WORLD ANIMAL AWARENESS SOCIETY

Rating: 4.84 stars   62 reviews

Issues: Animals, Arts & Culture

Location: 2531 Jackson Ave. # 246 Ann Arbor MI 48103 USA

Mission: The moving image is arguably the rawest, most powerful educational tool we have to witness our behavioral patterns, attitudes and interactions and aid us in our continued growth... The VISION of the World Animal Awareness Society (WA2S.org) is to focus a lens on a wide spectrum of interactions at the human-animal intersection and curate a detailed filmed archive of behaviors in expectation of observing human evolution.
Results: All programs are tracking: More here: http://www.WA2S.org
Target demographics: build humane programs around the world
Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 100 animal focused non profits / charities with communication support for critical programs
Geographic areas served: the realm of animals and people
Programs: American Strays Project All Eyes On The Gulf Expedition Leaving Fukushima EZ The Skype Sessions - Crude Awakening Snapperfest
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 27-1918794
818-561-5109
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Community Reviews

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I truly appreciate all the hard work that Tom and the WA2S team have put in over the last few years to help bring attention to the homeless animals of Detroit.

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

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I had the great opportunity to meet Tom and his work with the World Animal Awareness Society, during Haiti´s catastrophe. Most of the time, the public get the information, regarding animal rescue operations, from animal welfare organizations involved on the field´s operations, sometimes organizations have political interest; and not always all of the information gets to the general public. I think that the Animal Awareness Society is fulfilling a critical niche by acting as a third party, broadcasting reliable information to animals’ lovers around the world.

Marcos Polanco

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

Tom, I think it will help a lot if people get to know more about the animal welfare issue in the caribbean and south- central america.

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

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

My name is Bill Gabbard. I was FOH Director of Operations for 6 weeks at Hurricane Katrina, LSU Animal-Rescue Command Post.
I also founded the group: Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support, which acted as the internationally-recognized, leading communication lifeline to the world during the immediate, post-disaster rescue-efforts, as well as the first, biggest, and longest running, ongoing support-effort on the island, providing support for the local-rescues.

I was introduced to Tom, (and how he rolls), when he called, stated that he wanted to come to Fukushima to get our story, ....and then within a matter of hours..he did-so!
In the world of organizing rescue help and support, someone who can document your situation or story, and then relay that message to the world,... is probably the single most important connection/friend you can make.

This is a man and an organization who get-in , and get the story, ...and then they get that story to the people who can act-on it, and actually make a vital difference. Conversely, if the story is fluid, or changes..they follow that too. They are literally the ESPN of the animal-world.

WA2S is simply all-business. They are not waiting until the story fits into "Anderson's" schedule. They are not sitting around until all the accommodations are in place and "Wolf's deli-tray" has arrived...like the mega-media outlets tend to do. Currently, there is nothing that even comes-close to what Tom and his team are doing at WA2S....nothing that is acting-on what's going on RIGHT NOW..in the animal-world.
This is not a news-outlet that will run the obligatory animal-story... if it will turn a profit.
They are an unbiased, non-profit organization that can bring the bright-spotlight to the real issues, which gets word-out, and the ball-rolling.... to affect a real change.

In closing, I was very impressed with Tom's vision, what WA2S is doing, and what they hope to do in the future.
I firmly believe that they will do what they say. :)

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

Multiply it, grow it, clone it...People actually seeing with their own eyes...is what affects change.

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

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

\The World Awareness Society is a remarkably fantastic organization. They joined with our non-profit in a time of need and volunteered help during one of our oil spill surveys and at a very crucial time. The professional connections which they helped us foster were invaluable in helping us with almost instant credibility with the major media corporations and other production companies.

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

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

30 people found this review helpful

Thank you for listening and actually doing something to help get to the truth about what is happening not only here in the Gulf but also other ecologically troubled spots that need the sterilizing light of national attention. Thanks for helping us to continue the investigations.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

As a professional filmmaker and videographer concerned with animals, I am thankful that World Animal Awareness Society exists to tell the important stories that are often times looked over and ignored by other media outlets. They play a critical role in raising our awareness of non-human animal issues that that affect our communities.

