Best Friends Animal Society Reviews | Glassdoor

Best Friends Animal Society Reviews

Updated Dec 28, 2019

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2.8
37%
Recommend to a Friend
38%
Approve of CEO
Best Friends Animal Society CEO Julie Castle
Julie Castle
18 Ratings
Pros
  • "Promote no kill movement nationwide(in 10 reviews)

  • "Sanctuary becomes a magical experience(in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • "Working at the Sanctuary has become very depressing for a lot of people(in 17 reviews)

  • "BF seems to think the solution to issues at the Sanctuary is to push more work to the local volunteers(in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (3)

    "Best Friends is the best place I've ever worked"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Development in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The values of the organization: Golden Rule, Kindness, Positive Influence, Authenticity, Transparency and Leadership

    Cons

    Growing pains as Best Friends has taken on more than just the Sanctuary in the last few years

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-12-28

    Best Friends Animal Society Response

    January 2, 2020Senior Manager, Recruiting

    Thank you for your review! It is wonderful to hear such positive feedback. And, it is truly an exciting time to be at Best Friends as we work to reach no kill by 2025. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the animals. Together, we can Save Them All!

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  2. Helpful (8)

    "Top heavy organization, lack of respect for those who work with the animals"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Dogs in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Getting to work with animals (obviously), passionate co-workers, opportunities for unique learning experiences, great jobs if you're at the top of the food chain, plenty of PTO/ holiday once you've worked there awhile

    Cons

    Unlivable wages and never enough animal care staff. Staff is dedicated to the animals and the mission and tolerates a lot of abuse and burnout out of passion and care. Leadership recognizes this, but doesn't care to adjust budgets or their top heavy leadership structure to address it. The top level brass cares more about numbers than individual animal welfare and disregard the advice of experts when it comes to this.

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-11-07

    Best Friends Animal Society Response

    November 13, 2019Senior Manager, Recruiting

    Thank you for your review. We are happy to hear that you enjoy working with the animals and have enjoyed your learning experiences. Our employees are very important to us — your work is what paves the way to reaching no-kill by 2025! We would like to thank you for taking the time to make your concerns known. If you haven't already, we also encourage you to voice your concerns to your manager and/or department leader so they have a chance to address them. Again, we appreciate your work and all that you do to help homeless pets. Together, we can Save Them All!

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  3. Helpful (5)

    "It's a scam that uses animals to fundraise"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Volunteer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    It's a smart scam

    Cons

    The 'sanctuary' is basically a retirement home for rich people's pets. Leave Best Friends 30k+ in your will and your cat or dog will get to live in a glorified petting zoo. Other than that, they take a few dozen animals from shelters every year for show. They fundraised millions to open a Kitten Nursery at the sanctuary and closed it after less than a year because too many kittens died and it hurt their fake 'no-kill' numbers they feed clueless donors. Now those kittens die in broke shelters while the Kitten Nursery is completely empty.

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-11-30

    Best Friends Animal Society Response

    December 5, 2019Senior Manager, Recruiting

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, however your comments are not an accurate reflection of our mission, values and culture. Our mission is no more homeless pets and while Best Friends offers an extremely limited program called Lifetime Care (which provides transport and care for your companion animals if something happens to you, and includes trying to find a loving new home for your companion animals) Best Friends requires a substantial bequest gift. The gift amount was determined after careful research for many reasons. When we accept a pet into the Lifetime Care Program, it is possible that he or she may be here for many years and will be taking a space that would have otherwise gone to an underprivileged animal. In light of this, we feel that it is necessary for each pet to be accompanied by enough funds to help other homeless animals. Earlier this year we had an amazing response to our kitten foster needs and we were able to place every kitten from our Kanab kitten nursery into foster care. This was a huge celebration for us since we know that being in a home is a more ideal situation for the kittens than being at the nursery. Having kittens in foster homes instead will keep them healthier (as they won’t be exposed to kennel related illnesses) and more social (as a result of more time interacting with people). This meant that we were able to shift from a nursery based kitten program to a foster based kitten program, and the kitten nursery closed as a result. These programs are excellent examples of how Best Friends not only leads the no kill movement, but works to save lives and provide the very best for the animals who come into our care. Together, we will Save Them All!

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  4. Helpful (4)

    "Great Mission, Bad Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fundraiser in Kanab, UT
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    really great people work at Best Friends. The canyon is beautiful and the mission of the organization is so powerful and well known. They've done some very important things.

    Cons

    They have too much money and little direction. Upper management is easily swayed by the consultant of the day. Got more done when they were a 10 million a year org than they did at 50 million. I worked there for years and every year there was a new idea and new direction -- all decided by a small group of people with ties to the original cult that founded BFAS. It is extremely hard to advance and there is a culture of bullying and nepotism. When I was there, they hired a management "consultant" who had 1-1 trainings and sessions with us under the guise of confidentiality and then reported everything she learned directly to the CEO at the time. BFAS paid her tens of thousands of dollars for that service. They'd be a better org if they were forced to trim and focus on the key mission. They will also be a better org in 25 years when none of the original cult members are involved.

