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2018 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 900,000.

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 900,000. That’s incredible progress, but it also means that hat means there are still nearly 2,200 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 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

672 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

Previous Stories
2

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!

Previous Stories
5

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.

Previous Stories
5

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.

Previous Stories
4

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!

Previous Stories
3

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!

Previous Stories
5

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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5 Shelley H.1

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.

5 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!

Previous Stories
4

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.

5 Carolyn S.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have nothing but admiration and gratitude for Best Friends Animal Society. They are absolute leaders in the fields of animal rescue, adoption, P.R., linkage to so many other animal rescue organizations across the country, and now leaders in a “ no-kill” Drive.

Not only do they go to any lengths to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the animals that come to their notice, but in any crisis they reach out and recruit teams to be on the spot with great success in either reuniting people and their pets or rescuing the animals and flying or driving them to safety.

I live in Canada. I can’t give much money to Best Friends; however, I give little bits throughout the year because I believe they are the best, bar none, spokespeople for animals in North America. And they are are the best at positive action on behalf of animals as well.

Bravo and please, keep up the amazing work.

Previous Stories
3

Donor

Rating: 5

I first learned about Best Friends Animal Society through a TV program that we watched here in Ottawa, Canada, “Dog Town” became an admirer through this program. Then learned more about them on Facebook, finally contributing a small sum. You see, we support our local dog charities and are retired so the tax receipts are important to us. U.S. charitable giving doesn’t count. Believe me, Best Friends do the most amazing work of any animal shelter I have ever come across. The founders and their staff and volunteers are compassionate, action-oriented humane people with marvellous ideas and motivational P.R. After my token donation, I receive their wonderful magazine and I received a call from one of the founders! Talk about impressive follow up and dedication to all the animals. Their current mission is to make all shelters across the U.S. kill-free. I truly admire and respect Best Friends.

4 Natalie Rotman C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have traveled to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah three times from our home in NH. It is a sacred place where visitors are welcomed. We volunteered helping to care for the dogs and took the tours. We learned a lot about animal rescue. The staff is full of wonderful people who are truly committed to each and every animal in their care. The work they do at Best Friends to save the lives of animals all over the country is remarkable and so very needed. I hope they are awarded as a top-rated nonprofit because they are changing the landscape of animal rescue in this country one animal at a time.

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

We have contributed to Best Friends for years. We have visited the sanctuary in Kanab twice and we are going back next year. The sanctuary is a spiritual place where animals are adored and cared for by people who are 100% committed to saving lives. Even the cafe at the sanctuary is vegetarian. This nonprofit is truly great. They are saving animals all over our country and they inspire many to take part in the cause.. "save them all"!

1 jklueder

Donor

Rating: 5

Best Friends is the best thing that has happened for animals. I have visited the Sanctuary in Utah a couple of times and the work they do and the care the animals are given is beyond amazing. They take neglected, abused, and unwanted animals and show them what love is. They don't give up on the hardest cases and will take care of them until they find a forever home or until it is time for them to cross the Rainbow Bridge. Best Friends not only helps animals in Utah but works with with other rescue organizations across the country. I only wish I lived closer so I could volunteer at the Sanctuary. They truly want to Save Them All!

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

Best Friends is an outstanding organization whose purpose is to help and save the lives of all animals. I have witnessed their work from visit a to their Utah headquarters. I have seen the love and dedication they show to the animals under their care. But their work does not stop there. They work with groups and shelters across the country to "save them all." Best Friends IS the best of friends to all animals!

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2 Carol Jones Bales S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter and volunteer since 1990. Outstanding work done, for an often difficult to place animal population. Worth every penny.

Review from Guidestar

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been following Best Friends for years and I'm proud of the work they do.

5

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

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There's something uniquely special about this place and its people, the animals they care for and save, and their commitment to ending the killing of pets in shelters. This is not just a nonprofit organization or sanctuary - it's a movement of incredible people, all who come together because of their shared belief that we can Save Them All.

The Sanctuary... if you've never been, I'd recommend putting it on your bucket list and making it happen. This place will change your life - I promise. You get to see where it all started by visiting the beautiful canyon and volunteering with about 1,600 animals. It's challenging to put into words the feeling you get upon visiting, so the best I can really say here is to go and see for yourself. (You can make a full vacation out of it by adding on local national parks like Zion, Escalante, the Grand Canyon, and more). Be sure to check out the veg cafe with an animal friendly menu (Save Them ALL) and the best views in Southern Utah.

The regional centers... I've visited the centers in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Salt Lake City and New York are on my list to go soon. These places are like no other in the industry. They promote adoptable pets in the most positive light possible, and each facility has an educational aspect and modern approach to animal welfare. If you're in those cities, be sure to pay a visit. They are also hubs for the regional activities that are taking place throughout the country and there's more in the works.

The national advocacy... no one works harder than Best Friends on the issues of Puppy Mills, Pit Bulls, and Community Cats. Because of their incredible team of hardworking professionals, one day, these won't be issues in the field of animal welfare.

Collaboration... Best Friends not only leads the way, they help others do the same. There's a huge network of partners all throughout the country who are committed to saving the animals in their communities, and through this collaborative partnership, there is a ton of information sharing, mentoring, toolkits, grants, and so much more that are made available to make it all happen. Not to mention the incredible opportunities like community cat programs, Strut Your Mutt fundraisers (to raise $ for local groups), and Super Adoption events. Wow! Way to make lifesaving possible!

No-Kill 2025... need I say more? They've put a timeline on it! They are dedicated to ending the killing of animals in shelters across the country by 2025 by working together with shelters, rescues, and organizations in every region of the nation. 2025 is not that far away, but if anyone can lead the way and either get super close to or accomplish this goal in its entirety, it's Best Friends.

I couldn't be more proud to support such an amazing organization. The story of Best Friends Animal Society is one of the greatest out there. These people walk the walk and will welcome anyone to join them on this journey of collaboration and lifesaving. Dollar for dollar, this is the organization I will always support. There isn't another group out there who I am confident can turn my support into a life saved or better care and treatment for the animals in their care.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m a volunteer here and I️ absolutely love it. I️ had a pup not too long ago and unfortunately I️ don’t have her anymore. But I’ve lived with this guilt and cloud over me since then. Coming to this rescue and volunteering really just fills this void in my life. I️ miss my pup every day but I️ don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get another one anytime soon.

Love you Luna.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am living in The Netherlands, but I donated some money after the hurricanes. And to my surprise I received a wonderful magazine from Best Friends! Reading and looking at the photo's, I learnt more about them and the wonderful things they do.
I felt inspired by their dedication and I will certainly continue to follow the work they do.

4 Amanda A.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best Friends stepped up for the Houston area after Harvey in a big way! They coordinated the rescue of hundreds, if not thousands, of animals that would've died during the horrendous flooding our city suffered. We can never thank them enough!