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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Best Friends Animal Society

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Training, Animals, Cats

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 800,000.

Target demographics: pets in shelters find homes.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 187,693 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 800,000. That’s incredible progress, but it also means that hat means there are still nearly 2,000 dogs and cats killed every day in shelters, just because they don’t have safe places to call home. Together, we can change that. • For more than 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

698 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 1

They had a rabbit they were supposed to help for MONTHS and did nothing with all their resources. She would have been better off somewhere else. They had to complete one surgery then return her because they were incapable of carrying out all of the surgeries she needed. She died after sitting in their facility without any medical care.

1 Denise139

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization that has and continues to make a difference in shelters all over the country. Their no kill movement, breed discrimination work, how they never give up on an animal and meet whatever needs they have; their successful volunteers program; I could go on and in. Volunteering here has changed my life. They are so deserving for the hard work they do and for so many lives saved and changed!

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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.

2 Writer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you were to ask me to tell you something negative about Best Friends, I would think for hours and hours and not be able to give you an answer. The staff are wonderful caring resourceful people, and their care of animals is superb. My husband and I have volunteered there several times, and we've always left with a good feeling knowing that the animals we met would always have a home, if not outside of Best Friends, then within the comfort of the facility itself.

We've watched BF staff train puppies using a lifelike kitchen and living area with a noisy vacuum, a doorbell, and many other household items that can be scary to pups and dogs.
We've watched them hold and cuddle abused animals until they begin to feel safe again, and become adoptable. And the enormous role they played in rehabilitating many of the "Vicktory Dogs" from Michael Vicks' Bad Newz kennels is unparalleled.

Best Friends places a high value on the life of each animal that comes under their care, and this is exemplified by their effort to make the U.S. a "no kill" nation by the year 2025.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Never in my life had I received a phone call to thank me for making a donation to a charitable organization. That is, until the day I returned home to a voice mail message from one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, thanking both my husband and me, individually by our names, for our support of their programs. It demonstrated not only how highly they value their supporters, but also how serious they take their mission to "save them all." Ginny R

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter has been a Best Friends supporter and volunteer for a long time and has made 3 trips to Kanab. This year she invited me along and it was a wonderful experience. I have been sewing for the cat trap neuter release program for a few months and while it is rewarding on it's own; to actually visit the sanctuary and get to meet and work with some awesome people was a whole other experience. Have I mentioned the animals??? Words cannot describe the joy, compassion and lessons I learned from my time as a volunteer...animals are so smart and so wise. Please if you get the chance....go there and experience Best Friends ...it is the Best!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Best Friends for 10 years and this organization is doing amazing work for homeless pets across the U.S. They are compassionate, transparent, and committed to their mission!

Diane M.10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at BF Sanctuary 7 times and am planning another trip in November. I live in Middle TN, so it is a long and costly trip; but, the care they give the animals at the Sanctuary and the work they are doing to achieve No Kill by 2025 is definitely worth the expense and effort. I encourage every animal lover who can, to make at least one trip to Kanab, UT, to see for yourself the good things that are being accomplished.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been to best friends 3 times to volunteer. They are definitely angels for what they do and have accomplished. Heaven on earth. U have a chance to volunteer and learn about so many animals why socializing with them to give them a better chance at a forever home and/or better future

1 Tracie N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They are amazing. I’ve visited and volunteered at the Utah sanctuary three times, adopting a dog after my first visit, and volunteered twice in Texas for the Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts. Everyone staff member and volunteer I had the pleasure to interact with was wonderful and friendly and made the experience unforgettable. This group is in it for the welfare and the love of the animals they care for. I cried each time I’ve had to leave, they make you feel like family immediately. Just love this group with all my heart.

