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Best Friends Animal Society Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 07/11/2014: Best Friends Animal Society

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 12/08/2014: BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SOCIETY

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AKA  Best Friends
Kanab, UT
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GuideStar Summary

&1002; GuideStar Exchange Committed to transparency ?
This organization is a Gold-level GuideStar Exchange participant, demonstrating its commitment to transparency.

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&1002; Registered with IRS Legitimacy information is available
&1002; Evidence of Impact Expert Assessment and Reviews available
&1002; Financial Data Annual Revenue and Expense data reported
&1002; Forms 990 2012, 2011, and 2010 Forms 990 filed with the IRS
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
&1002; Impact Summary Impact Summary from the nonprofit and Charting Impact Report are available
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Basic Organization Information

Best Friends Animal Society Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 07/11/2014: Best Friends Animal Society

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 12/08/2014: BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SOCIETY

* The GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more.
Also Known As: Best Friends
Physical Address: Kanab, UT 84741 5000
EIN: 23-7147797
Web URL: www.bestfriends.org 
Blog URL: blogs.bestfriends.org 
Video URL(s): Best Friends Animal Society
NTEE Category: D Animal related
D20 Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs)
D Animal related
D61 Animal Training, Behavior
D Animal related
D01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
Year Founded: 1984 
Ruling Year: 1971 
Top Funders: Individual donations - $54,192,877
In Kind - $2,334,916
Grants/Other - $7,470,661


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Mission Statement

The mission of Best Friends is to end the killing in America’s animal shelters and create a time when there are No More Homeless Pets. We do this by building community programs and partnerships all across the nation.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Institutional funders should note that an organization’s inclusion on GuideStar.org does not satisfy IRS Rev. Proc. 2011-33 for identifying supporting organizations.

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Annual Revenue & Expenses

(GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 1, 2012
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2012

Total Revenue $63,998,454
Total Expenses $53,117,382

Revenue & Expenses

(GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 1, 2012
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2012

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Balance Sheet (IRS Form 990)

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Forms 990 Received from the IRS Additional Information
IRS Form 990 is an annual document used by approximately one-third of all public charities to report information about their finances and operations to the federal government. GuideStar uses data from Form 990 to populate its database with financial information about nonprofit organizations. Posting Form 990 images on the GuideStar website is an ongoing process.

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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Financial Statements

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Annual Reports

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Leadership

(GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Mr. Gregory Castle

Term:

Since Jan 2010

Profile:

Gregory Castle, one of the co-founders of Best Friends Animal Society, was named CEO in January 2010 and currently serves on the Best Friends Board of Directors. Throughout much of the last 28 years, Gregory has been one of the key leaders in animal welfare, as well as a voice of reason and reconciliation among grassroots rescue groups, animal shelters and national animal welfare organizations. Gregory created a Utah campaign involving animal welfare and rescue organizations, animal control officers, veterinarians, schools, and animal lovers from across the state in aggressive spay/neuter, adoption, and public awareness programs. Gregory also initiated Utah's Week for the Animals, which includes educational and public awareness programs, special discount spay/neuter services, pet adoption fairs, and public service awards. Originally born in England, he now lives in Kanab, Utah, with his wife, Julie, and their family of cats and dogs.

Leadership Statement:

Every day, more than 9,000 pets are killed in America's shelters simply because they don't have a home. Each one an individual. Each one a valued life worth saving. 9,000. That number should be zero. And it can be. By increasing the number of people who adopt pets, by providing marketing and funding to our Network partners around the country, by creating and lobbying for better legislation across the U.S., and by implementing targeted spay/neuter and TNR programs to reduce the number of animals who enter shelters, we can save the lives of homeless pets and end the killing in our country’s shelters. Together, we can Save Them All®.

Board Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

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Board Co-Chair

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Board of Directors (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

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Board Leadership Practices (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)
?

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Board Orientation & Education ?
Why does this matter? Without clarity around their responsibilities and expectations, board members are not positioned to succeed. They may find themselves challenged to fulfill their governance responsibilities or frustrated by the expectations that the organization has set for them. BoardSource recommends that every new board member participate in a formal orientation process, and that all board members sign a pledge or agreement committing to their board service and to all of the responsibilities and expectations that come with service. Ideally, board members also should participate in a formal governance training program prior to serving on a board.

