Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Best Friends Animal Society

43,725 pageviews

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

685 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Allie H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at Best Friends. The work they do with the "unadoptables" is absolutely incredible. You can really see the love and care they invest in each of the animals in their care. I volunteered at Dog Town for 2 days. The caregivers treat all volunteers as adults, with great respect and are truely happy for any and all activities/time that is given. The Sanctuary is a very peaceful place, and each staff member is friendly, helpful, and genuinely happy to be there.

I am going back with a group of girlfriends in Sept 2011, and I am very excited!!!

Sean Perry

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a long time donor of Best Friends and will be doing volunteer work in the near future. The organization is the most impressive and driven organization I have found in regards to pet rescue, do not kill, and no more homeless pets initiatives. The fact they will not say no to rescue any pet regardless of temper or medical needs and try and rehabilitate it and find it a home if possible is remarkable. Taking what were considered the hardest cases of the Vick Pit Terrier dogs and rehabilitating them the way they have is just one of many cases where they have stepped in to help give a pet a happier world to live in. I will continue to support this organization as much as I can.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Best Friends on many occassions in dogs, cats, pigs, horses, wildlife, and birds. The caregivers that work at Best Friends are some of the most compassionate people I have ever experienced, caring for so many animals who come from unfortunately situations. It is amazing to watch the animals respond to the people who take care of them day in and day out. Their fears subside and you can actually see them come back to life!
The programs that Best Friends has outside of the sanctuary in LA, Vegas, Salt Lake City, NYC and many other places continue to education the public and help those in need. Two programs that are really cool : Pup My Ride and Puppy Mill Transport. Check it out on their webpage-www.bestfriends.org!

Angie W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Best Friends a few years ago and fell in love with not only the beautiful location but with the dedication I saw from everyone involved. Since that time I have thought often of returning and unfortunately I have not been able to make that happen but dream of it often. It is such a special place!!

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with this charity for many years as a volunteer. I've visited the Sanctuary many times and the care the animals receive is far beyond anything available anywhere else. I volunteer on the Animal Help Line, and received very good training and resources, and have always been treated with friendship and kindness. I

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My very good friend who passed away from cancer was involved with many charities. This was the charity she chose for memorial donations.
She researched it well, and was so impressed with the care and compassion of the people involved at all levels

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When my daughter in law started working for Best Friends over 2 years ago, we talked about my visiting while she was working on site. We got to do that in May of 2011. We took a guided tour that was a highlight of my trip. Everyone we met was friendly and caring and intent on taking such personal care of each and every animal. We watched a volunteer brushing a pig, a group of workers helping an obese horse get on its feet and a dog that could not walk being given a ride on a golf cart (because he loves it). The whole place was very clean and beautifuly taken care of. Many improvement projects were in the works. I live in Maryland but hope to get back again sometime. I tell everyone that Best Friends is a great place to visit and volunteer.

Review from CharityNavigator

Rachel B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visited Best Friends for the first time May of 2011. I was overwhelmed with everything about the sanctuary. The staff was awesome and made sure you were well knowledgeable about what to do in all cases while you were volunteering. They are truly dedicated to all of the animals that reside there. The grounds and facilities were amazing, beautiful, well maintained and appropriate for all of the animals that are cared for there. The work that is done is so necessary for the animals that come to call it home. I had a wonderful time working with cats, it was so satisfying to know I had a small part in helping. This is truly a great organization and I am glad I had the chance to witness and help out first hand.

Review from CharityNavigator

Jen H.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor and volunteer of this organization since I learned of them in 2009. I came to Kanab and volunteered in the Fall of 2009. I love the staff that I met and worked with while here. They inspired me to become a part of my local shelter at home and offer their dogs and cats the same care and love that we gave while out in Utah.

Many shelters and rescues do the very best that they can on their limited income. Best Friends has been able to develop an amazing institution for animal care until they can find their forever homes. Not only do I love the staff, the facility, and the animals, but I am so proud of the organization. I am proud of them for seeing the bigger picture and taking on homeless pets across the world and trying to change how everyone views animals.

I hope that they continue their mission, and inspire others to help in their local campaigns. I actually moved to Kanab in 2010 in order to futher assist the organization, but I am not an employee. Keep up the great work.

Review from CharityNavigator

Cheryl H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In June 2011 I visited Best Friends for the 4th time. I attended the art retreat and volunteered with my daughter, mother, & sister. The art retreat revived my artistic spirit and was so much fun. While volunteering you get to interact with so many different animals and hear their stories. The staff is very welcoming and thankful for your time and energy. The ground are beautiful. The cafe is a great place to eat (and no animals were harmed). It is nice to be in a large place with lots of people who are all working for the same thing you are - no more homeless animals. The sanctuary is very clean and a great temporary home. The first time I visited I was shocked at how clean the whole place was. I expected to be covered in cat hair and that was not the case.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We had visited Best Friends last fall, but returned in July, 2011 to tour the entire facility and also to volunteer. The experience was heartwarming - the staff of over 400 caring for dogs,cats, sick dogs and sick cats, pigs, birds, horses, wild animals such as mink and turkeys------ had to have been picked by the animals they lovingly cared for. This no kill sanctuary rehabilitates troubled or sick animals with the hope that they will be adopted to their "forever home", but if that is not possible, the ones that must stay receive loving care until the end of their days. This is truly God's work, carried out by loving caregivers.

