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August 4, 2011

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.

The Great!

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!

Ways to make it better...

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.

More feedback...

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

August 4, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
August 4, 2011
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!!

The Great!

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

on the actual sanctuary (in Dogtown)

Ways to make it better...

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.

More feedback...

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

July 19, 2011

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July 19, 2011

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.

The Great!

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

person

Ways to make it better...

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

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

More feedback...

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

July 15, 2011

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July 15, 2011

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!

The Great!

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

volunteering situation.

Ways to make it better...

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

can't think of a thing!

July 9, 2011

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July 9, 2011

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.

The Great!

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

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

Ways to make it better...

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

start small cafe at visitors center

June 29, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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June 29, 2011
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.

The Great!

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

YES

Ways to make it better...

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

Close it

May 5, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
May 5, 2011
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

The Great!

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?

Ways to make it better...

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

Put the funds to much better use for helping animals.

December 2, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
December 2, 2010
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.

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

January 23, 2010

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January 23, 2010

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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!

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

November 19, 2009

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November 19, 2009

I've visited Best Friends Animals Sanctuary twice for a week each. I've never been to a more magical place. I walked different dogs every day, even taking one on a day trip to the North Rim. I played with cats (offered to clean but the guy working there said he would clean if I wouldn't mind just socializing them :) And I got to pet one cat that had previously not let anyone touch her. A year later she was adopted!!!) The dogs are fed separately so that notations can be made if any dog isn't finishing their food. Cat have multiple feeding stations so the scared ones can eat up in the rafters if they want. They all have beds and toys. One year I wanted to adopt a dog from there and the lady in charge of adoptions was SO wonderful and patient with me. I asked a million questions and when I decided to adopt from a local shelter (since a Best Friends animal is so cared for and won't be put to sleep) she was very happy with my decision instead of being upset with all the time she spent with me. I got to help trainers with an unruly dog. He learned some cool stuff with me! A local dog was being mistreated and Best Friends worked with local law enforcement to take care of him. I even took dogs on overnighters and would fill out paperwork in the morning (where dog slept, did he bark, was he afraid of anything) so potential adopters would know this info up front. I can't wait to go back!!!

The Great!

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

my two visits there, in the news (especially in reference to taking in 22 of Michael Vick's dogs and even getting a few of them adopted already), the tv show Dog Town, and in their magazine Best Friends.

Ways to make it better...

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

continue the work they're doing! For those reviewers ranting about BF not helping locals-BF chose a mission and they're completing it in the same way that my church might do mission work in a different state or country but not try to feed every local 1st

More feedback...

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

the genuine concern for every single animal and knowing that they're in a wonderful place until they find their forever home.

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

extremely helpful and nice. So kind and giving.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help more people with it. As it is, they have a lot of money but I see them helping and helping and helping. I guess they'd need more unselfish people willing to help them out before they could probably use more money!

Ways to make it better...

I don't think it's possible!

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

trying to "pick" who to help. There's only so many people and there are so many requests for help. Sometimes BF will show someone how to help animals in their area rather than just take in the problem themselves. That's great for future needs.

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

I challenge you to visit BFAS to see the beauty of the land, the people, and the animals there.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

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