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Yes
CEO Oversight ?
Why does this matter? Oversight and management of the chief executive is one of the board’s most important legal responsibilities. The CEO or executive director is the board's single employee, and - just like any other employer/employee relationship - regular and written assessment is critical to ensuring that the chief executive and board are communicating openly about goals and performance. BoardSource recommends that boards conduct formal, written reviews of their chief executives on an annual basis, which should include an in-person discussion with the chief executive and distribution of the written evaluation to the full board.

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Yes
Ethics & Transparency ?
Why does this matter? A commitment to handling conflicts of interests is essential to creating an organizational culture of transparency. Boards should create and follow a policy for identifying and handling conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. BoardSource recommends that organizations review the conflict-of-interest statement and require signed disclosures from all board members and senior staff on an annual basis.

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements within the past year?
Yes
Board Composition ?
Why does this matter? The best boards are composed of individuals who bring a variety of skills, perspectives, backgrounds, and resources to tackle the complex and strategic challenges confronting their organizations. BoardSource recommends that boards commit to diversity and inclusion by establishing written policies and practices, which include strategic and intentional recruitment of diverse board members, continual commitment to inclusivity, and equal access to board leadership opportunities.

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Yes
Board Performance ?
Why does this matter? Boards need to regularly assess their own performance. Doing so ensures that they are being intentional about how they govern their organization, which is a critical component of effective board leadership. BoardSource recommends that a board conduct a self-assessment of its performance a minimum of once every three years to ensure that it is staying on track with its roles and responsibilities.

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?
Yes

Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

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Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

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People information was last updated by the nonprofit in July 2014

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Programs

Program: NKLA (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served:
None
None
None

Program Description:

The NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles) Coalition, is an initiative of Best Friends and is comprised of more than 70 animal organizations in the Los Angeles area.

Program Long-Term Success:

In 2011, more than 23,000 animals were killed in L.A. city shelters. In 2012, the first year if NKLA, that number was reduced by 4,220 and in 2013, it was further reduced by more than 4,707.

Program Short-Term Success:

Overall, L.A. achieved a nearly 7% increase in save rate for 2013 over 2012. -300 dogs adopted from the NKLA Pet Adoption Center since August 2013. -148 cats adopted from the NKLA Pet Adoption Center since August 2013.

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

NKLA celebrated the opening of a brand new adoption center on August 12, 2013. With it’s inviting exterior and bright, airy design, including 59 modern dog kennels as well as a free-roaming room, the NKLA Pet Adoption Center offers animals lovers a whole new pet adoption experience. The building also features a designated space for coalition member meetings and a comprehensive animal-care resource library free to the public. We are grateful to the Ronald and Catherine Gershman Foundation for providing Best Friends with the use of this building, which is helping L.A. to move toward no-kill. Buoyed by your support, the NKLA Coalition achieved outstanding results in 2013. Thanks to you, Best Friends supplied subsidies to coalition partners for their excellent work in increasing adoptions and spay/neuter around the city.

Program: Pit Bull Initiatives (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Budget:
$500,000
Category:
Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served:
None
None
None

Program Description:

Pit bulls are one of the most popular “breed” of dogs in America. However, pit bull like dogs still experience media bias and stigma-based legislation designed to exterminate them. Best Friends' pit bull initiatives helps municipalities craft the most effective dog laws designed to create safe, humane communities. These laws are based on responsible pet ownership and individual dog behavior. The initiatives also works to restore these pets to the love and dignity they deserve by promoting their positive image, battling breed discrimination, and supporting programs to reduce shelter deaths of pit bull like dogs. http://bestfriends.org/What-We-Do/Our-Work/Initiatives/Pit-Bull-Terrier-Initiatives/

Program Long-Term Success:

17 states have enacted legislation banning breed discrimination as of 12/31/13.

Program Short-Term Success:

46 legislative wins on local, state and national levels in 2013.

Program Success Monitored by:

Number of messages sent by advocates on behalf of BF advocacy efforts, number of legislative wins, number of adoptions, number of spay/neuters, number of reduced shelter deaths for targeted projects.

