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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 two million.

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 two million. That’s incredible progress, but it also means that hat means there are still nearly 5,500 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

248 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mary C.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visited the sanctuary for 3 Days and I was very impressed. The care and attention that the animals received was awesome and everything was clean and organized. I highly recommend this to all any lovers and to those parents who want to teach there children about animals.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have visited Best Friends in Kanab Utah twice and each time was inspired by the dedication and hard work of the people who work there. They give a second chance to animals that would otherwise be killed. It is difficult to describe how wonderful it was to see the living areas and the medical facilities available for the homeless animals. And the gratitude of the animals is shown in the love they give back to the humans.

On my second visit I found my own best friend,an older dog who has been the perfect companion. The money Best Friends raises goes towards the never ending needs of special animals and makes the people around them feel special too.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of volunteering at Best Friends 3 times with my children. To say it was amazing doesn't do it justice. The care, love and dedication of staff towards the animals in their care is, frankly, beyond comprehension. Every animal is treated as special and every animal is treated as an individual, with all their needs really thought out. If I could live in Kanab and play with the animals all day, I would be in heaven! This organization truly deserves all the accolades!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great and welcoming facility, friendly people who make you feel useful and at home. They appreciate volunteers and help to cater to people with different abilities an requirements. Great place for adopting from as well, as they offer support and guidance. Beautiful place, and I love it.

Diana Blackburn M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned of Best Friends when they rescued victims of Michael Vick’s dogfighting in my home state. I eagerly followed the series DogTown and became a Beat Friends supporter and volunteer.
Eight years ago I traveled to Kanab to volunteer at the sanctuary. It was a true life changing experience and influenced the rest of my life. This organization is so effective and so respected. I’ve turned to them for advice, I’ve participated in rescue for Hurricanes and will always endeavor to represent what this organization stands for. If each person in this world were to spend one day being involved with Best Friends, this world would be more peaceful and more aware.

Beth Davis A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our first experience with Best Friends Animal Society was when we had to bring a gift my uncle left for the sanctuary in his will. We decided since he had talked about this wonderful organization for many years we would pay them a visit in Kanab Utah and spend a couple of days volunteering and working with the animals. They were so grateful for the gift and took the time to listen to me talk about my uncle. Jeri Connell, the Estate Planner for BFAS, let me share pictures of him in his work with animal rescue and made me really feel like I fulfilled his wish to gift them and help them continue all their good work. Jeri helped me with all the paperwork and things that go along with a bequest such as this was. She really made me feel like the gift would really be put to good use and after you see this place you know all of it is well spent.
I had been working in animal rescue for more than 6 years and the experience we had there was like no other animal rescue I had been to before. The level of organization and the programs they have in place that support not only the animals but all of the workers and volunteers is just the most incredible thing to experience. From the greeting and tour we received when we arrived to the training they gave for what area you were going to work in for the day was perfect. The supervisors who put us to work who obviously love and care for these animals unconditionally were very patient. Everyone takes the time to explain just what needs to be done and how it needs to be done so there is no room for errors or miscommunication. The trainers were happy to explain why certain things needed to be done a certain way for the dogs and it was so interesting to learn so many new ways in handling different temperaments and behaviours.
It was just one of the most memorable times of our lives. The animal sanctuary provides just what everyone needs at that moment. From the way they feed and care for the animals with only gentle ways to caring for them even after they have left the living world by honoring them with Angels Overlook. Truly an animal rescue that is in the heart of every animal they care for. I really believe they will be successful in Save Them All.

Annie F.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I live in Kanab, UT and have volunteered with Best Friends, and my child has attended their kid's camp. It's a beautify property, with a lot of well cared for animals. They do a lot of amazing outreach, and their presence here has impacted the community in a positive way.