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

See them get bigger

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

Quite well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

30 people found this review helpful

**THIS IS THE UPDATE TO A REVIEW THAT HAS SINCE BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS WEBSITE. I WELCOME ANY RESPONSE FROM TOM MCPHEE, CHAIRMAN OF WA2S, IF HE CAN REFUTE ANY OF THE FACTS CONTAINED HEREIN**

*Originally posted 12-24-12*

Tom McPhee, Founder, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of The World Animal Awareness Society, owes me money. I was laid off by Tom McPhee a little over two years ago -- shortly after the events recounted in the @evolotuspr review below. He had been paying me late for months, then reduced checks, then reduced late checks, until finally he wasn't paying me at all. Now, it's my fault for not leaving when I saw the writing on the wall. Still, I did legitimate work for Mr. McPhee and the WA2S for months while Tom's promises of better days (and back pay) never came true. He laid me off owing me $4000 -- he even signed a contract saying as such. Not even any interest charged, or setting any defined time to keep up his end of the bargain -- just a straight up $4000. Over the course of the next year, he paid me $300, and it was like pulling teeth just to get that much. The last time I talked to Tom McPhee was about a year ago, on Facebook. I had bills to pay too, and sick of Tom's excuses for non-payment, I demanded a more structured payment schedule. He basically told me to get bent. That was a year ago, and in the months since, he has not made a move to get me one red cent of what he owes me. I've moved on. It's not worth it to sue, and even if I did, he probably wouldn't pay me. However, as a remnant of my time at WA2S, I'm still subscribed to their Youtube channel. I saw there a video of Tom McPhee "Pimping" WA2S for P4A. In the video's description was a link to this website, proclaiming that WA2S was a "Top-Rated Non-Profit" for 2012. That got me angry. I have not been affiliated with the group for two years. I have no idea of its current structure. For all I know, they could be doing great work. But seeing a website call them Top-Rated for anything, when I KNOW FOR A FACT THEIR CHAIRMAN OWES ME $3700 AND HAS FOR TWO YEARS, well, let's just say that irks me a bit. And for that reason, I cannot rate them any more than one star. I would give them less, but apparently, you have to give them at least one. Sincerely, Robert Felts -- FORMER Post-Production Supervisor for WA2S/Man Smiling Moving Pictures
*UPDATE 12-25-12*

I've just exchanged text messages with Tom, & I can inform anyone reading this that the Chairman of the Board for WA2S, Tom McPhee, has RENEGED on his contract. He admits I worked for him; he admits he owes me money; and he continues to refuse to pay me. Why? Because he's a deadbeat, and he knows it.

This is the pattern with Chairman Tom: Agree to a contract, accept the services rendered, don't live up to his end of the deal, obscure and obfuscate when the wronged-party wants their money, tell said party they can go ahead and sue but it will do them no good cuz he won't pay anyway, and then spin it in forums like this as if it's some great opportunity for him to grow as a human and organization.

Don't believe me? Just read his response to the @evolotuspr review several spots below this one. At the end of his meandering essay of a response, he admits a donor stepped forward to pay his outstanding debt. And yet, Mr. McPhee refused to pass that money along and pay off his contractually obligated debt. Instead, he says he will let their review stand, as the "airing-out" of such "grievances" is payment enough. So, I guess you're even-stevens now? No more debt? As if the only options are between paying a legal debt and letting a web review stand!?

As I say, this is a pattern with this man. After reading my initial review that has since been removed from this website, Tom texted me on Christmas Day -- my first contact with him in over a year. In it, Tom confirmed he was RENEGING on his contract. I think people can now clearly see that the word of Tom McPhee means absolutely nothing.

A contract with Tom McPhee isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Tom McPhee is a serial failure who has left a trail of broken promises and bad debt across every project he's undertaken since I've known him. He's a used-car salesman with a video camera. I have reason to doubt he even cares about animals.

YOU CAN VIEW THE ORIGINAL, HANDWRITTEN CONTRACT SIGNED BY TOM MCPHEE ON MY LAST DAY WITH WA2S AT:

(http://i1264.photobucket.com/albums/jj491/ClintStarpit/Tom-Mcphee-Contract_zpsf3560a05.jpg)

(please copy & paste address in your browser, without the parenthesis of course)

Written in Tom's very own hand-writing, and witnessed by former WA2S CEO Michelle Way, you can see Chairman Tom agreed to pay me the sum of $4000 for services rendered. To date, I have received a grand total of $300 of the $4000 he owes me.

YOU CAN VIEW THE TEXTS CHAIRMAN TOM SENT ON CHRISTMAS DAY, CONFIRMING HIS RENEGING AT:

(http://i1264.photobucket.com/albums/jj491/ClintStarpit/Screencaps/mcphee-text-message_zps900294d1.jpg)

In it, you can see that Tom has gleefully and unilaterally declared his debt paid-in-full. How does he come to that conclusion? Well, obviously it's a result of me publishing this review. It's all just another opportunity for Tom and the WA2S to "mature into the powerful, responsible corporate non-profit that we expect of ourselves." What a joke! You wanna be responsible, Mr. Chairman-of-the-Board? HOW ABOUT PAYING YOUR DEBTS! I hope this is a cautionary tale for all those interested in working for, volunteering for, or considering entering any kind of relationship with Tom McPhee/WA2S. He will promise you the sky, but deliver only empty air. And when the time comes to pay the piper, he will cut you loose like you never existed. He is a man not to be trusted.