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-11-05

    Best Friends Animal Society Response

    November 6, 2019Senior Manager, Recruiting

    Thank you for your review and feedback. We are happy to hear that you supported our mission and appreciated the beauty of the Sanctuary. Our employees are very important to us and that's why we have several initiatives underway to enhance and improve how we operate; this will not only be beneficial to our staff, volunteers and supporters, but also critical to achieving our mission. Projects underway include: a Sanctuary focused project which aims to make the Sanctuary the best place for our animals, staff and visitors by working together with a shared vision, values and purpose; a newly created Talent and Culture division that will focus on engagement strategies to make Best Friends one of the most desirable places to work; and identifying how to engage volunteers in new ways to accomplish our daily work. We understand and acknowledge we have opportunities for improvement as an organization and we will continue to learn and grow. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the animals. Together, we can Save Them All!

    Continue reading
  5. Helpful (7)

    "I'm disillusioned"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Kanab, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Opportunity to help end shelter killing, benefits, lots of nice people

    Cons

    Lots of not-so-nice people in positions of authority who can make your life miserable. Working at the Sanctuary has become very depressing for a lot of people. They move here because they believe in the mission and want to help animals. But it seems like everyone I know is overworked. BF has recently eliminated some positions, making more work for those who remain. In one instance, a manager assumed two more animal care departments when those department managers left. I know of several people who have been let go or who have quit in the past few months. Those alone seem excessive, and I don't know about all of the terminations. I'm only aware of one situation where the person left because he was offered a better job by another organization. Maybe he wasn't looking for another job. Maybe someone actively recruited him. But my guess is he was looking. Others are quitting because they can't take it anymore or they're being cut because they're not wanted anymore. People are being fired without having any idea their performance was in question. BF seems to think the solution to issues at the Sanctuary is to push more work to the local volunteers. This seems like it COULD be a good idea, since the volunteers already live in Kanab. But they're using volunteers for roles that should be paid roles. The kitten nursery was closed a couple of days short of its one-year anniversary. Again, it appears to have been a staffing issue. Running a successful kitten program completely with foster homes is going to be extremely difficult in such a small town. The nursery provided a good way to transition the kittens to readiness for a foster home. There are only a handful of people in the organization who live by the Guiding Principle of the Golden Rule. And very few of those are in upper management.

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-10-21

    Best Friends Animal Society Response

    November 6, 2019Senior Manager, Recruiting

    Thank you for your review and feedback and all that you did to support the animals. Our employees are very important to us and that's why we have created our new Talent and Culture division which will focus on engagement strategies to make Best Friends one of the most desirable places to work. We appreciate your work and all that you did to help homeless pets. Together, we can Save Them All!

    Continue reading
  6. Helpful (6)

    "Take the blinders off!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Animal Care in Kanab, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    There are a great many people working there that care about and for the animals. You do get to make a difference and save lives.

    Cons

    Like many, I became enamored with Best Friends during the ‘Dogtown’ years on Animal Planet. I volunteered and donated for a number of years, attended many of the conferences. Mind you, this is not the only organization I supported with both money & volunteer hours. I’ve been active in animal welfare in various forms for many years but Best Friends was the “dream” and I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to work there. MOST DISAPPOINTING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE! It is as dysfunctional as others have indicated. It is indeed full of nepotism and favoritism as reported. Having an opinion is definitely not encourage or supported and is most certainly detrimental to job security. It is not a humanitarian organization and I have serious concerns about it being an animal welfare organization as the focus is not on the animals but on the numbers that are needed to ‘prove’ the ever impending goal of No Kill 2025..but at what cost, not only to the long suffering animal caregivers in all capacities but also to the animals in their care. This is an organization failing its employees and supporters in so many ways and in so many areas. While they talk about transparency they do not practice it.

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-11-01

    Best Friends Animal Society Response

    November 6, 2019Senior Manager, Recruiting

    Thank you for your review and feedback. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed working with the animals, and you feel you made a difference in the lives of homeless pets. Our employees are very important to us and that's why we have several initiatives underway to enhance and improve how we operate; this will not only be beneficial to our staff, volunteers and supporters, but also critical to achieving our mission . Projects underway include: a Sanctuary focused project which aims to make the Sanctuary the best place for our animals, staff and visitors by working together with a shared vision, values and purpose; a newly created Talent and Culture division that will focus on engagement strategies to make Best Friends one of the most desirable places to work; and identifying how to engage volunteers in new ways to accomplish our daily work. We understand and acknowledge we have opportunities for improvement as an organization and we will continue to learn and grow. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the animals. Together, we can Save Them All!