Program Success Examples:

In 2013 successfully helped pass statewide legislation in Connecticut, Nevada, Rhode Island that prevents discrimination of breeds of dogs

Program: Puppy Mill Initiative (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Budget:
$200,000
Category:
Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served:
None
None
None

Program Description:

Through Puppy Mill legislative alerts, social media channels, community outreach and PR efforts, the Best Friends Puppy Mill Initiatives reaches a wide cross-section of both the public and policymakers to help educate them and advocate for animals. Our legislative action center has been enormously helpful in giving individuals the power to effect change in their communities, whether it’s a local ordinance to prohibit the sale of commercially milled dogs and cats in pet stores, a state bill to improve the living conditions for dogs in puppy mills, or a federal amendment to regulate Internet pet sellers. http://bestfriends.org/What-We-Do/Our-Work/Initiatives/Puppy-Mill-Initiatives/

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

In 2013, we helped to enact 16 local ordinances, 9 state bills and one Federal amendment to regulate commercial breeding, restrict pet sales and encourage adoption throughout North America. We had approximately 50 mentions in the media in our effort to educate people about puppy mill issues.

Program Success Monitored by:

Number of messages sent by advocates on behalf of BF advocacy efforts, number of legislative wins, number of media and other advocacy engagements.

Program Success Examples:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/01/barkworks-closed_n_2592100.html?ir=Los+Angeles

Program: No More Homeless Pets Network (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Budget:
$2,700,000
Category:
Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served:
None
None
None

Program Description:

At Best Friends, we've always firmly believed that collaboration with local shelters and organizations, the people who know their community best, is key to ending the killing in America’s shelters. When we work together, we save more lives. Together, we will Save Them All. The No More Homeless Pets® Network is comprised of 501(c)(3) public charity rescue groups, spay/neuter organizations and shelters actively saving lives and reducing shelter deaths locally. Being a part of the Network gives groups all across the country the chance to work together to Save Them All. Membership also comes with benefits like the chance to take part in national adoption promotions, as well as discounts and scholarships to educational conferences, and consultations with Best Friends staff. A few select organizations, which make a significant and measurable impact on shelter deaths in their communities, may also qualify for grants. Examples of communities that really put Best Friends grants to work include San Antonio, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida. Network partners can also take part in fundraising events like our nationwide Strut Your Mutt. In 2013 alone, more than $1.1 million dollars was raised for our Network partners around the country. And they're using that money to end the killing and Save Them All! http://nmhpnetwork.bestfriends.org/ The No More Homeless Pets Network Specialists are our direct link to more than 800 partners around the country. They help new partners understand the many benefits of the program available to them, and provide one-on-one consulting work to troubleshoot everything from marketing a difficult-to-place animal to educating groups on how to build solid relationships with their local shelters. The Specialists also distribute grants to organizations and work with them in ensuring that our dollars are helping them save more shelter lives. The NMHP Specialists leverage the opportunities available to BFAS as a large, well-known organization and make them available on a smaller scale to the many invaluable partners around the country who are helping us Save Them All. It's free to participate.

Program Long-Term Success:

The No More Homeless Pets Network has helped other embrace new and innovative models. For instance, many animal rescue groups now utilize reduced-fee adoption promotions in order to increase adoptions. Just a few years ago those types of marketing tactics were seen by many of our partners as detrimental to the animals. Thanks to Best Friends incentivizing our partners to try reduced-fee pilot events, many partners now routinely use them as an effective and positive way to save lives.

Program Short-Term Success:

