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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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best Friends is amazing! I brought them a broken kitten -- a stray that had been hit by a car. Her leg was broken and her tail had separated from her spine. Best Friends not only took in the kitten and fixed her broken leg, they also found a home for this sweet little cat. This was no ordinary feat -- since her tail had been separated from her spine, she would be incontinent for the rest of her life. Best Friends was able to find her a home with someone who had other incontinent cats. :)

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best Friends in an amazing organization that has been leading the way for a long time towards a no kill nation!

Donor

Rating: 5

I follow Best Friends on Twitter and through email and I never fail to be moved by their commitment to saving animals. Whether it's rehabilitating the Vick dogs (and proving that pit bulls, even those trained to fight, respond positively to love and care), rescuing animals from natural disasters and unnatural abuse, or providing health care to animals who are suffering, Best Friends is truly a best friend to those who are vulnerable and don't have a voice.

6 Dan_83

Donor

Rating: 5

If you ever looked for an animal shelter or group to donate to please go check Best Friends out. The job that this group does is beyond compare. The staff and volunteers in my humble opinion are the best that could be found. The job, no calling, that they do is a blessing that will I surely earn them "Mega Points" in Heaven. You see that from the first time you read, or see or hear there story. The love that is given to any animal,regardless of size is unconditional. The care that is provided to them, is done only through the support of and by those of us that care. Be it ever so small or large it all helps. So help out and make the gift if you can that will help to bring hope and comfort to animals in TRUE need.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my all-time favorite charity. I love all of the work they do for the animals in their care, as well as for other animal charity groups. It is clear to see that their motives are completely altruistic.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visiting Best Friends in Utah was one of the best experiences of my life.Not only did the scenery move me but the love and care from the caretakers brought me to tears.These animals have hit the jackpot so to say for ending up at Best Friends. I appauld their victory in rescuing the Victory dogs when no other organization would step up to. I am in awe for the CEO running 170 miles in the desert to raise funds.And lastly, I am so greatful that there are those kind people there that rescued my babies(1 cat 1 dog), so that they could find their forever home with me.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

I love Best Friends because they offer hope for animals in need. They have worked to change legislation and the mindset regarding shelter animals. I appreciate the Sanctuary and remembrance for pets that we have lost and will continue to donate to Best Friends.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A place as dedicated to animal rescue as you can have it. A peaceful place which restores belief in humanity and hope for "Saving them all". Educated professionals and staff who make it easy to volunteer, learn, benefit and give. A wonderful place to visit. I attended a workshop and volunteered. My daughter volunteered while I was attending the workshop. It was a wonderful experience for both of us and us together. This place was started 31 years ago and grew and keeps on succeeding in saving, rehoming, healing, training animals with an incredible crew. To me it is a MUST to visit and a very wonderful experience as well as a place to come together as a family and unite interests. Please consider visiting Best Friends in Kanab. You won't regret it. Also, it is the center of fascinating National Parks and landscapes. A win/win!

6

Donor

Rating: 5

Best Friends is by far the hardest working group, and most effective group I know! My sister and her husband take their four dogs and drive with every year with them during the summer to stay at Best Friends. My sister cries every time her week at the sanctuary with the animals is up and it's time for them to return home.

I donate to this non-profit at holidays, in honor of family and friends who are also animal lovers, and on loved ones' birthdays in place of things they neither need nor want. The recipients are always so happy to have the donation made in their name. Best Friends Animal Society takes excellent care of every species at their sanctuary and turns no animal in need away. There are so many unwanted animals, and so many who are killed in shelters each year -- Best Friends is always working hard to change that. They deserve this award and a ton of recognition.

REMEMBER EVERYONE TO SPAY AND NEUTER -- its the RIGHT thing to do and prevents over-population!!!


Sincerely,

Marie G.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

I first became aware of Best Friends while searching for a rescue organization to support, after I discovered my local SPCA was NOT a No-Kill shelter as I believed. I was intrigued by their mission to "Save Them All", and once I started receiving their magazine and reading about all the amazing programs this group has initiated, the legal avenues they have pursued to change laws regarding breed discrimination etc., and the assistance they provide to help communities realize these same goals, I was sold! I made my first visit to the Sanctuary last Fall, where I volunteered for five days, and was blown away by the magnitude of their operation, the amazing people who work with and for these hurting animals, and the education they provide to those of us lucky enough to pass through their doors.

