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Best Friends Animal Society

CharityWatch report issued
November 2023

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Best Friends Animal Society
5001 Angel Canyon Road
Kanab, UT 84741

Other Names


Tax Status


Stated Mission

To bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets by demonstrating and promoting exemplary animal care and building community programs and partnerships.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 09/30/2022

Program Percentage: 74%

The percentage of Best Friends Animal Society's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $17

How many dollars Best Friends Animal Society spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Joint Costs

Best Friends Animal Society's rating was adjusted for Joint Costs. If you are a donor who considers direct mail, telemarketing, and other Joint Cost solicitations to be true charitable programs, the below efficiency ratios, which were not adjusted for joint costs, may better reflect your goals.

Program % Cost to Raise $100
74% $16
Accounting rules allow charities to report some telemarketing, direct mail, and other solicitation costs as Program expenses. CharityWatch believes that most donors do not consider a charity's solicitation activities to be the Programs they are intending to support with their donations. We therefore adjust such expenses out of a charity's reported Program expense and add it to Fundraising expense prior to calculating its rating.

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Best Friends Animal Society IRS Form 990 23-7147797
Best Friends Animal Society Consolidated Audited Financial Statements 23-7147797
Entity: Best Friends Animal Society
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 23-7147797
Entity: Best Friends Animal Society
Document Type: Consolidated Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 23-7147797

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
Best Friends Animal Society
meets governance benchmarks.
Best Friends Animal Society
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Julianne Castle Chief Executive Officer $404,385
2 Stephen Howell Chief Operating Officer $402,462
3 Susan Citro Chief Experience Officer $251,882
Name: Julianne Castle
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Compensation: $404,385
Name: Stephen Howell
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Compensation: $402,462
Name: Susan Citro
Title: Chief Experience Officer
Compensation: $251,882

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

According to the Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) tax filing for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, BFAS reports re: Noncash Contributions (IRS Form 990, Schedule M):

BFAS received donations in-kind on which it placed a value of $2,410,338. The donations in-kind included approximately $1,739,567 of "food inventory."

[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found on the Our Process page.]

According to the Best Friends Animal Society consolidated audit of September 30, 2022 (Note 12, Other Liability - 5 Acres Agreement):

"For a number of years, the Board of Directors of Best Friends has allowed certain founders to each occupy 5 acres of land owned by Best Friends for the purpose of constructing private residences under the terms of the 5 Acres Agreement. The qualifying founders are those who served long and faithfully in the mission of Best Friends for relatively little material reward. The qualifying founders are responsible for the payment of rent and for all costs of construction and maintenance of the residences. 

Qualifying founders have the use of the land but have no ownership interest in it. Best Friends retains ownership of the land and also control of who uses it for residential purposes. When a 5-acre parcel becomes vacant or at the option of a founder, Best Friends will purchase the residence at the appraised replacement cost. Best Friends will assume and pay any financing related to the structure to the extent the amount outstanding is less than the replacement cost. If there is no such financing, the replacement cost is paid in full within one year to the estate of a deceased occupant or to the occupant if the occupant's employment terminates. 

Management has estimated the liability for these future purchases, which is included in the consolidated statements of financial position, based on factors such as: county market values, annual property appreciation, life expectancy, and a present value discount rate of 3%. A corresponding other asset, reflected in the consolidated statements of financial position, is recognized in connection with the liability. Furthermore, given the unique circumstances, it is probable that a significant portion of the qualifying founders will bequeath their residences to Best Friends upon death. Under such circumstances, Best Friends would not be required to purchase the residence."

According to the Best Friends Animal Society consolidated audit of September 30, 2022 (Note 17, Commitments and Contingencies, Founder Post Employment Services Agreement):

"On April 29, 2011, the Board of Directors approved a 'Post Employment Services Agreement' that replaced a Founders Retirement Program. A change to the Bylaws of Best Friends on April 29, 2011 was also approved with the change establishing a standing committee to the Board of Directors, the Emeritus Founder Advisory Committee (Committee). This Committee was established to formalize the continued contributions that founders (no longer working full-time at Best Friends) make, plus provide them a forum directly with the board.

Members of the Committee provide services to Best Friends under their Post Employment Services Agreement. In exchange for the related services, the participating founders are entitled to bi-monthly payments as per the Post Employment Services Agreement. All founders who are no longer employed full-time by Best Friends are eligible to participate in this service-based agreement if they choose to do so. Eleven founders were active under this program during the years ended September 30, 2022 and 2021, and received compensation totaling $679,030 and $682,183, respectively, under the Post Employment Services Agreement."

According to the Best Friends Animal Society consolidated audit of September 30, 2022 (Note 17, Commitments and Contingencies, Creekside Home Construction):

"The Organization entered into a home construction services agreement in July 2021 with a development company to build 24 townhomes on 12 lots that were purchased on September 19, 2022. Per the agreement, a 'maximum guaranteed price' of $5,199,814 was established in which the Organization will not have to pay more than this price for the 24 townhomes."

BFAS reports "Bonus & incentive compensation" payments to sixteen individuals in fiscal 2022. The Senior Director - Talent and Culture, Jose Ocano, received a reported $18,000 and had reported total compensation of $192,232. The remaining individuals received bonuses of $3,000 each, with total compensation ranging from $171,991 to $404,385. (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II)

According to the Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) tax filing for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, BFAS paid "employee compensation" to three "interested persons," all of whom are reported as having either a family or spousal relationship with a BFAS board member or officer. The per employee compensation paid ranged from $55,408 to $144,123 and totaled $306,884 (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Parts IV & V).

According to the Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) tax filing for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, BFAS reports re: Supplemental Information for Form 990 or 990-EZ (IRS Form 990, Schedule O):

Regarding Form 990, Part VI, Section A, Line 2:

"Anne Mejia, Secretary and Cyrus Mejia, Board member, are husband and wife."

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