Joanne K.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been to Best Friends several times to volunteer.
The animals are treated amazingly well!
The people there are fabulous!
I love Best Friends & will always support them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was an amazing place to see. Thousands of acres dedicated to a sanctuary for animals. The tours are very interesting learning about the history of how Best Friends got started. The staff I met were very dedicated and I could tell they were passionate about their jobs.
I loved learning about the pigs and pig rescue. I got to walk them.
The main reason I went their was for the dogs. I love dogs and volunteer at a shelter but also wanted to see and hear about the Pit Bulls they rehabilitated from the Michael Vick dogs. I loved walking the dogs and wished I lived closer to volunteer their more. They do amazing work and have a goal to make no kill shelters everwhere.

Shelley E.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends saved over a thousand animals during Hurricane Harvey, the second worst Hurricane in US history. I volunteered approximately 2x per with them at NRG (the facility that Best Friends turned into The Southeast Texas "Pet Reunion Pavilion"). Best Friends paid for their staff and volunteers from across the country to come to Houston to help. I have never seen so much kindness in one facility.

Vince C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Going and volunteering at Best Friends is a must, a bucket list item and a spiritual experience!

Ruth Ann Crawford D.

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.
'

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends Animal Society is an exceptional organization!! I have been volunteering for them for 7 years in NY. I am so happy to be a part of Best Friends and to participate in such an important mission that I am so passionate about! Absolutely no animal should die because they don’t have a home and Best Friends work to rescue, save and educate the public is amazing!! I have met so many committed and incredible people over the years and seen so many happy endings of animals finding their forever homes and people finding their fur best friend. The stories are countless and Best Friends work is amazing!!

Elizabeth J.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have yet to go to the Sanctuary in Kenab (UT), but someday...
Several years ago, just watching tv on a Saturday afternoon, I came across the program Dogtown about the Sanctuary and all the work they do rescuing dogs (deplorable conditions!) and educating owners (outreach). Not to mention all the incredible work they do with the dogs to rehabilitate and ultimately, re-home them.
Of course, Best Friends rescues all sorts of other animals as well and their reach is expanding as they open adoption centers across the country. (Thrilled they finally came to NYC!)
I have volunteered on a few occasions, including "Strut Your Mutt" last year. The fact that the founder of Best Friends really started the No-Kill shelter movement makes Best Friends an outstanding candidate for any Great NonProfit award in my mind. However, I also know first-hand that they are all about their mission. I have twice met the Executive Director of the NYC Adoption Center, the second time, working out of what appeared to be a closet, not a fancy Executive Suite. The adoption center was beautifully and thoughtfully designed for the comfort of the animals. Volunteers must attend training sessions before they can participate. Again, it's all about the animals.
Best Friends leads by example: patience, perseverance, loving kindness.

Carolyn G.1

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Friends is a model of humanity. Saving our animals, children & elders show the true meaning of compassion. I donate and volunteer at the new NY Adoption Center. I have witnessed people’s lives change when they save an animal who lives them unconditionally. I adopted a special needs cat who has taught me patience while giving me the greatest joy. Too may animals need homes. Best Friends goal is to clear the shelters by 2025. We can do this together.

Cathy T.1

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.

Diana R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At the end of the credits of the Free Willy movie was a number to call. I got referred to different people. I got connected with one of the founders of Best Friends who spent almost 45 minutes telling me everything he knew about the plan for Keiko. He then told me about Best Friends and I became a member. I visited in 2005 and was overwhelmed by the dedication and passion of everyone. Me and my husband came back in May of this year. As of 9/1/17 we have moved to Kanab. My husband got a job there and I'm volunteering. They are accomplishing the seemingly impossible mission of uniting shelters nationwide to join in their mission to "save them all" with innovative adoption ideas and getting shelters to work together as a network. This is the most effective animal saving organization I've ever been involved with.

Weldon C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Best Friends at the NRG Pet Shelter after Hurricane Harvey. I have personally seen the work they do. It is amazing to say the least. The amount of care that they give each and every animal is second to none. I immediately joined Best Friends when I got home from volunteering. Can't say enough good things about Best Friends!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We've been there a few times...we love the place, the people, and the dogs!!!