Thanks to the work of our Network Partners who received large grants from Best Friends in 2013 the following results were achieved in their communities: • Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services (JACPS) had a reduction in shelter deaths of 5,545 over the 2011 baseline. (1,365 over goal) JACPS had a save rate of 83.87% for 2013 (7.46% over goal). • San Antonio Animal Care Services (SAACS) had a reduction in shelter deaths of 12,739 over 2011 baseline (236 over goal). In 2013, SAACS had a save rate of 75.04% for 2013 (1.04% over goal). 3,778 lives affected through the Specialists’ casework with Network Partner Groups. Including: • 1,311 adoptions • 1,040 lifesaving transfers to rescue groups Financial Assistance: $135,900 given to Network Partners through Specialists’ casework. Impact: • 6,493 lives impacted • 1,131 adoptions • 2,624 spay/neuters • 1,698 TNRs Overall Specialists achieved 10,271 positive outcomes in 2013, coming in at 19% over their goals for the year. The Network awarded $596,725 to 81 Partner groups through 2013 Lifesaving Grants in partnership with PetSmart Charities. These projects are expected to achieve 4,106 adoptions and 12,160 spay/neuters before completion of the grant (outcomes to be reported in 2014). Network Data At year-end 2013, the Network had 839 Partner groups, 73% of which were engaged with the Network on some level in 2013. 2013 reduction in shelter death for engaged groups totaled 9,031 (not counting the impacts in Jacksonville and San Antonio which are counted separately).

Program Success Monitored by:

Number of partner groups engaged in No More Homeless Pets Network opportunities, number of adoptions/transfers, number of spay/neuters, number of reduced shelter deaths, number of shelter intakes prevented by intervention, and reduced euthanasia figures for engaged partners.

Program Success Examples:

“The One” was a combined effort involving Best Friend’s National Events, Marketing and the Network teams. We asked participating Network partners to offer a selection of their animals for adoption at a reduced fee of $14 during Valentine’s weekend. We provided them with a great marketing materials and tips on how to make the event successful. One partner reported after just the first day of the event in their city: “I wanted to tell you that yesterday was a LANDMARK day. We did 100% adoptions yesterday! All 36 animals, 26 dogs and 10 cats, were adopted, because of The One. It was an amazing day. EMPTY KENNELS! That was my personal dream for the end of the day, and we did it!” …”The BEST thing (besides the obvious, that animals are in homes and now even more get a chance of rescue) is that we will be able to do MORE promotions now - we've been trying for 4 years to get this shelter to partner with us on promos! Thanks Best Friends for showing them that these types of events really do WORK!

Program: Cat Initiatives (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Budget:
$2,000,000
Category:
Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served:
None
None
None

Program Description:

Roughly 70 percent of the cats who end up at shelters are killed. Of those, most are stray and free-roaming, or as we like to call them, community cats. The goal of Best Friends' cat initiatives is to Save Them All by keeping cats safe and provide positive outcomes for cats entering shelters. Trap/neuter/return (TNR) has proved to be the only long-term solution to humanely control cat populations. Best Friends is helping other communities - urban, suburban and rural - create community cat programs that focus on public/private partnerships. We do this by helping municipalities create laws that support TNR and by running community cat partnerships with public and non-profit partners. http://bestfriends.org/What-We-Do/Our-Work/Initiatives/Cat-Initiatives/

Program Long-Term Success:

TNR, once sparsely used as a method to help community cats, is now practiced in nearly every community across the United States. Best Friends, along with others, has helped TNR become widespread.

Program Short-Term Success:

44 legislative wins on local, state and national levels in 2013. Helped TNR nearly 27,000 community cats in 2013 and stopped the killing of over 6,000 cats (compared to pre-program baselines) in target shelters.

Program Success Monitored by:

Number of messages sent by advocates on behalf of BF advocacy efforts, number of legislative wins, number of adoptions, number of spay/neuters, number of reduced shelter deaths for targeted projects.

Program Success Examples:

http://bestfriends.org/News-And-Features/News/San-Antonio-unifies-to-help-community-cats/

Program: Sanctuary (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served:
None
None
None

Program Description:

Angel Canyon, the home of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, is a miracle of nature that was millions of years in the making. Your support makes miracles of love happen here every single day. On any given day, your help gives some 1,700 dogs, cats, horses, birds, bunnies, pigs and other barnyard animals a second chance at the Sanctuary.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Many, like Patches, have special needs that once stood in the way of finding a home. Patches, a miniature white poodle, was stranded in a Los Angeles shelter before being chosen by Best Friends staff to come to the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles. But this little guy needed the level of care he could only get at the Sanctuary. At the Sanctuary, Patches underwent bladder surgery, though only time will tell if it totally fixed her problem. During recovery, Patches moved in with other small dogs, but only for a little bit. It wasn’t long before the spunky poodle prancing around in a tutu captured the heart of a visitor. And Patches went home just in time for Christmas.

