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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

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kris Garrett P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love the work Best Friends does in saving animals! They are changing peoples misconceptions of shelter animals and residing awareness of the needless killing of so many unwanted but good animals! I spent a vacation in Kanab volunteering and was amazed at the staff and facilities in Kanab but love that the work reaches far beyond that little town.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best Friends does the BEST work. We adopted our dog from them 8 months ago. We had a wonderful adoption counselor, Lauren, she was so helpful. We were really impressed with how much love, time and attention goes in to helping the animals and finding them the right homes. All the staff and volunteers we met were so kind.

Lisa Tracy N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best Friends is amazing! My son adopted an older cat, who has a bit of an interesting disposition. He will cuddle one second, and take a swing at you with his claws the next. Not the most adoptable characteristic! He spent a good deal of time at the shelter, waiting for the right home. He might not have lasted in a regular shelter. Best Friends ‘no kill’ shelter allowed him the time to find just the right home!

Melissa J.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best Friends is a great organization that does so much for the animals in our area. I've adopted my cats and dog from them. Love their nice, clean Adoption center. I look forward to taking my dog to Strut Your Mutt every year. Save Them All!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted a 10 year old cat from Best Friends - he had spent 7 years in a shelter before making it to the Best Friends Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah where I adopted him. I was blown away by the sanctuary and and the people that care for the animals - they set the bar for what it means to be a no-kill organization in the quality of care they provide. Because of them, the cat I adopted had a second chance at life in a home that showed him unconditional love. I can only hope the time we had with him made up for all the years he spent in a shelter. It breaks my heart to think of what would have happened to him without Best Friends.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A relative is terminally ill and her biggest concern is for her fur babies; what will happen to them when she dies? There is no close family or friend who can take them. She contacted Best Friends Animal Society who put her in touch with a local, affiliated no-kill shelter. The knowledge that her kitties will be together and cared for is an awesome gift that will ease her passing. Thanks Best Friends!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted a cat from a Best Friends shelter over 3 years ago, and I'm going to be forever grateful to BFAS for bringing this little dude into my life. Because the shelter was so well organized and staffed by people who really care about these animals, I was able to adopt the perfect companion for me. I recommend anyone I know looking to adopt to check out a Best Friends affiliated shelter if possible, and I know that once I can convince my boyfriend we need a dog in our life, we'll be adopting from BFAS.

-Morgan D.

William B.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am extraordinarily grateful the Best Friends Animal Society exists. When I rescued my little Daisy Rey out of a car engine, I was terrified about her fate -- I was not allowed to have pets for an extended period of time at the place I was temporarily staying at, and I didn't know where I'd be living in two months. That uncertainty was no place to raise a tiny kitten.

I was also scared of giving her up to the shelters, since a lot of kittens are automatically euthanized during heavy kitten seasons. Fortunately, Best Friends Animal Society set up a table right outside the county shelter, specifically to deal with newborn kittens. The resources and affiliated groups they were working with enabled me to "foster" Daisy for the next six weeks and provided me with refills for food, bedding, toys, litter, vaccinations and flea medications -- literally EVERYTHING required to raise a kitty, absolutely FREE.

Since I chose to adopt her, they also waived the adoption fee and waived the cost for her spaying. I was then able to take her back home where she is happy and healthy and surrounded by my family's other kitties.

Best Friends Animal Society works to ensure that no animal is left behind and that none are killed. They do good work and I would be without one of the greatest loves of my life without them. THANK YOU for everything you do.

Julie Craghead J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our dog Ellie from the Kanab, UT shelter in February, 2017 when she was five months old. We had never had a pet since we married in 1999 as we traveled a lot for work. We retired in 2013 and spent more time traveling for pleasure but when my husband said he wanted to get a dog I jumped on board. Since I was not able to go with him to Kanab we looked at their website and one puppy stood out to me. Her name was Witch and her picture was adorable. I put her at the top of my list but knew she might be be available. My husband drove to Kanab and texted me a picture of Witch in the back of our SUV all ready to make the trip home. She had arrived in Kanab at the end of October 2016 with her Mom and the rest of the litter. They gave them all Halloween names but my husband suggested Ellie, short for Elvira the witch. She has been Ellie ever since and we love her dearly. We recently moved from Las Vegas, NV to Highland, IL. We looked for a place with Ellie in mind and found a home on two acres which has a partially fenced yard and Ellie is in seventh heaven. We both had dogs growing up and when our kids from previous marriages were young but Ellie is now our baby and we are Dad and Mom! We owe many thanks to Best Friends Animal Society for rescuing Ellie!!

Julie R.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our cat Peachie from Best Friends in Kanab. Peachie is a CH cat with special needs who lived in the Morgaine's house. We drove down from Salt Lake to get her and I couldn't believe what an amazing place it was. Everyone we met was so dedicated to the animals and it was so beautiful there. I am so proud to have this organization in my state. They have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of animals not just in Utah, but around the country. People travel from around the world to visit the Best Friends sanctuary in Angel Canyon and I can totally see why. Visiting there was an experience I will never forget.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best Friends Animal Society is an amazing organization! I have worked with them as a volunteer multiple times and I have adopted two special needs cats from them as well. Aside from their national push for a No-Kill Nation for shelter pets, their focus on ending Breed Discrimination, the deployment of vital Emergency Response teams to disaster areas and so much more, they genuinely care about animal welfare as a whole and truly go above and beyond to maintain quality of life for any and all of the animals in their care.

