Best Friends Animal Society Reviews

Updated June 20, 2015
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2.4
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Gregory Castle
26 Ratings

42 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    Do Not Relocate to Work at Best Friends

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Animal Caregiver
    Former Employee - Animal Caregiver

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The animal caregivers truly love the animals and try to give them first-rate care. The organization also puts out wonderful PR and the positive effect it has on animal adoption makes the entire thing worthwhile.

    Cons

    Employees, especially animal caregivers, are not treated well at all. They are often belittled and grossly overworked. Often one or two people are covering an entire area all by themselves, and many animals are feed special diets twice a day plus all areas have to be cleaned. If there are no volunteers that day, the caregiver must do everything for all of the animals in their care. Many people move to Kanab with a dream about this wonderful place, but when they finally realize what they have gotten into, there are few other options for employment in this small town. Managers are often not terribly qualified and have no idea how to treat people. BTW, i am not disgruntled - I just hate to see people treated this way. Many people are fired with very little justification. I was not fired, but it came to the point that I was so unhappy it was making me physically ill.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promising to listen to employees who have grievances as if you intend to do something about it. Everyone knows that it is the first step out the door to go to HR with any kind of issue.


  2. Helpful (5)

    Good with the animals, bad with people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kanab, UT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kanab, UT

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If the mission is something that you care about, then the work can be very fulfilling. It's a good thing I believe in the mission, or I would have left a long time ago. Depending on which department you work in, it can be a very flexible place to work. Pet bereavement leave - where else can you say you get a paid day off when your pet passes away? This was very beneficial when I lost one of my dogs a few years ago.

    Cons

    There are a lot of bad behaviors that have carried over from the founder's cult days 30+ years ago. Are you a founder, friend, spouse or family member of a founder? If so, you're set and can get any job you want, regardless of your qualifications. You can also treat people very badly without any consequences. The nepotism at this place is pretty bad. To reiterate what an earlier reviewer said - founders are often put into positions in which they have absolutely no business doing, and they wreak havoc. HR couldn't care less about the employees. HR leadership is also good friends with some founders and/or their spouses, so HR only exists to do their bidding. The lack of professionalism is pretty astounding. It may be a $70 million+ organization, but many in leadership lack basic social skills. I'll echo what many others have said and say that the animals are treated much much better than the people. The waste is unbelieveable. Care givers are underpaid and are not given enough resources to always properly care for the animals, while management and leadership (across the org) get to spend thousands on expensive conferences, fancy dinners, etc. They recently bought a gym in Kanab for "employee wellness" (funny, a growing percentage of your staff don't live in Kanab and will receive no benefit from this). I wonder how many animals could have been saved with the money they spent to buy the gym (not to mention what they'll be spending to upgrade and operate the gym).

    Advice to Management

    Start listening to the expensive consultants and staff that you keep hiring. Many people are brought into leadership positions, only to abruptly leave the organization within a couple of years because all of their expertise and advice falls on deaf ears (or they are fired because they don't tell the leadership team/founders what they want to hear). Practice what you preach. You say the golden rule is at the center of your guiding principles, yet you treat most staff like compete and utter garbage. Stop playing favorites and hire people based on their qualifications, not on who they know or who they are related to.


  3. Helpful (5)

    Horrific waste of dollars and talent. Avoid at all costs.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I wish I had good things to say about this company. The only pro is that most low-level employees really care about animals and do their best to make sure the animals are well cared for. I am only giving one star because I am forced to do so through Glassdoor.

    Cons

    Management at Best Friends is a self-proclaimed "sorority." I have actually heard upper management joke about their work retreats being slumber parties. These slumber parties take place in pricey locations such as Park City and the annual South By Southwest conference. There is an unbelievable amount of waste throughout the organization, including the use of an external branding agency that the CMO loves even though the internal BF marketing department is bloated and overstaffed. A fellow employee told me that her department alone spent a large amount of money in a calendar year with this branding agency only to see the branding agency "phone it in" and do "sub-par" work. There is also an entire internal design team at Best Friends that is not utilized for many national projects. Senior and favored staff are sent to expensive Disney conferences that can cost more than a thousand dollars per day and one senior manager once shared her screen with her entire department on a teleconference to show that she literally had thousands of unread emails in her inbox. Mid-level managers are vindictive and backbiting, trying desperately to climb up the ranks on the backs of employees they set up to fail. There is no chance of upward mobility unless you are favored by the CMO or one of her high-ranking minions. During my tenure there, I saw very little evidence of actually saving animals but plenty of Facebook posts by upper management (all of whom share everything they do openly and freely) enjoying expensive conferences, retreats and drinks on the donor dime. This is a horrifically run organization that will continue to drill good people into the ground until donors wise up and realize that this is basically just a false front for a huge sorority party. Don't believe me? Get a job here and see for yourself. But you'll sleep much better at night if you find an opportunity with an organization that actually puts animal welfare first.

    Advice to Management

    As many reviews before this one have mentioned, there is no real point in trying to give any advice to management at Best Friends. Nepotism runs rampant at this company, managers hire their friends who may or may not (and are usually not) be qualified for the jobs they are given (and fancy titles and large salaries).


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Worst place to work!

    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Management in Kanab, UT
    Former Employee - Management in Kanab, UT

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Beautiful grounds... wonderful animal care

    Cons

    Do not move there for the job!. They have no sense of of what it takes to mange human beings and believe me I tried as part of the HR team

    Advice to Management

    STOP unfair practices. Hire an outside consultant team and then LISTEN to them!!!