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

2013 adoptions = 992 2013 admissions = 1,109 2013 spay/neuter surgeries at the Sanctuary's Clinic = 3,732 76% of cat population were special needs, 61% of dogs 33% of adoptions were special needs animals "Love Is Special" adoption promotion found homes for 27 cats and 8 dogs, all of whom have special needs.

Program: New York City Programs (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served:
None
None
None

Program Description:

With municipal resources for homeless pets still scarce in the 2013 economic climate, your support allows Best Friends’ New York programs to lend a hand to animal organizations in the tri-state area. Strut Your Mutt, one of the biggest and most popular fund-raising events for local rescue groups and shelters, has become a beloved annual tradition each fall at Hudson River Park’s Pier 84. In addition, Best Friends regularly hosts pet super adoption events in the area and sponsors Neighborhood Pit Bull Day, a day that celebrates pit bull terriers and provides spay/neuter, vaccines and microchips

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

In 2013, your support led to the adoption of 784 cats and dogs, as well as the transfer of another 156 animals from shelters to rescue groups.

Program: Utah Programs (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served:
None
None
None

Program Description:

Best Friends works with 36 partners in a coalition that aims to turn Utah into a no-kill state. In June 2013, Best Friends’ Salt Lake City adoption center and offices moved into new digs in the revitalized Sugar House neighborhood. The new facility not only houses more pets, but with it’s contemporary design and prominent location, it promises to attract a greater number of potential adopters. Since the opening, 491 pets from this facility have found homes. In all, 4,656 pets found homes in 2013, thanks to your support in Utah. An additional 937 animals were transferred to other shelters and rescue groups, who can give them as much time as they need to find the right families. Also, in 2013, Best Friends’ Utah team facilitated more than 27,974 spay/neuter surgeries, including community cats.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

Now, because of your compassion for homeless pets, 23 Utah shelters and communities enjoy a 90% or better save rate, earning them the status of no-kill.

Program: Los Angeles Programs (GuideStar Exchange,
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July 2014)

Budget:
--
Category:
Animal Protection & Welfare
Population Served:
None
None
None

Program Description:

Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills opened in 2012 and, with your help, it has continued to provide low cost spay/neuter services to the community and adopt out thousands of animals from the six L.A. city shelter, thereby creating space in those shelters to house additional pets waiting for homes. Also, with your help, Best Friends’ transport program Pup My Ride continues to move dogs and cats from L.A. city shelters to partner rescue groups around the country. In 2013 alone, more than 3,600 animals caught a ride out of L.A. and into loving arms. Since the start of the program in 2007, more than 11,000 animals have made similar journeys.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

-2013 adoptions from Mission Hills = 3,353 (more than 1,700 dogs and 1,600 cats) -2013 number of dogs and cats pulled from Los Angeles Animal Services = 5,609 (2,330 cats and 3,279 dogs) -2013 kittens and puppies saved = 1,437 kittens and 472 puppies -2013 spay/neuter surgeries = 6,183 (3,597 dogs and 2,586 cats)
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit Additional Information
A Charting Impact Report consists of an organization’s responses to the five questions. Helping validate this self-reported data are three reviews. Once an organization has used the online interface to complete its report, its responses will produce a document with a unique URL that will be shared on this website, on your GuideStar profile, on the reports of charities participating in BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluations, and – in the future – with other websites and information sources about nonprofits. We encourage organizations to use this URL to share their report on their own website and through their own media channels. Participants will receive guidance about promoting their Charting Impact Report, along with other benefits, once they publish their report.

By implementing targeted spay/neuter and TNR programs to reduce the number of animals who enter shelters, and by increasing the number of people who adopt pets, we’re on our way to achieving our goal of ending the killing in America’s shelters. In Los Angeles, Best Friends is leading No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), a citywide initiative, fueled by a coalition of over 70 local organizations, including LA Animal Services, with the goal of making the country's 2nd largest and most diverse city into a no-kill community. In Utah, a statewide coalition headed by Best Friends has the entire state on the threshold of no-kill. In Jacksonville, San Antonio and Albuquerque, we sponsor effective programs with city government and local organizations to reduce the number of animals entering shelters and ultimately achieve no-kill communities. At the Sanctuary in Kanab, every animal who arrives receives comprehensive care and attention. Each year, more than 85% of animals at the sanctuary find permanent, loving homes.
For more in-depth information about this organization's impact, view their Charting Impact Report.