Jessica G.12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It all started when my daughter had a sleep over with her Grammy. They watched Dog Town on Animal Planet and at the end of the show it said for more information visit us on the web... Not long after a trip to Kanab, Utah was born. I did not get to go on the first trip, just my daughter and her Grammy, but what a life changing experience it was! My daughter volunteered all week and came home to start her own non-profit at just 11 years old! It became her mission not only to help animals but people too! We have since visited several more times and I finally did get to go on one of the trips too and the mission of Best Friends is absolutely incredible and inspiring! We have adopted two dogs from Best Friends and they have been the best dogs! (well aren't they all!) The animals are in the best care possible aside from being adopted and are truly loved at Best friends. Everything is so clean and beautiful ! I highly recommend this as "A bucket list" place!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Best Friends has lost it's way ever since it announced the No Kill by 2025 initiative. They no longer care about the sanctuary animals, it's all about the numbers. They move sick and behaviorally challenged dogs and cats from Houston, LA, and other areas of the country to the sanctuary so the numbers look better in those cities. They do not have adequate staffing at the sanctuary to take care of resident dogs and cats. let alone these additional challenging imports. But the worst thing I see is the terrible way they treat their caregivers. These are the people who are responsible for daily care of the animals. They have been short staffed for the past several years in dogs and cats. Training is non-existent. They do not acknowledge the dedication and love most of the caregivers have for their wards or rely on their knowledge of the individual animals when it comes to illness or behavioral issues. They use volunteers to fill in instead of filling hired positions. Stress level of caregivers and local volunteers is terrible. It affects the quality of care and the health of the dogs and cats. The line out the door is constant and is accepted as the way things are. Nothing is really done to address why. Lower management are promoted based on their relationships to upper management and the founders, not on experience and knowledge. I no longer support Best Friends financially because of what I have seen at the sanctuary. My heart bleeds for the animals there. It's very sad that volunteers who only come there occasionally have no idea what really goes on behind the scenes.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best place on earth.This was actually my make a wish dream come true I have a blood disorder and if I was able to start getting better my wish was to go and help out at Best Friends ,my wish came true what an experience so heart warming.All the animals and how they are treated is so touching what a place

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing place! I volunteered there for the first time earlier this month and loved every minute of it. The staff are some of the most dedicated, caring, hardworking people I have ever met, and the entire sanctuary is so well run. Best Friends is a leader in its field and I am proud to be associated with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve made several volunteer trips to Best Friends, each visit left me a better person. You get so much more than you could ever give. Truly a magical experience- the facilities and staff are superior, very compassionate mission minded. Life changing experience!

Shelley H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have visited and volunteered at the sanctuary since 2010. NEVER have i had one bad experience. The love, kindness, compassion, patience and general concern for every animal there is second to none!! The caregivers KNOW their animals, they are not a number! They know their likes, dislikes, personalities and make the best decisions for all.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Best Friends for the past 7 years. It is by far the best experience of my lifetime. The staff, caregivers and anyone associated with Best Friends Animal Society are second to none. The sanctuary is a magical place. You can see the love lavished upon the animals at the sanctuary. I have participated in their "strut your mutt" as a volunteer in my community for the past 2 years, and it's the same there as well. Truly caring about the well beings of all animals. I highly recommend visiting the sanctuary and getting involved in your community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I will be visiting for our fourth year of volunteering this November. We return because the experience is monumentally valuable to our souls as much as it is to help the animals. The staff is warm and welcoming and we always feel like our efforts are needed and valued. I love how much they are able to accomplish and do with the help of their wide network of volunteers and partners. Best Friends doesn’t stand alone in their mission, but they stand out in the way they make us all feel a part of it.

Sheryl M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I drove by Best Friends in 2012 on a motorcycle trip to the Grand Canyon and Utah. At that time I made a mental note to check it out someday. Wow. I drove to Best Friends from St. louis with my chocolate lab Bella. What an experience. I volunteered for a little over a week but I wish I had longer. Being there is SO GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL. I will be going back!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I retired 18 months ago and began volunteering at Best Friends in Utah. I have had the privilege of volunteering at the Life Saving Center, the Sanctuary and my favorite... the Kitten Nursery. Without exception every staff member and volunteer are dedicated to the care of and caring for animals in need. My joy is being with these people and animals!

Nora P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best weekend ever! Spent three days at best friends with my Granddaughter and it’s a great experience. Everyone was friendly, informative and we had a great time with the dogs and rabbits. We had the sweetest dog sleepover and my Granddaughter loved it. . If you love animals, beautiful scenery and friendly folks this is the place for you. Great work you guys do for so many sweet animals.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Best Friends! Amazing, beautiful, peaceful, favorite place to spend my time away from home. The work done here is amazing, excited to schedule my next volunteer trip! Thanks to the founders for creating a safe haven for the animals... we have adopted 4 dogs, since 2001. Thanks for caring for my babies!

1 Beth V.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took my spouse to Best Friends to volunteer for her 60th birthday, and it ended up being an amazing gift to myself. The dedicated staff and volunteers, the spectacular setting, and the grateful resident animals all gave me far more than I could give in s lifetime. We are about to head back for our second visit this year, and plan to make it at least an annual event.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I left my East Coast corporate job twenty six years ago for a cross-country drive to find where my next journey began. When I drove onto Best Friends property I knew immediately I'd found my new life. Their dedication to kindness and education is key. I founded Greyhound Gang, in Kanab where Best Friends lives as a beacon to animal welfare everywhere. They are the guiding and golden star.

Mindi C.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So many things to say! Best Friends is absolutely wonderful! It is hard to put into words what this place is and what it does for the soul. The caregivers, founders, other staff - they are like minded people that bring joy and love to the animals and visitors.