    Continue reading
  7. Helpful (9)

    "Favoritism, Low Morale, Wasteful Spending"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Admirable mission, excellent quality of care provided to animals, good benefits

    Cons

    Favoritism is going strong. CEO chooses favorites and they become untouchable. People are often promoted based on who they are related to or who is most successful at self promoting themselves on social media. Makes no difference if these leaders have continuously proven to be bad communicators and have received numerous complainants by other staff. I have seen this organization lose so many great, talented staff this past year because of inexperienced leaders. There's not a lot of opportunities for growth lately. Org seems to be more focused on bringing in big names externally, rather than promoting dedicated and experienced staff from within. Donor money is spent quickly without putting a lot of thought into the sustainability of what their money is being thrown at. But yet, animal caregivers at the Sanctuary don't make a liveable wage. Important decisions are made based on one person's opinion and the impact on staff is rarely considered.

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-09-22

    Best Friends Animal Society Response

    November 6, 2019Senior Manager, Recruiting

    Thank you for your review and feedback. While we are happy to hear that you enjoy working with the animals, and you support our mission, we are sincerely saddened by your experience. Our employees are very important to us and that's why we have several initiatives underway to enhance and improve how we operate; this will not only be beneficial to our staff, volunteers and supporters, but also critical to achieving our mission . Projects underway include: a Sanctuary focused project which aims to make the Sanctuary the best place for our animals, staff and visitors by working together with a shared vision, values and purpose; a newly created Talent and Culture division that will focus on engagement strategies to make Best Friends one of the most desirable places to work; and identifying how to engage volunteers in new ways to accomplish our daily work. We understand and acknowledge we have opportunities for improvement as an organization and we will continue to learn and grow. If you haven't already, we would also encourage you to voice your concerns to your manager and/or department leader so they have a chance to address them. We hope that you will see and feel all of the positive changes we are working on and continue to be part of our team as we evolve our strategies and programs to end the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters by 2025. Thank you so much for everything you do.

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  8. Helpful (4)

    "Think seriously before working here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Animal Care in Kanab, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Hardworking co-workers, working with animals, learning opportunities, beautiful landscape, good benefits

    Cons

    Low pay, uncaring leadership, manipulative leadership, gaslighting from leadership, chronically overworked, chronically understaffed, unappreciated, organization makes unethical decisions about animals and people for better numbers, staff get severely injured on the job sometimes with no care or follow up from the org.

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-10-20

    Best Friends Animal Society Response

    November 6, 2019Senior Manager, Recruiting

    Thank you for your review and feedback. We are happy to hear that you enjoy working with the animals and having the opportunities to learn new things. Our employees are very important to us and that's why we have several initiatives underway to enhance and improve how we operate; this will not only be beneficial to our staff, volunteers and supporters, but also critical to achieving our mission . Projects underway include: a Sanctuary focused project which aims to make the Sanctuary the best place for our animals, staff and visitors by working together with a shared vision, values and purpose; a newly created Talent and Culture division that will focus on engagement strategies to make Best Friends one of the most desirable places to work; and identifying how to engage volunteers in new ways to accomplish our daily work. We understand and acknowledge we have opportunities for improvement as an organization and we will continue to learn and grow. If you haven't already, we would also encourage you to voice your concerns to your manager and/or department leader so they have a chance to address them. We hope that you will see and feel all of the positive changes we are working on and continue to be part of our team as we evolve our strategies and programs to end the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters by 2025. Thank you so much for everything you do. Together, we can Save Them All!

    Continue reading
  9. Helpful (3)

    "Run the other direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Animal Caregiver in Kanab, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Best Friends Animal Society part-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Promote no kill movement nationwide

    Cons

    Best Friends Sanctuary in Kanab has become nothing more than an animal warehouse. All upper management cares about are numbers and hitting no kill status by 2025 and will do whatever it takes to achieve this. They bring in groups of animals, especially from CA and TX, to improve those shelters numbers. Animals are many times sick or have severe behavioral problems. Animal care and clinics are already understaffed and can't adequately deal the current population let alone with these additional new animals. There is a line out the doors of employees due to poor management and poor working conditions (too many hours, not enough caregivers per building to provide adequate support and care for the animals). Best Friends no longer cares about individual animals. Animals get sick and are not given timely treatment, many eventually die before their time. They put on a big show for the public and have thousands of visitors and volunteers every year. It looks fantastic to a one-time or occasional visitor, but the reality is that it's all a facade. Ultimately the animals suffer and it is heartbreaking. I no longer support the Best Friends organization but am only here for the animals. Don't take a job here - it will break your heart and your spirit.

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-07-21
  10. Helpful (8)

    "don't do it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Best Friends Animal Society full-time

    Pros

    aside from the director, the staff are great.

    Cons

    the director. not sure if she knows what she's doing. is manipulative and condescending. literally, the worse boss I've ever seen in action. in the past few months there have been over 30 people who left due directly to her management.

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    Best Friends Animal Society2019-06-19

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