Best Friends Animal Society

www.bestfriends.org

Best Friends Animal Society Reviews

Updated January 17, 2015
Updated January 17, 2015
33 Reviews
2.4
33 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
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Gregory Castle
21 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Managed major growth leads to better focus, better employee health

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

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society

    Pros

    When I started, Best Friends was a $20 million dollar organization. Last year, we raised more than $70 million. That's an incredible amount of growth in a very short period of time. That kind of growth inevitably comes with challenges. However, overall, the organization in my opinion has managed the growth very well. There's no doubt that there have been people who have been unable to work in such a growing environment, but overall today the organization is healthier than it's ever been during my time.

    it's incredibly disappointing to see so many negative reviews here for such a wonderful organization that has so much impact. Management does so much to continue trying to not only make Best Friends the most impactful national organization, but also the best place to work. Don't listen to the cries of bitter, ex-employees. Best Friends is a fantastic place to work.

    Cons

    The continued growth definitely brings about challenges, and it requires an employee to be flexible and comfortable with change. Remote employees can be challenged to work in that environment, so it does take the right kind of person who is a self-starter and doesn't need to have their hand held.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm not sure I have any! Currently lots of things are happening that show that management is responding to the challenges facing the organization. As an example, a compensation study has been done to ensure that employees are both compensated fairly within the organization, and that pay is on par with other organizations. As long as management continues to be aware of, and respond to challenges, the organization will just continue to be a better place to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Mixed emotions

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

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

    Pros

    The vision is awesome. They absolutely do what they say they do: save animals. Do they do it in the most efficient/effective way? I don't know. I'm not an animal welfare activist.

    Cons

    Driven by not just one or two founders but a whole group of founders whose bonds to each other are strong. Right or wrong, those bonds excuse many a behavior. The only people founders are accountable to are other founders. While I admire that they each step up and do what needs to be done, they are often put into positions where they are not skilled and can wreak havoc. In general, Best Friends has issues with hiring people who are experts--and then letting them do what they do best. They've routinely hired (expensive) outside counsel, consultants and staff, not liked what they've been told, and dismissed the results. Which is their right--but frustrating to those who know that things don't have to be as difficult as they make them. Have seen many people who take a job expecting it to be a positive environment be shattered by the politics and bad management decisions. I've been working 25+ years--and this was my first experience of witnessing outright textbook bully behavior--by several management staff--and I was shocked that it was tolerated. The victims are long since gone--the bullies remain even now. I can't even begin to imagine the stories HR staff have heard--and been powerless to address. If you have a passion for the mission and the ability to be very focused on what you do without needing the support of other staff, to be totally accepting and never ask a question and never challenge a decision, if you can let go of poor behavior and waste around you--you might survive here. People in animal welfare tend to be, I've found, a little quirky--and a little broken. Best Friends retains those who put themselves second to the vision of leadership and want, consciously or not, to be submissive and guided.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to those who are experts in THEIR field. Let them help you. I've been gone awhile and my bitterness has faded somewhat. I begrudgingly admire the vision that lets you bulldoze past any and all objection. You get things done and do things that I might say are/were impossible. I learned a lot from watching you. I'm almost to the point where I would financially support you again because I do believe you are an important leader in the animal welfare community and you are bringing about tremendous change. I wish that I could have been more of a "yes man" and stayed. However, I value myself and my skills and my intelligence too much to stay in an abusive environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    I get to save animals lives and get paid for it!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Communications in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Communications in New York, NY

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society

    Pros

    The people I work with are some of the smartest and most passionate I've ever met.
    II get to to on business trips to Kanab, UT!
    I get to work to better the world for dogs and cats (and other companion animals)

    Cons

    Working from home, I don't always shower every day. I don't think my wife appreciates that.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    WORST JOB EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE

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

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

    Pros

    So horrible, the cons outweigh the pros. No benefit can come from working for Best Friends.

    Cons

    Best Friends has not rescued animals in years. The only reason they recently took in a German shepherd whose owner died was because the dog is attached to a trust fund and a large sum of money was given to Best Friends in exchange for taking the dog. The dog will end up behind the clinic in the Lodges, where many "difficult" dogs are warehoused and have no contact with volunteers and very little interaction with people. Best Friends is motivated by two things: Money and Publicity. They market because marketing gets them more money. They are not motivated to help homeless animals. You will never see a founder pet an animal unless a camera is pointed at the founder. It is all for publicity opportunities. They adopt animals to anyone who wants them, no questions asked. A majority of those animals are returned or end up in kill shelters, worse off than when they started. Best Friends does not care what people think, unless those people have money, then they suck up to them. They constantly have fallings out with other groups and with individuals, including long-time donors, many of whom see through the facade and stop donating. It is a fake organization with fake "animal welfare" folks running it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice because the people running the organization from the top never have and never will listen to anyone, no matter what. They are all-knowing and think they are the smartest people in the world and everyone else is stupid. What they do not realize is they have mistreated too many donors, volunteers, and employees, and they have fired too many interns, employees and contract employees that Best Friends cannot control the growing movement of people who know all about how Best Friends is really run. It is already starting to hit them in the pocketbook. My adivice to the public is give to small rescue groups and not to Best Friends, a money-hungry fake organization that treats people and animals inhumanely.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Poor management and no room for growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 5 years)

    Pros

    One of the good things about this organization is that they do not euthanize animals for behavior reasons. In fact, they take many animals that have behavioral issues. Seeing these animals finally learn to trust people again and/or feel comfortable in the world is very rewarding.