It was on my bucket list for many years to visit the Sanctuary and ever since I finally made it happen I can't stop going back. It is truly a wonderful place and God Bless the founders that didn't give up and made it happen.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in 2006 and spent my 50th birthday volunteering there. My husband and I were so impressed with the organization that we spend one week each year volunteering at the Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. I cannot say enough good things about our experiences with Best Friends. We have met many of the original founders and fully support the work they are doing every day to save the lives of animals in the US and across the globe. We also support Best Friends financially and believe that they are good stewards of our donations.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a huge animal lover and adopted my cat from Best Friends. A very thorough adoption process handled with professionalism, Tipster was the featured cat of the week so Best Friends transported him from the sanctuary in Utah to me in Phoenix. His detailed medical records were provided to me as well. LOVE. Best Friends and their efforts to Save Them All!

social

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My mother and I have been to the Best Friends sanctuary in Utah three times. We're constantly impressed by how well the animals are treated, and how much their human caregivers love them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It was such a fun and family friendly experience! We got to go on a free tour with the kindest tour guide, and got to see some cats and dogs. We heard so much about the care and love each and every animal receives. It is my dream job to work there! Kind staff who truly love their jobs and animals they care for!

Susan L.2

Donor

Rating: 5

After donating a most modest amount, I was awestruck to receive a phone call from one of the founders to thank me. I took the time to look at their 990 and Guidestar profile and was completely blown away. What an amazing organization!
I volunteer with another organization that transports kitties across the U.S. On behalf of these precious souls, who we recently transported to Best Friends, thank you for all you do. Signed, George, O.C. (Orange Cat), and Tony Stark--all special needs babies. (There have been others...too many to mention.

Review from Guidestar

Beverly C.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We went out to Best Friends this weekend, first we stopped at the Kanab site it was amazing, clean, staff were AMAZING!! Then we went out to the main facility (Welcome Center) and again, very clean and organized the staff were GREAT!!! Everyone was so friendly, then we seen the Kittens OMG, they were so cute. The Kitten room was so adorable, they thought of everything. We ended up getting two Kittens, they are adorable!!! Thank you so much for being there for these wonderful animals. This is the 3rd pet we have adopted from them, first was a Pit Bull 2 year old, he is amazing and so sweet!! He forgets he weights 90 pounds and wants to sit on your lap. He is the most Gentle Dog I have EVER had!!! Please give these guys a chance they are sweethearts!!

3 AbigaleBeatrice

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After reading about Best Friends, following online, and getting the magazine my daughters and I decided to visit. I can say without a doubt it was the best thing we ever did. Whatever U read about Best Friends, know it is true and so much more. The canyon is beautiful. The staff amazing, the animals are wonderful, and the food at the cafeteria is awesome and a good price. We volunteered 3 mornings and took the tour. Loved every minute of it and would love to go back someday. Also the town of Kanab is adorable and would be a great little place to live. While there U can take side trips to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon plus a few other interesting spots. An all round great trip.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visited Best Friends exactly 2 years ago. No better way to remember the visit than to write about it. I had read the book and gotten their magazines for several years. I still didn't have high expectations since most times what U read about a place makes it seem better than it is. I can say without a doubt I was utterly surprised. It was actually more than the magazine, website, and book could ever describe. We volunteered for 3 mornings. It was the absolute best. The caretakers in the arenas we volunteered in were exceptionally helpful in getting us up to speed on what needed done. We took the tour of the sanctuary which was extremely informative. I'm not a cat person, but the cat house was awesome. Almost made me want to be a cat. The cafeteria is wonderful with a patio overlooking the canyon. Awesome view while U eat. Good price on the food. I'm hoping to make another trip in a year or 2. I've actually thought about moving there now that i'm retired. Not only is the sanctuary addicting but the town of Kanab is very inviting and would be a wonderful place to live. All that i've written and it still doesn't seem like a did justice to how wonderful this sanctuary is. It's life changing!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends is an amazing place of love, hope, and true dedication to a No-Kill Nation by 2025. They truly appreciate their volunteers. I was there in May volunteering for my 5th trip. It is heaven on earth!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends is the most wonderful group of animal lovers on the planet. Every trip I've made to the Sanctuary and my recent visit to their Harvey effort has proved that over and over again. They are truly amazing. I saw first hand the eyes and souls of those saved during Harvey, well - knowing what their fate would have been without Best Friends. I also saw first hand the eyes and soulls of some of the Vicktory dogs. I will never forget them. They have my heart forever.