As a volunteer, they make you feel like a vital part of their wonderful organization even if you can only give a couple of hours of your time. And the Volunteer Program itself is extremely organized and accommodating ensuring that any time you can volunteer provides the maximum benefit for all involved.

As a pet owner who has adopted special need pets from them, they were very gracious with their time. Before arriving at their main facility in Kanab, UT, I had picked out quite a few cats I thought I might be interested in, and the adoption coordinator, Larry Erdman, had given me a little information on each of them. Once I arrived, Larry took time over multiple days to take me to several buildings all over the facility's grounds to see all the cats on the list and even pointed out some other cats that weren't on my initial list that he thought I'd be interested in. Even though he had his regular job to do he was extremely giving with so much of his time, making sure I was perfectly matched with my future pets.

I adopted two of the cats he recommended, Arby and Malorie, and Best Friends has been supportive ever since. They checked with me after the adoption to ensure everything was going smoothly, and even one of the founders of Best Friends called me to see how they were doing.

As a disabled veteran who is unable to work, my income is very limited, yet I provide the Best Friends Animal Society a monthly donation because I believe so much in what they do and what they stand for. I love this organization and it is incredibly worthy of any and all support and awards it may receive.

Thank you,
Catherine W.

PIctured: Malorie and Arby

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our dog, Harby, from Best Friends 2 years ago. The organization is doing amazing things for both homeless pets in communities as well as pets needing shelter and assistance during natural disasters such as hurricanes and fires. Best Friends is the greatest organization. I am so proud of have gotten our best friend from there and will continue to support their endeavors forever!

Sally M.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best Friends Animal Society is simply the best. They truly care about what happens to our best friends. I know that when I donate to Best Friends that the money is used wisely.
Love these group.

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!

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!!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our beloved Aussie from Best Friends Animal Society. We traveled 1,500 miles to adopt Balou and that was the best trip we ever made! He was cared for lovingly by his caretakers, as are all the animals at BF. If the animals can't be in a permanent forever home, this is the next best place they could be. The sanctuary is clean, well-organized and very well-run by the caring and dedicated staff. We were so impressed at how the housing for the dogs, cats, birds, horses, farm animals, etc. were designed for maximum comfort for each species, and how each animal got special attention from their caretakers. The accommodations on-site are great, and the fact that they let their animal residents have overnight visits with visitors and potential adopters is a wonderful policy. They take in animals that would be turned away elsewhere and rehabilitate them, such as the Michael Vick dogs and animals with special needs. I can't say enough good things about BF. They do so much for homeless animals and try so hard to find them forever homes. I only wish we lived closer so we could be regular volunteers. We love BF!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted a dog (DD) from Best Friends in 2011 and had him brought up to Canada. I told them where I lived, what my life was like and about my other dog Trevor and my cat Chloe. I was really honest..to the point I thought that they wouldn't adopt to me or have a dog that fit. I lived in an apartment, in a small tourist town (lots of people at times) and my other dog had leash reactivity to lots of things. DD was on his way and reality set in. I was bringing in a dog from another country that I had never met and he needed to be ok with other pets, using an elevator and being around lots of people. I hoped for the best that they knew their animals and that DD would fit in or somehow I could make it work. DD arrived and he joined our family like he always belonged. As he was more an alpha dog and protective my other dogs behavior suddenly improved. He let DD take charge and was way less reactive on our walks...walks were now enjoyable!! The whole process was painless, professional and easy. DD was the perfect dog for us and us for him...a match made in heaven...also know as Best Friends. Thank you!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best Friends is the only national animal organization that spends it funds on helping animals rather than a large overhead. When the hurricane hit New Orleans then went in and took a staff of 40 people, build a 400 animal shelter and stayed for a couple of months before turning it over to local animal group. Other national organizations went in for a few days, did lots of publicity and then left not really helping the animals much.
Best Friends has an outstanding outreach program helping smaller rescue groups and paying for a lot of spay/neuters to stop the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens.

Gretchen12

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best Friends Animal Society is awesome, not only because I adopted my wonderful dog from there, but because they do everything in their power to help the animals! No matter the issue with the animal, be it physical or behavioral, they spare no expense (time or money) to help the animal, and the animals are only laid to rest when it is truly in the best interest of the animal. The well-being of the animal is always the number one priority and the care the animals receive at Best Friends is the best in the world! And if an animal isn't able to be adopted it can spend the remainder of its life safely at Best Friends, without the risk of euthanasia (unless medically necessary). The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is such as amazing place that when I adopted my dog I felt bad about taking him from such a loving & enriched environment! But then they reminded me that my dog deserved to have a home (and couch!) to call his own and that his departure meant that they would be able to take in and help another dog. Thank you to ALL of the Best Friends staff, volunteers, donors, and supporters!

Nance K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Many years ago I saw a cat on the Best Friends Website. Bailey was 8ish years old at the time, declawed and had been found on an LA street. She had stomatitis and all of her teeth had been removed after she got to Best Friends, though she still needed a checkup by the dental vet in Phoenix following the last extraction. I drove up to Best Friends, meet her, and brought her home. She was a big sweetheart, and got along with my other cats right away. She passed her dental checkup with flying colors and lived to be 18 here, happy and healthy. I missed her whole bunches when she crossing the Rainbow Bridge while I was on vacation.

Without Best Friends Bailey Paws would probably have been euthanized.