**UPDATE 2 - 12-27-12**

Tom, your silence is deafening. Are you gonna answer these charges? Or are you just gonna post more cookie-cutter reviews from these volunteers you've snowed into thinking you're legit?

You wrote a book trying to refute (unsuccessfully) the @evolotuspr review. Where's my book!?

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

Badly

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

None

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

28 people found this review helpful

I am proud to be associated with the World Animal Awareness Society as Senior Editor. Founder Tom McPhee's efforts are relentless and infectious. WA2S deserves recognition as a Great Non-profit.

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

Very Well

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

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I feel obliged to mention that this organization cheated my company out of money it owed us. In 2010 we signed a contract to perform work for WA2S. We extended very favorable terms because of the nature of the organization, and agreed to allow them to pay after the work was done. However they never paid their bill, claimed they were impoverished, ignored repeated attempts to settle, and avoided collection letters. I stopped short of engaging a lawyer because as a small business it would just put us deeper in debt to collect what WA2S owed. It's the only time we've been cheated, and it's ironic that it was an "ethical" organization who did. In the meantime the organization's leader continued to travel, buy camera gear, and spend money he claimed they didn't have. It's a mystery that WA2S was named a "great nonprofit" by this site. WA2S acted dishonorably, dishonestly, and violated a legally binding contract.

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

Okay

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?

2010

Was this review helpful? 