Expert Assessment

Best Friends Animal Society has a large pet sanctuary in Utah. They have worked extremely hard in helping grass root organizations through out the United States. They offer an annual conference, bringing speakers on many topics in animal welfare to give their expert opinion. According to experts, there has not been a natural disaster in this country involving animals that Best Friends has not aided both with volunteers, and financing. Read More »

Expert Reviews and Comments

2011 Philanthropedia Top Nonprofit

This organization is a 2011 Philanthropedia top nonprofit, recommended by experts as having high impact.

These expert reviews were generated through Philanthropedia's research methodology to identify high-impact nonprofits. Learn more

Evidence of Impact

Best Friends Animal Society has a large pet sanctuary in Utah. They have worked extremely hard in helping grass root organizations through out the United States. They offer an annual conference, bringing speakers on many topics in animal welfare to give their expert opinion. According to experts, there has not been a natural disaster in this country involving animals that Best Friends has not aided both with volunteers, and financing.

Raising Awareness
They have garnered public support for their operations in Kanab, Utah, to house and adopt or provide lifetime care for animal that are not adoptable. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have increased awareness of puppy mills, animal overpopulation and euthanasia. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends has had an enormous impact on education of the public and animal rescue (e.g., Vick's dogs). Other
Great Reach
Best Friends' No More Homeless Pets campaign created a new vision: A grassroots effort to place dogs and cats who were considered "unadoptable" into good homes, and to reduce the number of unwanted pets through effective spay and neuter programs. Since then, the number of dogs and cats being destroyed in shelters has fallen to approximately 5 million a year from 15 million in 1990. Nonprofit Senior Staff
First, Best Friends impacts the lives of 1800 to 2000 animals every single day. They have a wonderful facility in which everything is designed with the animals in mind: They give dogs plenty of room to run and play. They give the cats a wonderful indoor/outdoor facility. Every step they take is informed by tremendous focus on what will make the animals have a good life. Second, they also work hard at adoption. Third, Best Friends is working HARD to reduce the number of homeless dogs and cats in the country, via their "No More Homeless Pets" program, which involves low cost spay neuter, etc. Researcher and Faculty
Best Friends Animal Society has a large pet sanctuary in Utah. They have worked extremely hard in helping grass root organizations through out the United States. They offer an annual conference, bringing speakers on many topics in animal welfare to give their expert opinion. There has not been an natural disaster in this country involving animals that Best Friends has not aided both with volunteers, and financing. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Visibility
Best Friends has visibility in combating dog fighting, like in the Michael Vick case. Researcher and Faculty
Excellent Services
They have a model sanctuary when most sanctuaries are far from ideal. They also have strong grassroots advocacy efforts. Nonprofit Senior Staff
The organization has good adoption practices. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Focus
By focusing on four reasonably specific initiatives, Best Friends has and can continue to make an impact in areas that may be diluted in other areas. An example is the "Saving America's Dog" campaign - dealing with the challenges facing pit bull type dogs is challenging given the continuing myths and apparent media bias. By highlighting this important issue, Best Friends brings it to a much wider audience. The other initiatives also relate to the core of the "No More Homeless Pets" message. Staying focused means Best Friends can have a true impact. Researcher and Faculty
Great Programs
They have had tremendous impact on re-educating animal professionals to the realistic possibilities of "no-kill" communities. Throughout the past 10-15 years they have implemented marketing & support programs that provide assistance to communities to move away from high euthanasia and focus on possible solutions. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They are a great organization that do a great amount of good for companion animals. Their annual conferences are excellent. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Great Ambition
Best Friends has given the public at large, donors, and animal welfare professionals hope that the US can truly reach homeostasis--zero pet population growth and no more euthanasia of unwanted pets. They were the first large-scale, successful sanctuary for companion animals. They house many more animals than they adopt. Their message is clear; society and those of us in animal welfare have a responsibility to keep healthy adoptable animals alive throughout their natural lives. Other
They made us believe in a vision of No More Homeless Pets back when most of us thought killing animals in shelters was a necessary evil - and they've been showing the way to NMHP ever since. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Collaboration
The work they do in helping new non profits get on the right foot and pointed in the right direction. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Innovation
Best Friends has moved forward with the times. In recent years they have started branching out to shelters, legislators and the public to create awareness. They are the gold standard for a sanctuary based on their policies, programs and specific outreach. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Strong Education Programs
Personal experience with them as a member and volunteer has shown me the strength of their volunteer and educational programs. Researcher and Faculty
Good Organization
I have visited Best Friends' sanctuary in Utah and observed the dogs rescued from Michael Vick. Nobody there gets excessive salaries and the facilities are excellent and in a lovely setting. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Helped Save Animal Lives
Best Friends opened one of the first "no-kill" animal sanctuaries. Realizing that animal sanctuaries cannot be replicated on such a scale that shelter killing of pets could be prevented, Best Friends initiated their No More Homeless Pets campaign. This campaign helped communities implement programs to save lives in their communities. Best Friends has grown rapidly since the sanctuary opened in 1984. The leadership has gone through several significant changes in the past ten years as the founders have retired from operations positions. Other