7 Cathy T.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have supported Best Friends for decades and last year traveled from Massachusetts to Utah to visit and volunteer in person. This is the best run, most caring, feel-good organization you will ever encounter. They are organized and well run. They appreciate the value of a dollar and make sure all donations are wisely spent on the animals. The animals in residence are not just well cared for, but loved and trained with the long term goal in mind of a healthy adoption that lasts for life. Everything they do is done with much thought and intent. I highly recommend all animal lovers to support this incredibly worthy organization.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends Animal Society is perhaps the most special place on the planet - no exaggeration. They have a goal of "No more homeless pets" by 2025 and are optimistic about making it happen. Their approach is upbeat, making it easy to get on board and get involved. My spouse and I used our 2017 vacation to travel from Massachusetts to Utah to visit them and volunteer with the animals for a week. They really talk the talk and walk the walk. Everyone there is as caring and committed to the animals as they portray. The animals in their care are fortunate. I only wish they were bigger so they could help more animals. If you need or want to renew your faith in humanity, visit them, read their magazine, go to their website or follow them on Facebook. Do you want to know where all the good people went? They are at Best Friends Animal Society.

6 Ruth Ann Crawford D.

Donor

Rating: 5

Best Friends takes in any animal that has been abused, is disabled in a hoarding situation etc. I’ve volunteered there. Their dedication to animals is amazing. They adopt only to people who care about our animals. They have a medical clinic that would rival any hospital in the US. Animals care and well being are their number one objective. If the animal cannot be adopted for any reason that animal will have a home at Best Friends until they pass over the Rainbow Bridge. They are the Best Non Profit in the United States.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I don't think I have enough words to express how wonderful I think Best Friends Animal Society is. I will try to mention a few things. I truly believe that if Best Friends wasn't in operation in our United States, the abused, neglected and thrown away animals, of all kinds, would have no place to regain their lives and become adopted to forever homes that love and care for them. If for some reason they cannot be adopted, they will be cared for the rest of their lives at any of the Best Friends shelters in the United States. I got to cross one thing off my bucket list two years ago when my best friend and I volunteered at Best Friends in Utah for four days. We got the backstory tour and I came away very impressed by the medical clinic and the intake clinic. My Best friend came home with a cat named Scapper for her Grandkids. A year ago my 15yr old cat was killed in a tragic accident and I felt I needed another baby to ease my pain. I talked to Sherrie, in the Adoption Department, and she sent me some pics of a 3yr old special needs cat named Lyric, who has FIP, and no teeth because of it. Best Friends put Lyric on a plane to Amarillo, Texas and he has more than eased my pain..and fits in well with my other old cat Stormy 16yrs. old. I've been a member of Best Friends for a lot of years..my donation every month isn't much but it helps I'm sure. I would encourage any person that cares about animals to become a member of Best Friends. They were and still are in Houston caring for the displaced animals from Harvey..they go where ever they are needed thanks to thousands of volunteers. If you have any doubts about Best Friends...research and get the facts and info. They are the real deal people, and I, for one, am blessed to have them in my life.
'

4 Carolyn G.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have donated to Best Friends for several years and have always wanted to visit. I was able to finally visit Best Friends in Kanab, UT last fall. I was not disappointed!! My friend, Jeanne and I spent a few shifts volunteering in Dogtown. We walked high energy dogs, helped bathe and socialize puppies and helped with the care of older dogs. We had lunch with one of the co-founders, Gabriele. I was very touched with their beginnings.
We are going back this year to volunteer again!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Best Friends for several years. I have wanted to visit and this past September I got my wish. I was not disappointed. The staff was friendly and helpful. We volunteered for 3 shifts in Dogtown. We enjoyed our visit so much, we are going back next year! We played with puppies and older dogs. I wish I could adopt them all. This is an amazing organization.
I think the thing that really made me support Best Friends was how they rescued and rehabilitated the Michael Vick dogs.

5 Lynn93

Donor

Rating: 5

I believe in the wonderful people who give their lives to the animals in need in this world. Best Friends saves so many lives!

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Donor

Rating: 5

I am constantly touched by the incredible work that this marvelous charity does to better the lives of the beautiful creatures of this world who have fallen victim to mankind’s cruelty or nature’s catastrophes.

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6 Jacqueline P.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting Best Friends with a monthly donation since the latter part of the 1980's. I have followed them and watched their progress and they have a wonderful program. They always seem to be there in a crisis. Love what they do!

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Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a monthly supporter since the mid-eights. While I have never had the opportunity to visit the facility in Utah, I have watched, VERY closely, how my money is being spent. I would encourage anyone one to support this wonderful organization. As they have grown they have maintained their wonderful, credible ethic for taking care of animals. They are a true example for any organization that wants to do this type of work.