9 Leslie78

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for a week at the Utah sanctuary in May and "far exceeds expectations" is an understatement. I would give it 10 stars if I could. I had known of the sanctuary for a few years and followed it online. I felt like I knew what to expect from checking out the website numerous times for visitor information/ maps/ photos/ etc. Boy, was I wrong. The vast scope of the grounds is the first thing I had not anticipated. The sanctuary covers a huge area and is incredibly scenic. I was blown away by the cleanliness of the enclosures, the enrichment available, the organization, and amazing care givers and volunteers. There is not only love and compassion behind the care of the animals, but plenty of research and science in terms of how they train, socialize, give the animals quality of life and the best chance of finding a forever family. My group had two educational presentations with Dr. Frank McMillan, which I had not expected as part of the week, but which were extremely informative, thought provoking and made our week well-rounded in terms of what we took away from our experience. Our volunteer program coordinator was incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and just radiated joy and kindness. Most of the sanctuary volunteers we encountered were the same. The energy, fun and compassion was everywhere we went, and you couldn't help feeling the same way - it was like a giant lovefest! The whole place is very definition of symbiosis - the people who visit want to play with and interact with as many animals as possible. They get to do this when they clean enclosures (free labor, allowing money to be used elsewhere), when they take a cat out for a walk (socialization and enrichment for the cat), when the take a dog home for a sleepover (good training and enrichment for the dog) or any other number of activities. What an amazing place! I had wondered prior to visiting if I would feel sad throughout the week seeing abandoned and/or special needs animals, but after seeing the level of care the animals receive and knowing that 80% will be adopted (and the other 20% have a home at the sanctuary forever), I felt happy and hopeful for all of them. I really can't say enough about this incredible organization. I will definitely be back to volunteer again and again!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Best Friends Animal Society for 7 years. In that time, I've visited the sanctuary in Utah, worked at special adoption events, written for their website, and participated in seminars. I can attest that Best Friends "walks the walk." Everyone involved in the organization -- from the greeters to adoption counselors to caregivers -- believes that each animal is has intrinsic value. They will go to great lengths to make sure that each animal is treated with respect and great care. They do believe that we can "save them all" and they've made me believe it also.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

I used to get horrible mailers from other animal welfare organizations showing pictures of abused, neglected, sad animals in an effort to get me to send them money. I threw them away without even opening them. Best Friends Animal Society is the exact opposite: I know when I see an email or mailer from them I am going to smile and feel good, so I open it right away! They tell the success stories, and show pictures of the happy, healthy animals that they have helped to get that way. It is exciting to be part of an organization that has great goals and a plan to get there. I love to send them my donations, knowing that I am a part of something really special that is making a real difference all over the country!!

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wow! These people believe in what they do, generate enthusiasm when they promote their cause, and inspire us animal lovers to do whatever we can to help. They have a vision for the future and uniquely creative ways to get there. Their No More Homeless Pets campaign has made such an amazing difference across the entire country in just a few years! Even their animal photographers are the best. I'd read so many good things about them that I couldn't believe it was all true. I finally had a chance to visit and volunteer for a week after they'd been in business 10 years and I was awestruck. It's even better than I could have imagined!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends will help us get to "no kill"! Their understanding of all animals is invaluable to the rest of us in trying to protect the animals and "Save them all". I have visited them twice to volunteer with their animals, and it is the best experience I have ever had! I will be back to volunteer again. I also have adopted a dog from them, one who needed work, and she was given that training before she came to me. They understand what the animals need, so they will go to their forever homes. The animal rescue movement would have stalled by now, if it weren't for Best Friends!!!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Positive....one word to describe BFAS. There stories don't dwell on the bad...only the good and the changes they have made towards a better world for animals. They are inspirational!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Best Friends fills such an important role in the animal rights/care community. They advocate for and care for animals and educate the public about so many aspects of animal care and concerns. This is one of the great charities in the U.S. and viewed highly by so many.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My friend and I volunteered for the first time this last weekend and were so impressed with the quality of the facilities. However we were even more impressed with the skills, devotion and loving kindness of all the caretakers we worked with. We are in the process of building a fence so that we can adopt a dog and we will definitely be back to volunteer again soon. Kudos to Best Friends. Karen Tomlinson

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I first heard about the work of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary ( that's what it was called then) early on in there existence from a friend of ours, and as people who always have loved animals, have watched them grow and become a national force, thanks to the commitment of those young animal loving young founders.
We have been supporters for decades and honestly believe there is no finer animal charity in the country, or perhaps in the world. The compassion of the people of Best Friends is evidenced by their actions every day.
Surely they played a major role in the movement of change for the better in the way we in this country view other sentient beings, those who share the planet with us. Like them, we hope for a day when there really are "No More Homeless Pets".
As they at Best Friends say, "Together We Can Save Them All".
We would encourage all who care about animals to give strong consideration to Best Friends Animal Society for their hard earned charitable donation dollars.

Sincerely,
Doc and Dee Wheeler
Bay Village, Ohio

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Best Friends are amazing. They take the animals that need extra support and care and make sure they have a happy life whether they ultimately get adopted or not.