Organizational Strengths

According to experts, Best Friends does not convolute their mission, purpose or vision. They are specific, fiscally conservative and respectful of other non-profits. They are also very skilled in marketing through social media and print media.

Excellent Marketing
Their marketing campaign has been very successful over the last few years and their income has increased significantly. They have expanded their operations to help animal nationally not just at their sanctuary. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They are very skilled in marketing through social media and print media. I believe they have built a membership base of over 300,000 in the last several years. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends' magazine "Good News" about animals - is something that is unique in the field. By staying as positive as possible it inspires people to help (or do better) rather than attempts to guilt them into donating. The marketing materials tend to have the same positive message - a very welcome change from many animal advocacy organizations. Researcher and Faculty
Best Friends' marketing and public relations are particularly strong. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have good marketing, solid public relations, and great volunteers. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends has exhibited incredible marketing and PR skills and has applied them to the benefit of BFAS as well as a broad network of small rescue organizations. They are inhabiting and succeeding in a niche that AHA abandoned in the early 1990's. BFAS makes a tremendous contribution by providing direct service, cutting edge leadership, and support, networking and training for small rescue groups. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Clear Vision
A better world through kindness is a perfect tagline for what all of us in animal welfare hope to see in our lifetime. Best Friends exemplifies this by loving and caring for their 2000 animals and showing everyone what is possible. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends does not convolute their mission, purpose or vision. They are specific, fiscally conservative and respectful of other non-profits. In a nutshell, they play well with others and are quick to learn support if asked. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Focused Goals
The consistency of their message and their focused goals make Best Friends a great organization. Researcher and Faculty
Dedicated Leadership
The leaders and staff of this organization are absolutely dedicated to making a better world for the animals. Most people could not even name one of the leaders of the organization, because the leadership is so focused on helping the animals that they simply do not have time to or interest in getting fame. Visitors to the facility can see this devotion in action. Also, their location is absolutely beautiful, making it a wonderful place for people to do volunteer vacations and get involved in the day-to-day care of the animals. Researcher and Faculty
Grassroots Successes
Their grassroots advocacy is great at motivating donors and members to become involve in "animal politics" local and nationally. Their work on behalf of defeating BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) was great as well. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Effective Programs
They select communities (via grant applications) and assist with funding projects that help to implement programs which reduce euthanasia of shelter animals. They have an incredible network of financial resources. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Excellent Organizational Structure
They are not a "me too" organization. Much about their programs, their facilities, their location, their organizational structure, and their fundraising strategies fly in the face of conventional cookie cutter animal shelter programs. Because they are different, they have created an environment in which adopters, supporters, staff of other animal welfare organizations, and even casual visitors want to be a part of their culture and their cause. They have created a unique value proposition for their audience. Other
Assisting Other Organizations
The have focused their resources on a few core issues which they can have a major impact on nationally. They really work well at assisting other organizations to get a positive start. The changes they have made in the last couple of years to their programs is right on target. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Strong Leadership
Best Friends benefits from strong leadership. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Strong Staff
Best Friends' staff is remarkable. I have heard speakers from the group several times in varying contexts (at a law school as a guest speaker, at a state bar conference, etc.) and they have been friendly, approachable, well-educated on the subjects on which they speak, and good advocates for their organization. I assume they have good finances as well. Other
Best Friends has strong staff and marketing. Researcher and Faculty
Effective Fundraising Efforts
They have a narrow niche and is effectively expanding their fundraising efforts. Other

