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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

3 Writer

Client Served

Rating: 5

I sought out a pet from Best Friends because of their reputation, after having a poor experience elsewhere. Best Friends staff were quick to respond to my questions, and ensured I was ready (and educated) about the two dogs I adopted.

I filled out an application after finding a few pups I was interested in. One had been adopted, but the other two were available. Jessica, the adoption specialist, was forthright with information about both dogs, their positive qualities, and areas training would assist them in. I suggested a couple different dates I could come pick the dogs up and she asked that I delay my trip so the dog's caretaker, Mel, would be around to talk about the dogs with me.

I am so glad I delayed the trip. It is apparent the staff cares about, and values, each individual dog in their care. Mel made sure to stop by for quite a while to discuss both dogs needs, and to say goodbye to the dogs before I left with them. Jessica made sure I was comfortable with the amount of information I had on each before I left.

A few days after adopting I had a follow up question that I emailed to Best Friends that required information from the medical staff. A prompt response came from Jessica, then a couple hours later, another email came from the medical staff with an answer to my question.

The Best Friends grounds are neat, and are a comfortable place to tour, or to adopt a new pet. Best Friends definitely knows what they are doing, and make sure adopters are comfortable, and know all about the dogs they are adopting. I would highly recommend anyone to adopt from Best Friends!

2 Guilbault Carol

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is the best. I have been there 6 times to volunteer and it continues to win my heart each time.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My friends and I have driven from California to Best Friends in Utah to volunteer at this incredible sanctuary several times. Although all of us are involved in animal rescue, Best Friends is where we turn when we need our spirits lifted. Best Friends is where we can see success with animals that were deemed beyond hope by others. Best Friends not only rescues animals, they help other rescue organizations become and maintain success. They give animals and people the hope (and tools) to make successful rescue and rehabilitation a reality.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Best Friends for several years and follow their social media closely. Earlier this year, I finally had the chance to visit the sanctuary and spend a week volunteering. I still can't believe how meaningful and fun the experience was, even though most of what I did was cleaning up various kinds of animal poop! The staff is so amazing and so dedicated to their mission of achieving no more homeless animals. I can't wait to go back! I tell ALL my friends and family about Best Friends and the great work they do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visited Best Friends outside Kanab, UT as part of vacation a few years ago - it was my favorite part of the vacation! I asked if I could volunteer to pet cats for a couple days and they actually said yes. I spent 2 blissful days w/ a number of cats at Benton's, petting, holding, playing with and even walking them. Benton's is a house w/ a wide variety of mostly special needs kitties. I am so grateful that many cats who might otherwise not even be alive are being cared for so well by BF staff and the lucky volunteers who visit them. It was inspiring too to see various projects that some long-time volunteers had taken on in order to help out. Finally, BF's mission of kindness to all beings included not only the animals at the sanctuary but also the volunteers who came there. It really was a privilege to be there. I haven't been able to go back to the SW since, but when I do, I'll spend more time w/ the amazing cats and staff at Best Friends.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing place for animals to heal and live until they find their homes. So loving and they go above and beyond to help these beautiful animals. Thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have interacted with Best Friends in a few different capacities. First, we attended a NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) super adoption event, which was sponsored by Best Friends. It was here that we rescued our sweet boy, Zion, from a Best Friends partner group. A few years later we decided we wanted to volunteer at the Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Our trip was this April and I am already planning when to go back! We spent our time at Dogtown walking dogs and attending a puppy socialization class. We had an overnight with a dog named Lottie and we spoiled her with snuggles and kisses. Because of Best Friends Lottie, Zion, and thousands of other dogs and cats have been saves. (Fingers crossedottie finds a home soon.) I will begin my volunteer shifts in a few weeks at Best Friends LA location, having been inspired to do more locally after volunteering in Utah.