  6. Helpful (5)

    Disappointing experience with too much of a gap between employees that have it too good, versus those who are miserable.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Majority of employees have hearts of gold for the animals. Sanctuary is a beautiful place that grounds the mission. Flexible work environment and work/life balance.

    Cons

    This is a working environment more about who you know than what you know. Ideas and experience out the window. Being in the in crowd is all that matters and no, we aren't talking about people in their teens and twenties here. Too much overlap in personal and professional lives. If you want to know anything about any of your coworkers' lives, they are all an open book and connected to each other on Facebook. Lack of development path for employees regardless of performance. Many in management roles lack the right experience to set substantial goals and move forward on them if there were any. Frivolous travel expenses, such as SXSW, retreats, drinks at expensive bars and restaurants. From a productivity standpoint, too many full time employees take advantage to the point they aren't producing work that amounts to more than 10-20 hours a week in my opinion.

    Advice to Management

    Open your eyes to the lack of professionalism, and at times ethics, in the employee culture especially in the desk job arena. This is donors' hard earned and well intentioned money you're playing with here, for the sake of the animals. The working environment should not be a platform for fulfilling employees' social lives through frivolous travel and having enough time on their hands to have second jobs and social media play time with each other all day.


  7. Helpful (5)

    The best and worst experience of my life

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kanab, UT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kanab, UT

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great mission, good programs, beautiful sanctuary. The organization has come a long way in it's growth and overall mission is wonderful - it always has been. I learned a lot about animal welfare at this organization and felt good about the difference I was able to make in saving more lives.

    Cons

    Many management challenges - unfortunately, you do have to be a yes man to work here. Those who say yes (mind you only in front of management) or are favored based on personal relationships get promoted regardless of their effectiveness as managers/leaders. Many top level and mid level managers have absolutely no training in managing people so you have a very unprofessional environment. A lot of unfair treatment results and constant policy changes are made to suit the need of the day. Conflict resolution at HR is a sham. I put up with a lot of injustices but stayed because I loved the mission - but ultimately poor treatment drove me out.

    Advice to Management

    Integrity is key when dealing with employees. Try upward evaluations or peer evaluations. Culture change has to come from the top.


  8. Helpful (7)

    It's all about the money

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Animal Caregiver in Kanab, UT
    Former Employee - Animal Caregiver in Kanab, UT

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Beautiful sanctuary grounds and working with animals is very fulfilling. Most low level employees are passionate about taking the best care of the animals possible.

    Cons

    Horrific management, complete lack of proper tools to do your job, management refusal to listen to the concerns of low level employees, treating you like dirt if you dare question their methods.

    Advice to Management

    None - the people in management are there only because of who their parents happen to be or who they are related to (or who they kiss up to) and they don't listen to any advice from anyone outside of their cult.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Putting my skill set to work for the animals - total fulfillment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Events
    Current Employee - Events

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    -A cause I fully support -Pioneers in the no kill movement; innovative programs and approaches to sustainable solutions -Some of the most intelligent, level-headed, warm and humorous co-workers I could wish to work with -A large enough organization that has well developed internal systems (that are always being fine-tuned) to support the needs I have to get my job done (request portals for any computer needs, design needs, ordering needs, etc., as well as an extensive on-going training catalog - for both computer program skills and HR - training/communication/management type classes. -Competitive benefits and salary packages - particularly for a non-profit -Given a lot of freedom to grow programs, build process/procedures, take initiative when a gap is identified, in order to rectify, etc.

    Cons

    -Best Friends is growing at a high rate and with that growth comes change - if you can't embrace it, it might not be the best fit for you. I happen to enjoy trying new things/new ways and don't like to get into the stagnant zone. -Working remotely with so many other remote employees, as well as the base camp in Kanab - you do need to be able to proactively stay connected to your co-workers in order to create your "team" experience and level of connection to your colleagues - it's up to you. -While the compensation packages are quite good and thoughtfully compiled the insurance providers for medical and dental have been a little bit challenging based on what is actually covered and how recognizable they are to medical professionals in my area (they may be more well known in the UT area), which causes me to do a lot of proactive phone calling and leg work to confirm coverage etc., before I make any appointments.


  10. Helpful (5)

    One of the Best and Worst experiences of my life.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The canyon is amazing, the animals are well cared for, and I saw many animals find new homes. My coworkers were kind and I enjoyed the work.

    Cons

    The assistant manger where I worked was so unfair and critical, it felt like a witch hunt and I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't. She made the job very difficult for me and eventually I had to leave because she filed a negative report. I am not the first person she has done this to and I'm sure I won't be the last. I had a lot of passion for the cause of Best Friends and I am sad that it ended this way, but glad to be out of "the line of fire".

    Advice to Management

    It would be much nicer if you could treat the employees with half of the respect and decency that the animals are shown. The employees don't deserve to be treated like they are easily disposable.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Great place to work and grow if you have realistic expectations.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great Mission Authentic Walk the Walk Leadership really cares about the mission. Great Benefits Awesome caregivers

    Cons

    Suffers from rapid growth, can be disorganized but has taken steps to make things better Separation of national goals and sanctuary goals - hard to get people "on the ground" to see the big picture. Sometimes gets into "Too many cooks in the kitchen" situations

    Advice to Management

    Trust your peoples intuition and let them grow. Sometimes mistakes will be made but how else can you learn?



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