Areas for Improvement

According to experts, the amount of money spent for the number of animals impacted is very high. To make a greater impact, Best Friends Animal Society must pursue more partnerships in the sector.

Cost Effectiveness
The amount of money spent for the number of animals impacted is very high, they could do more for more animals if they wanted to. Also, they are somewhat misleading the public as they do not accept all animals into their facility. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Greater Reach
They should be able to provide care for more animals. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends needs greater reach into more states. Researcher and Faculty
Best Friends runs a wonderful magical sanctuary but their knowledge and influence and support for local groups on national level is suspect especially in legislative matters. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Improve Editing on Communications
Best Friends seeks to protect companion animals and injured wildlife, and their work is focused almost exclusively on those two groups. I think it's fine to focus on a certain population, as they have done. But I do not think it's ok to give space in their magazine to a guest author who advised readers, essentially, that there's no need to feel guilty about eating meat because humans are complex creatures. I cringe every time I think about that editorial and how many farmed animals may have suffered and died as a result of Best Friends giving the guest some space in their magazine. I don't mind if BFAS stays out of the debate on farmed animals, but if they're going to get into the topic, they should at least get into it on the side of the animals. The highest levels of leadership seem often to be occupied by men. Although they provide great leadership, it would be wonderful to see more women involved. Researcher and Faculty
Leadership Stability
They should get better at researching issues before call to action to members and donors. They also need more leadership stability. Nonprofit Senior Staff
More Business Mindset
In their current workshop conferences, they need to do more to encourage the business aspects of running an organization, and continue to bring in speakers that do not talk about things as they are or were, but more as they should be. Nonprofit Senior Staff
More Marketing Efforts
The television program "Dogtown" did a lot to raise this organization's profile. It is a major commitment of time and resources but if something similar could be done again I believe Best Friends would benefit from the exposure. Best Friends has recently (in the past few years especially) be willing to hire real experts in their field. Best Friends should continue to do so - it can only help its reputation. Researcher and Faculty
More Outreach
I wish they did more outreach to local shelters. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Working with other Organizations
They have an incredible network of financial resources and to some degree have a negative impact on donations going to local organizations. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They isolate themselves from the mainstream animal welfare industry. For example, they do not participate in national expos and training given by other organizations. This gives them the reputation with some organizations as being elitist. They have a habit of referring to any organization that euthanizes healthy adoptable animals as "kill" shelters which is inflammatory and creates defensiveness from those organizations. Best Friends does euthanize animals, but they refer to themselves as a "no-kill" shelter. This moniker gives the public the impression that no animals are ever euthanized which is misleading. Other
I find it very unfortunate that Best Friends often takes an antagonistic approach against other animal advocacy charities in the public arena. Researcher and Faculty
Best Friends remains in general isolated from the animal welfare community at large. Their employees are not members of SAWA and I do not see them participating at the leadership level in many other collaborative animal welfare efforts. This is not true in specific as they did, for instance, participate in the Asilmar Accords. They have a unique business model and have implemented it successfully, although many of us who have spoken with the founders know this success did not come easy. I would vehemently encourage them to stop referring to animal shelters that euthanize for space as "kill" facilities. This verbiage and attitude breeds contempt, defensiveness, and divisiveness. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Narrow Geographical Focus
They can become more focused on a smaller number of geographic areas to maximize impact. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Mostly Focused on Fundraising
Best Friends has a vast annual income but in terms of actual animals saved and impactful advocacy, it is primarily in the realm of fundraising rather than animal life saving. This agency supports the no-kill philosophy in theory, but does little -- considering their income level -- to actually save lives. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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