in Pahrump, NV, as part of the Great Kitty Rescue of 800 abandonded cats, and also at the Sanctuary in Kanab several times. I live in NJ, so this is a significant commitment on my part. I have seen first hand the dedication of the staff, several of whom have become friends, and opened their hearts and homes to me.

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

feeling as though I am making a difference.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

hardworking, dedicated animal lovers!

Ways to make it better...

I could stay longer!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

view the over-the-top criticism with skepticism; BF has come in to clean up the messes other organizations have left behind and there are some disgruntled peple willing to say anything to damage the reputation of this amazing organzation

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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