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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Best Friends Animal Society

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Training, Animals

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®. .

Community Stories

465 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I love this organization! One of my biggest passions is animal rescue and adoption, and Best Friends is one of the best groups on the planet who do this work! I have visited the sanctuary a few different times and have volunteered there as well as continue to donate to them. The animals are loved and cared for and those who aren't adopted for some reason are able to live their lives in security, peace, and love. The dedicated staff and volunteers help these animals readjust after trauma (such as the Michael Vick dogs) and are given comfort, play, and compassion while they are there. I wish there were most places like Best Friends in the U.S. and around the world!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends is hard to describe because the sanctuary itself is beautiful, the work they do in the country is incredible, the staff and volunteers are fabulous, the surroundings are beautiful. I have volunteered for 7 years, have adopted two cats, stay in the cottages and spread the word about this fantastic organization.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends is a wonderful organization that helps animals and pets in need. I have volunteered there many times and absolutely love it. The employees are friendly, helpful and dedicated. One of their most challenging issues are the Breed discrimination laws which are completely unjustified. I own a pit bull terrier and she is the sweetest dog in the world. She is gentle with my 4 cats and my elderly beagle (whom I adopted from best friends many years ago) , who is her best friend! I would trust this dog anyone. People who think they are a dangerous breed have never owned one. People are dangerous, not the breed.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

26 people were killed by pit bulls so far this year (in the USA.)
Best Friends promotes pit bulls, and the fact is, how a pit bull was raised does not matter.
Pit bulls have a unique biting style (gripping and grinding) and a stronger jaw than other dogs. This makes them more of a caution, and Best Friends should be honest about that.
Public safety should trump the lives of dogs.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm so glad I found this organization. I've been a giver to Best Friends for years and never had a moments doubt about their intentions, goals or ability. They truly care for all animals and do their very best to save every one. This large and well run charity sole goal is the protection and betterment of animal lives. To that end they give their all. You simply will never find a more worthy and worthwhile charity in which to invest your hard earned dollar. I'd give them a six star recommendation if it were possible on this site.

6 Sarah300

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome group that helps so many animals! The animals are so very lucky that these people are there to help. God bless them!

7 Denise139

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first visit to this amazing sanctuary was May 2016. Can't say enough about the beautiful sanctuary, the staff, how well run and organized it is and the animals ..... It moved me deeply to be involved in some small part of this worthwhile organization and to see how and where my donations are used. I was deeply moved at Angels rest and left his whole experience a different person. The sanctuary has left an indelible mark on my heart and I can't wait to return next year.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I had been volunteering at Best Friends since I first found out about them in 2007. I have also participated in all of their workshops and many of their annual conferences. I have taken much of their shared information back to the shelter that I volunteered at. I eventually decided to apply to work for Best Friends and I am now the Animal Area Volunteer Coordinator Team Lead. This year we will probably exceed 10,000 volunteers. Many of them come on an annual basis.

12 Lillian S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been there twice and have my third trip planned. It is an awesome place. The staff there is very friendly, working with the animals is just amazing and you won't find any more beautiful scenery anywhere. The only bad part of the whole trip is when you leave :(

7 Susan461

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Each time I volunteer at Best Friends it is better and better. I work in Dogtown. The caregivers and staff spend so much time helping dogs, some from horrendous circumstances, become ready to go to a loving home. I stay in the on-site cottages. It is so uplifting to spend time helping animals in such a beautiful place.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at Best Friends is a stunning, life-changing, amazing experience. We were surrounded by beauty - that of the landscape, the animals who find sanctuary there and the incredible Founders and caregivers. One thing I noticed beyond the compassion of the staff and volunteers was the combined joy and peace the animals exhibited. I am honored to be a supporter of and volunteer at Best Friends.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been going to volunteer at Best Friends almost annually since 2005, it is such a magical place. The setting is spectacular, there are so many wonderful animals to volunteer with, the staff is friendly and always grateful for volunteer help, and - of course - everyone is an animal lover so it's easy to make new friends. I cannot recommend it highly enough - a fun, rewarding vacation. Even if you don't have time to volunteer, you can take one of their free tours around the sanctuary and see the good work they do. Can't wait to go back!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered and toured Best Friends several times - each time I do I am so impressed with the wonderful work they do. The staff and the volunteers are so friendly and love the animals so much - The animals that are at Best Friends have a wonderful home until they find their "furever home" It is a great organization

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I cannot wait to visit and volunteer. I love reading the magazine.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Best Friends Animal Center in Mission Hills CA when they opened in 2012. I worked in the laundry room, cat kitchen, & finally decided fostering kittens was my favorite job. I take them home for socialization & keep them until they weigh two pounds, then they are returned, fixed, micro chipped & put up for adoption. I've fostered over fifty kittens & will continue fostering, it's my passion now.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is so much to say about each and every wonderful experience I have had with Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, UT. I have been volunteering at the sanctuary for 10 years now! My first trip was a week long stay right in one of the cabins and I spent time at each location within the sanctuary. On each visit, every staff member has been friendly and has really taken the time to make sure I feel welcome. With every visit, there is always something new at the sanctuary to enjoy. I have volunteered with the animals and I have job shadowed the staff and helped with staff duties. Each time, I learn new skills and come home with new ideas to enrich the lives of my pets at home. In addition to the fulfillment of working with these dedicated people and the animals, the sanctuary, being set in the wilderness of beautiful southern Utah, is truly a sanctuary. No matter how busy the day gets, I always feel peaceful and at ease because of the surroundings. All of the animals look happy and healthy. And as strange as this sounds, even the stressed and sick animals look healthier than I would ever expect them to look - the level of care they receive at this sanctuary is by far the best I have ever seen. I do not travel as often as I would like to anymore, but when I do, I make sure that my trip passes though Kanab to have a chance to spend even a few hours at Best Friends!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Best Friends is an amazing organization. I love how the mega adoption events they hold and their stance on saving lives. I especially enjoy their animal clinic in the san fernando valley that gives animal operations at affordable costs. This is truly a first class group and I am happy to have gotten my cat Wilfred from them.

2 Melissa308

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best Friends realizes it's about changing the way we currently handle homeless pets and really is working to change the publics preception so that we really can save them all and stop the sadness and suffering. Thank you Best Friends

3

Donor

Rating: 5

my husband and i visited Best Friends in September 2012 for the 3rd annual blessing at Angels Rest.
what an amazing place. so many animals and so many wonderful people to help those animals recover enough for most of them to have a second chance at a home they should have always had.
Angels Rest was so surreal and peaceful, even with so many wind chimes ringing out. it is a place where your soul can be comforted. it was a place that i longed to visit ever since i saw the first episode of dogtown. although i didn't get to meet the 2 people that i wanted to, it was still a very enriching experience and i recommend anyone and everyone should visit at least once in their lives.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends is such an amazing organization! The work they do for animals is unbelievable! They have such a great networking system to help in the adoption of pets. Their no kill initiative is so powerful and they are doing a great job in teaching people how they work and what we can do to aid their work.
I visited Best Friends in Kanab last July. All of the workers there have one thing on their mind at all times- How can I make this animal have a better life. Their animal teams are amazing and I feel that they deserve this award!