BFAS Responds to Responses

Previously, we wrote about BFAS Responds to Questions concerning safety and a recent dog dying there. Many of their responses had come from Patty Hegwood, their Director of Animal Care. Here and elsewhere, many of their donors, former employees and other animal lovers took issue with her lack of honesty and denials.

A bit ago, BFAS had fired their Volunteer Manager for inappropriate performance. Now, they made use of that opening to appoint Judah Battista as the new Director of Animal Care and move dear Patty Hegwood to Volunteer Manager, with an appropriate adjustment in salary. We’re waiting to see how that this one lasts, as Patty doesn’t play well with people (or dogs, for that matter). If Judah’s last name sounds familiar, think of the BFAS founder named Frances Battista.


About exfriender

An animal lover and one of many "exfrienders" who previously supported Best Friends Animal Society.
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9 Responses to BFAS Responds to Responses

  1. Vicki Novom says:

    Very poor talent management processes.. fired after two weeks.

    I was recruited for and brought on board as an employee relations manager in Jan 2011. I did not have to do my volunteer assessment time of two weeks. I was quickly hired and brought out to start work. The night before I was hired I was called by Holly Harris Reid to inform me that there was a management shift and I would now be reporting directly to her.

    I have extensive HR and ER and Compensation experience. My first impression was of a disorganized non business. Yes even though they are a non profit with a very improtant mission.. somehow many current employees and lots of former employees felt that they were not reccognized and mostly treated unfairly when it came to job promotions and salary raises. Also due to the long standing founders philosphy.. there was an absolute distrust of the founders and nepostism was rampant. Not just in jobs and salaries but in input , recomendation and policies.. or shall I say a disregard for policies.

    While there for my first and last two weeks… nothing I would present or feel was improtant to analyzing equity or bringing idesas to the table were well received. Basically I was told to not rock the boat and to remember that the atomosphere was very cult like.. be careful what you say and who you say it to.
    Got in trouble for requesting job codes and salaries of employees.. Imagine.. that ??????

    Basically they did not do due dilligence in deciding what they wanted in an ER Manager nor did they have ANY idea of what an ER Manager would be doing or could be doing for them.

    Needless to say on my 3rd Monday morning.. I was told I was not a good fit and Good Bye. Mind you I had justt uprooted and relocated to Kanab. I was one day away from signing a contract on a long term rental agreement. All my belongings were being shipped by professional movers and I had myself and my dog to take care of.. with no job and no really proper reason not to have the job.

    They really acted unprofessionally and if they had a good HR /ER manager… that would never have happened… They would have first designed and assessed their needs before recruiting and moving a person clear across the country. They treated me VERY shabily and should be very ashamed of themselves as employers!

  2. Tina says:

    Ex-friender….I found all of this information to be very eye opening. You have not posted anything recently. Is there anything more that you can share about the internal truths at BFAS?

    • exfriender says:

      About all of my contacts are now gone. I recently had an email from a person who had worked there over ten years and left a few months ago, and felt it is now worse than ever. While this effort here has helped some local shelters by redirecting contributions, there has been no lasting impact on BFAS, nor would anybody there ever discuss any issues. At this point our time and focus here is entirely on helping other animals.

    • Vicki says:

      I’ve moved on and only wish they would stop soliciting me for donations. No matter how many times I send back the notice.. their marketing folks do not get the message!
      I do miss the opportunity I would have had to live in such a beautiful part of the country. I do pass through on different road trips and do not stop in Kanab. BF has a monopoly on the town.

      • exfriender says:

        Vicki, what can I say here? Even “I” have just received a donation request from BFAS, together with a pamphlet telling and showing me all the great stuff they do at DogTown! I see that their old truck driver has returned and is still featured as a top dog trainer. Somehow, their itemized schedule of daily events doesn’t quite match my own experiences.

        Hey, do you think they’re maybe trying to lure me back there??

      • Vicki says:

        Unfortunetly I do not think they are that sophisticated. They are justt careless and have not cross referenced who their member are and who may be a former employee who was involuntarily terminated. Another issue that they struggle with… efficency.

  3. jean says:

    I am trying to find out who started this blog and why they haven’t kept it up. I would like to speak to them. I just spent time at BF (January 2016) and felt the animals were severely neglected emotionally.

    • exfriender says:

      Why did this blog die? Look at my 2012 comment, just above. You’ve made the first comments in over four years. During that time, I’ve worked with several shelters and a bunch of rescues, and many hundreds of dogs, accomplishing things elsewhere. I don’t know what may have changed at BFAS, but much is likely the same. I’ve written elsewhere that the typical visitor needed six visits to BFAS before they began to see the real issues. At that point, most just vent a bit, then walk away, or simply decide to ignore it, as some good is done.

      When I left BFAS, there were still many good caregivers there, who were responsible for the daily well-being of the animals. I don’t know if you are familiar with other shelters and dog behavior, or if things changed to prompt your comment on neglect.

      • jean says:

        Thanks. I was a first time volunteer at BF and also donated but won’t be donating any longer. I am glad it didn’t take me six times to see through them. My guess is that things are the same as when you were there. I think one gets a much different impression of BF from the TV show DogTown, Katie Couric piece (she should be ashamed), their PR and website. In my mind it is not much better for 90% of the dogs than lots of other non kill shelters. I was very upset after volunteering and even more so after reading so many positive reviews on the internet. They are master manipulators and PR people. I had at first thought my distress must be a response to the unwanted animals until I started really thinking about my experience. Your blog was helpful to me because it expressed some of what I saw. They do some good but one has to wonder for what reason since the vast majority (90%) of dogs have their basic needs met but not much else. When I was there many did not appear to even get their daily very short walk. I know you think they have good caregivers but I saw very few caregivers interact in a positive, meaningful way with the dogs partly because they didn’t have time. I was there three days. They draw you in with the puppies which appear to be about the only dogs that get adopted. I am going to look into the money side more. They have a couple questionable practices plus there are ways to skim money without it showing up. They should have more than enough money, unlike other shelter facilities, to adequately care for the dogs/other animals. They could have a very low caregiver to dog ratio with a lot of interaction between caregivers and dogs. They could also hire someone to clean at minimum wage and let the volunteers devote their time to interacting with the dogs. I don’t mind cleaning for a shelter without funds but they are ADEQUATELY funded. To me the most important thing is connecting with the dogs and what appeared from their advertising to happen at BF. Interesting that they don’t have a low caregiver ratio even with all the money they take in. I know that just the plight of these dogs is sad but they could do so much more for them with the money they take in and that is what is saddest – that they knowingly choose not to. I also think it is interesting they are out in the middle of nowhere which means very few foster opportunities are available and very few people visit them consistently so that they can hide a lot. Thanks again for even having this blog. It helped me.

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