Moira P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hi, I just finished watching a documentary about the rescued dogs saved from Michael Vicks deplorable dog fighting compound. The show was called The Champions and it depicted how Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary took in 22 of these abused dogs in attempts to help them recover and find forever homes. Though I've never been to Best Friends personally I was very impressed with all the work and care that goes into each animal that I saw on the show. I also loved their closing statement that all life matters and is not for us to abuse, exploite or exterminate it. If more people shared their vision I believe animals of all kinds would reap the benefits.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this Sanctuary and the caring people who run it and work there. The health & happiness of the animals are the most important thing in their lives. We have visited & volunteered several times and can't wait until we can return. Am always telling people it is a magical place for the animals. Check out the Guardian Angel segment for the most amazing care given to the animals who need it the most.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best Friends works tirelessly to make sure everything that could has been done to find these pups a loving, forever home. I have followed them for a few years now and the devotion to pets is an awesome, selfless, and extraordinary endeavor to match them with folks that can accept the responsibility to make a home for them. They deserve all of the support we can offer.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We found a pup we liked, filled out the form and set up a ship date! The staff was friendly, helpful and very easy to work with even though we lived in Massachusetts! Luna came in a clean crate with some food and water, all her papers, a leash and a collar! She's now one of our family! We will always go through best fiends in Utah!!!!

Nancy250

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Witnessing how Best Friends has partnered there city shelters of Los Angeles to turn it around as a "no kill" shelter , a daunting task, is a testament to its mission of no kill partnerships

Donor

Rating: 5

My experience with Best Friends has been extraordinary. I first heard of the organization in a simple mailing they did. Since then, through their other mailings and magazines, their efforts on keeping every animal alive and well cared for is evident. And the love they share with all kinds of animals is incredible. The many, many other volunteers that go there to assist them is testament to how well they attract like-minded people to to their cause. If I had more money, Best Friends would be the first place would give it to. They deserve all the support they can get.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Best Friends team is dedicated, caring, nurturing, and patient. Animals in their care receive the best life possible u til they find forever homes. They change the world!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been contributing to Best Friends for years. Last October I traveled from Ohio to Utah to volunteer at the sanctuary. It was the trip of a lifetime. I left there with tears in my eyes for all the abused, neglected and abandoned animals, but thrilled that places like Best Friends exist, with people who have devoted their lives to rehabilitating animals that others would have given up on. If I thought this was a great organization before my visit, I now know that it is beyond extraordinary, run by angels on earth. People truly devoted to what they do for these animals. I will continue to contribute and I will hopefully visit again. #savethemall #nomorehomelesspets

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about best friends especially after spending one week volunteering a few years back with my sister it was like a bucket list dream come true . It was great to see the Michael Vick dogs doing so well and especially great to see how well kept these animals are and how of the volunteers truly love the mall and how the board at best friends really does work together . The photos are truly special group of people and I hope years from now their legacy lives on but in a different way because by that time we really should be no more homeless pets.

Debbie198

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Can't actually say enough good things about all the things they do to save lives that are broken and unwanted! If the world adopted their philosophy all lives would be better and earth would be safe!

Dusty F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Focused 4 prong mission, dedicated people, unrivaled success, locally invested and globally dedicated. I've been to the sanctuary 4 times over the past 16 years and it's growth is logical and their charity is financially sound.

Donor

Rating: 5

I rescued my kitten, Black Finn, from a shelter. These people do an amazing job with limited resources. Help them out, donate some food, some snacks, they are always in need. Don't forget, we are their voices.

Robin146

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about Best Friends from the Dogtown series on National Geographic. When I was visiting Utah, I decided to make a stop at the Sanctuary. I was so impressed with the work they were doing, I went back with 3 friends to volunteer for a week. This inspired me to go back to my community of Jacksonville, Florida and volunteer as well. In my work with the Jacksonville Humane Society and First Coast No More Homeless Pets, I discovered how much help Best Friends had given to Jacksonville in their strategic plan to achieve a city-wide "no-kill" status. Monetary grants as well as planning assistance. And Jacksonville has now been no-kill for two years. (meaning 90% of dogs and cats leave the shelters alive). I have been back to volunteer at the Sanctuary as well and learn more everytime I visit. I have also attending their annual conference where they provide seminars and speakers to help shelters across the country achieve a "no-kill" status. All within their goal "to Save Them All". They have made tremendous progress in helping to change the country's mindset in how to treat homeless pets. I cannot say enough good things about the work they do. And one of the main things I love is knowing my contributions don't just stay at the Sanctuary and disappear in someone's pocket - it is spread around the country to help all communities. The founders can sleep at night knowing they have truly made a difference!