The World Animal Awareness Society - WA2S and specifically me; Tom McPhee Founder, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director appreciates the platform that is GreatNonprofits.org. It operates on a similar basis as our own, to look at ourselves - to see our own evolution, and to assist us in our ability to grow and learn.
The Society was built from a vision I had while producing the award-winning documentary, An American Opera (Google it). I believe we can see our own human evolution when we observe the myriad intersections between animal and human-animal. In August 2010, Hollywood Philanthropist Ady Gil graciously allowed me to invite ourselves to use his house for a Halloween fundraiser - INTO THE WILD HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE BALL (photos of the party are on the WA2S.org Facebook page)scheduled for October 22, 2010. I had never met Ady before, yet he allowed us use of his home for a couple of days. I and the WA2S are forever grateful. In September of 2010 the WA2S hired the PR firm Evolotus PR to develop and implement a campaign to get people to the party and help the WA2S raise money. The price on the contract with Evolotus was $1,000. This was a ticketed event. There would eventually be more than $3,800 dollars in expenses, with less than $2,000 in ticket sales. There was a 50 - 50 raffle as well as a couple of items that were auctioned off for nominal amounts. Ady Gil was a very gracious and open host although he was at that very moment going through a very heated exchange with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society over the sinking of his namesake boat. Karen O’Toole was the most generous of supporters over the course of the evening and the too kind, very warm-hearted Nathan Runkel of Mercy For Animals donated his portion of the 50 - 50 raffle (approx. $140?) back to the WA2S once I pleaded with him that we were broke and the party/fund raiser would have us more broke. I believe I am an excellent salesman. I also believe I am a terrible social Fund-Raiser. I do not truly understand the social/mechanics of it. Primarily because of this party - INTO THE WILD HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE BALL, and 2 other "celebrity" World Animal Awareness Society fund raisers, the WA2S has stopped using this method to raise funds. It does not work for us and has cost us precious money to run our operations. Grants and licensing are the current focus. When I contracted with Kezia Jauron and Gary Smith of Evolotus I was very clear on how broke we were (not uncommon for a non profit start up). They also told me that it would be difficult to accomplish what we set out to do - raise money. I could write a book on how absolutely painful it is to try to run a 10 hour party and get people to give you money when they don't fully understand your mission (my bad). Michelle Way from the WA2S did a marvelous job assembling so many components to the evening going back many weeks. However, the evening was a train wreck on so many levels. The WA2S invited many others (authors, filmmakers, activists, leaders in the animal welfare realm, and yes Oscar winners) to attend, and they did (in part probably due to the efforts of Evolotus). We gave these people a platform at our party to help provide awareness to their efforts and as a way of building some new relationships. Many got up and gave a presentation about their missions and work, some showed videos because we invited them too. Few said thank you to the WA2S for the opportunity we gave them, and some even used our invitation to speak about their cause and soliciting money from our audience without even once thanking us. It became apparent weeks after this event that it was a party for many of Evolotus's friends and clients. Many of the tickets we sold to Evolotus's friends and clients were done so at half price or 2 for one. Not a soul in the group of people and orgs that were invited by Evolotus donated a dime. Evolotus could never produce a press release for the event that they said went out and the World Animal Awareness Society has never seen one. There was no audit of the work they actually did, there was no time. Kezia & Gary spent the early part of the evening out in front of the house with Michelle Way greeting guests at the check in table. Never did Gary or Kezia approach me to introduce me to anyone in the the room. Gary and Kezia when done greeting people at the front then spent time schmoozing with their own clients and not involving themselves with making sure the WA2S had a successful fund raiser. For months after the fund raiser I spent countless hours explaining to Kezia that we were broke, could not pay for their services - never once saying anything about their performance because I was too embarrassed about our own. It pains me to no end not to be able to pay a bill. The Society still owes Town & Country Rentals more than $500 for that same party and have been truly understanding of our predicament. Evolotus harassed, than threatened the society will legal action. I did in fact suggest to Kezia that it would be ill advised to take legal action because there was no money to get. It would be throwing bad money after good, and I would appreciate her continued patience. For the record, the WA2S still lives hand to mouth. We owe 2 other contractors that we are very fond of from 2010 - our start up year - and expect to resolve these outstanding bills yet. They have been so patient, and we are so grateful. Since this fund raiser / party, the WA2S has developed a grant strategy to raise funds and has been somewhat successful. There have been many downs with a few ups. I have personally been loaned thousands to give to the WA2S to continue on with what we believe is a noble mission. I have donated more than $100k to the cause to date, mostly with money I did not have. My salary has been less than $15k for the last 3 years - since founding the WA2S. As for the suggestion that the WA2S has/had funds to pay this bill, we haven't. Any money we have received has gone into the Expeditions/Programs the money was raised for. The amount of impact (Return On Investment) the WA2S achieves with what little money we do have is astronomical This post by Evolotus PR was made only after they saw the World Animal Awareness Society has achieved a perfect rating on the GreatNonprofits.org site - because we sent them an email. Here is the email the WA2S received from Kezia before the above post: To WA2S Volunteer, You may not know WA2S signed a contract with us for services, never paid their bill, avoided collection letters, etc. We eventually gave up on Tom ever doing the right thing. He even told me that it would just cost me more money to try to collect what we were owed. It's the only time we've been cheated by anyone, and it's ironic that it was an "ethical" organization who did. I've never exposed this to others in the animal protection world, because I'm not a vengeful person. However Great Nonprofits should hear that WA2S is a deadbeat org. Please do not contact me again unless it is regarding the debt your organization owes us. Kezia Jauron Evolotus PR 2012 Vegan Business of the Year When one of our supporters saw the post here on GreatNonprofits.org they immediately got in touch and told us they would donate the money to cover this bill. When we reached back out to Evolotus they were more interested in being "vengeful" than actually having the bill paid. Here is our email to Kezia: Thank you for reaching out. It has been noted, the comments to the GreatNonprofits.org site. It is our sincerest hope that your needs our now complete. The World Animal Awareness Society is still broke, we receive money for specific things that are granted and have to use those funds for those things specifically. Further, Tom has since this matter put another $100k (borrowed) into this endeavor that he did not have. It is our sincerest hope that you find comfort in your post, we think you should have listed your companies name though. If you are so inclined to still hope to get paid, a supporter saw this post and offered to give us money to pay you. We are not so keen to accept their generosity though. We believe there is more to be gained from allowing your post to stand. end. I do believe the WA2S can gain so much more from allowing this to "air-out". We put forth a great deal of effort to accomplish the mission we have set out on, it is a hard, yet noble mission we have accepted. This story should serve to communicate to all our constituents and supporters and future supporters just how hard the task at hand is and just how efficient we try to be with the money we do raise. Every dollar we raise goes to the "Mission!" It does in fact appear that Evolotus PR is more interested in exacting vengence than getting paid. I have declined the generous offer from our donor and hope this experience helps the World Animal Awareness Society mature into the powerful, responsible corporate non profit that we expect of ourselves. I am happy to respond to any questions in regard to this or any other matter revolving around the World Animal Awarness Society. Please feel comfortable mailing me directly, you can find my email address at the WA2S.org under Executive Director. Thank you GreatNonprofits.org and Evolotus PR for giving the World Animal Awareness Society an opportunity to grow. Cheers! ~Tom McPhee Executive Director World Animal Awareness Society

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

27 people found this review helpful

World Animal Awareness Society is a wonderful non-profit that brings attention to the human-animal intersection from around the world. They get my vote!

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

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?