    Cons

    Many people, including myself, came to best friends with so much hope and passion about the job and the organization. I thought that this would be my future and I would remain with BF for my entire career. I was excited to be working with animals and ready to grow with a well-established no kill sanctuary. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that Best Friends had A LOT of problems. Staff morale was extremely low, management was out of touch with employees and the CEO didn’t really care about the actual sanctuary in southern Utah but was really concerned with the branding of the organization. I saw extremely high turnover at the sanctuary both because of employees quitting as well as “layoffs” usually around Christmas time. This made all employees very unsure about their job security which is very unsettling in a small town like Kanab. Animal caregivers are nothing more than modestly paid shelter workers who aren’t valued much by management and don’t ever have the chance to be anything more than that. Working with animals is very hard emotionally and physically and, unfortunately, although it likes to claim it is, Best Friends is not very forward thinking in either its animal care or the way it deals with staff. The employees who do best are those who are OK with never questioning anything that the organization does. As long as you don’t mind sucking up to management, never being asked your opinion, being treated like you don’t have a brain, living hand to mouth every month and never being able to grow and move up, you might survive longer than a year!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Best Friends needs a CEO who is involved in the sanctuary and with the staff who work there. The only way this organization has any way of healing is if the CEO takes charge and makes changes. Hiring managers because they don't question anything and/or because they are friends or spouses is never going to work. ALL staff need to feel valued and appreciated every day, not just twice a year at the company meeting. Please appreciate staff who do a good job, not just those who kiss up to you! Working with animals is very stressful and staff needs managers who understand things like campassion fatigue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    Horrible - A dream shattered

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 8 years)

    Pros

    Best Friends became the dominant employer in the area, and offers benefits.
    At first, it appears like the ideal organization to work for: Save Them All!
    A great BUSINESS slogan for the brand.

    Cons

    Best Friends is located in Kanab UT, a very remote location, beautiful but offering very little fall back options.
    Great place if you enjoy working everyday in fear. A place where a hand full of individuals are favored, listened to and for murky reasons are never held accountable!
    People come from far, travel great distances to follow a dream to end-up in the middle of nowhere far from home.
    I second a previous post: "the "positive" reviews from May of 2014, suspiciously come after HR has learned of Glass Door".
    I don't know of any "long timers" feeling positively about this place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    HR and Upper management: Best Friends Animal Society rating here speaks for itself.
    It shows too well the lack of care from an HR department, doing a poor job and needing some deep cleansing, starting at the top.
    Employees who have worked here long enough could all tell the same story.
    Start treating people with respect and humanity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    Horrible

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

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits. Beautiful place. Save them all!!!

    Cons

    They treat staff terribly, if you are not liked by the right people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start being humane to your staff!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 13 people found this helpful  

    Horribly mis-managed

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

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time

    Pros

    If you are retired, (can work for free), can work around continuing chaos while keeping your mouth shut, then this is the place for you.

    Cons

    Protocols change every 20 minutes. Management "restructures" every 90 days. Supervisors ignore staff for the most part. If you eat meat, don't let anyone know.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pointless, as management does not take advice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 12 people found this helpful  

    Dismal Organization Run On Fear And Brainwashing.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 a year)

    Pros

    Working with the animals who otherwise may have not been given a second chance.

    Cons

    Best Friends uses the "sanctuary' and canyon as a carrot to dangle in front of potential high donors and future employees. Once hired, you quickly realize that employees are disposable and treated as such. The moto is, 'if you don't like it-there's the door.' Care givers are expected to handle an unreasonable work load with a smile on their faces, all the while catering to the volunteers who have the potential of digging deep into their wallets for large donations. If you are found uttering an opinion that BF does not want the public to know...those have found themselves no longer employed with out explanation. The town of Kanab is remote to say the least and the 'locals' are not in support of the 'hill dwellers/best frienders' for good reason, Best Friends has no interest and will not help the local community animals- their only interest lies in what they refer to as being the most recognizable ''brand name' in the business. Do NOT except a position with this company! Over and over, people come from far and wide to give their heart and soul to the animals and this organization, only to be left in the middle of the desert broke, lost and scratching their way home. The "positive"reviews from May of 2014, suspiciously come after HR has learned of Glass Door.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management could benefit from treating employees with respect and value rather than the next set of 'numbers' just hired to take orders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Best Friends is an AWESOME place to work!

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

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

    Pros

    Before I came to Best Friends, I always had trouble finding an organization that I really believed in and that I felt like I belonged. I usually left every 3-4 years looking for something better. Once I came to Best Friends, nearly, 10 years ago, I knew I was home. I love the work we do, the people who do it, and the Founders who created it all. We have heart, whether some choose to see it or not.

    Cons

    The remote location was a challenge in the beginning but I've gotten used to it and not having a Super Target nearby is offset by being around people who love animals as much as I do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We've come a long way since I've been here…keep up the good work achieving our mission while preserving the flame.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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