Review from CharityNavigator

Steven P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After years of following the Best Friends organization and supporting the cause, I was finally able to spend a month in Kanab volunteering on site. Best Friends does a great job of engaging their supporters through their online community, magazine, and Guardian Angel program; but to actually be on site and see the animals and how well the staff interacts with and cares for the animals was truly inspiring. Most employees have taken significant pay cuts to follow their passions and the company has attracted experts despite the less-than-competitive pay and remote location. Throughout any given day, a caregiver, trainer, or rehabilitator will give a free demonstration detailing some of the basics of animal care. Spending a month on site, I was able to visit every animal area. I can only say that I wish they had the resources to house more homeless animals until the day that they can achieve their goal of no more homeless pets.

Review from CharityNavigator

Chris P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best Friends is one of the best run organizations in the non-profit industry, not just animal welfare. The sanctuary amazing and how they treat their animals second to none (they have a freakin' water therapy treadmill!), but being leaders in animal welfare initiatives is where they also shine. Pitt Bull Terrier education, cat initiatives, national conferences, and the work they do to send money to and help smaller shelters. Across all departments and channels this organization is top notch.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

2011 will be my third year volunteering at the Best Friends Sanctuary in Kanab, UT. It is a trip that I look forward to each year! Interacting with the animals and working at the Sanctuary is truly a life changing experience that really can't be explained in words. You must visit the sanctuary and experience the magic yourself!

The Staff at Best Friends are all so friendly and welcoming to the volunteers as well. They really make a positive impact for the animals in the world and I'm grateful to be a part of it.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I finally had the chance to visit the Sanctuary, and I'm glad I did. I can honestly say that they must hire their staff based on how nice they are, because everyone seemed *earnestly* happy that you were there. (warning if you go: it gets HOT in july.)

Coming from the northeast I'm used to seeing dogs running around in grass, so it was a bit shocking to see them running around on that red earth. My first thoughts were "aren't they hot?" But I volunteered at Dogtown and none of the dogs seemed uncomfortable. It's a little depressing to see how many dogs are there, especially the older ones that are going to have such a hard time being adopted. But I suppose that's better than being in a shelter.

And if you do go stay at the sanctuary.... VOLUNTEER AT THE PIG AREA! It's wonderful!!

Review from CharityNavigator

chemyn

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter for many years, and finally was able to spend a week volunteering this summer. The experience far exceeded my expectations. Every staff member we met, without exception, was incredibly dedicated to making sure that the animals in their care received the best care possible, including daily walks, outings, socialization, training, diet, medical care, etc. Even caretakers who worked in other areas would know the names and history of dogs that I was walking, as I passed them by. I witnessed the elation of caretakers when one of their dogs left to go to their forever home, and the deep sadness when one dog lost her battle with cancer while I was there. They put the needs of these dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and others ahead of their own, and have created a true sanctuary, in every sense of the word. The staff members were also incredibly welcoming and patient with the volunteers, including those of us who hadn't been there before and had tons of questions.

Ricki

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have visited two separate times and stayed for a week each time - staying in the cabins near the Horse Headquarters. Went with family members and had the best experiences ever! Walking dogs, grooming and feeding horses, taking dogs for overnights, cleaning enclosures, sitting with nervous dogs trying to help acclimate them to human beings, playing with cats and cleaning kitty enclosures - the list of opportunities to help just goes on and on - each one better than the last! The staff are absolutely incredible! they know each animal by name, all of their quirks, what their individual needs are. I am an animal rescuer myself ( exotic cats from the entertainment industry ) and know how hard these people work. Everyone should give them 5 stars!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Disregard any quacks who indicate this is other than a sterling operation that has withstood audits, investigations, slander and libel only to remain at the top of the game. Over 100,000 volunteers contribute labor annually. Their founder Michael Mountain takes a meager salary of $40,000+ annually. Try living on that in Kanab! The Humane Society and other organizations work hand in hand with BF as do global animal rights organizations and activists.

Those who say otherwise have another agenda possibly due to envy or rejection as a poor employee or scam artist.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Best Friends is an evil scam and a big money maker. Some of the volunteers think it is great, but they are the kind of people that gladly drank the Jim Jones Kool Aid. The money goes to the old "Process Church of the Final Judgement". This is who founded Best Friends. If you think they are good people, Then do the research and look them up. Stopped being fool by the cute fuzzy animal slick ads.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 2

I am curious about the specifics relating to $30,026,237 of Annual Expenses, since Best Friends uses volunteers. What are the itemized annual expense items and amounts? What are the itemized details relating of the Net Assets of $27,385,285? Is the property leased arms-length to Best Friends by a third party or is a principal getting lease rent payments? If so, how much is the lease rent payment? If the property is owned by Best Friends, was sold it to Best Friends in an arms-length transaction or did a principal make a profit? If so, how much was the profit? What disclosures have been made by Best Friends to their contributors regarding the expenses, the assets and the property ownership

Review from CharityNavigator