Your privacy is important to Best Friends Animal Society ("Best Friends"). We have developed this privacy policy ("Privacy Policy") that covers how we collect, use, disclose, and protect your personal information. Please read this Privacy Policy in its entirety to understand how Best Friends will handle the privacy of personal information that you provide through the areas defined below. 

This Privacy Policy applies to the following areas: 

Please remember that this Privacy Policy applies only to information collected by our own communications channels. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of websites or communications networks that are operated or owned by third parties. For example, links to other third-party websites, including those of our corporate supporters and partners, can be accessed from our Websites. Please be advised that the privacy policies of those third-party sites or communications platforms operated by other third parties may not be consistent with this Privacy Policy.

Best Friends may use and disclose the information that you provide through the Websites or other communications channels only for purposes permitted or required by law, for purposes described in this Privacy Policy, or for purposes which you might authorize.

Best Friends also has developed Terms of Use describing your responsibilities when using the Websites and/or the Best Friends communication channels. Please read the Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use carefully.

Changes to the Policy

Best Friends may change this Privacy Policy at any time. If and when a change occurs, notice will be prominently posted on the Websites covered by the Privacy Policy. However, please refer back to the Privacy Policy regularly because your use of the Websites, Social Media sites, and/or other communication channels signifies that you agree to be bound by this Privacy Policy.

What Information Does Best Friends Collect?

In several areas of the Websites, Best Friends collects user-submitted personally identifiable information, such as your name, home address, email address, and telephone number.

Best Friends also collects anonymous demographic information, which cannot identify you personally, such as ZIP code, gender, or interests. We may append to the data you provide additional data from publicly available sources in an effort to enhance your relationship with Best Friends.

We may collect information about your interaction with the Websites. For example, we may use website analytic tools on the Websites to retrieve information such as the site you came from or the keywords you used to find the Websites. We will also use technologies, such as cookies and pixel-based tracking, to collect information about the pages you view, the links you click on and other actions you take on the Websites. We use the aggregated information to provide a more useful and engaging experience to Website visitors. This information will sometimes be used to display content to you on our Websites or Social Media Sites.

In order to access certain areas on our Websites, you may need to first complete certain steps to become either a registered user or a subscriber. During these steps, you may be required to provide us with personally identifiable information such as your name, ZIP code and email address. This information is used to help us understand who uses our Websites, to operate and improve our Websites, and to deliver the services or carry out the transactions you have requested.

Communication to Children

The Websites and Social Media Sites are directed at a general audience. Please note that website programs such as personal fundraising and animal sponsorships may only be used under the supervision of an adult, per the Terms of Use.

How Does Best Friends Secure My Information?

Best Friends provides Website visitors with a secure experience when making a donation or purchasing merchandise through our Websites. We work with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant vendors.  When personal information is transmitted, it is protected through the use of industry-standard security technology, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.

Even with these measures in place, users should use special caution when using publicly accessible computer terminals or transmitting personal information over unsecured wireless networks.

In addition, on certain Website pages like blogs and news stories, we offer visitors the opportunity to provide comments or other user-generated content.  Any information that you disclose when posting a message to these areas, along with the screen name or ID used, becomes public. We are not responsible for any personally identifiable information that you choose to disclose in the public areas of our Websites or Social Media Sites.

Donor Privacy:  Best Friends does not sell, rent, or exchange its donor list for direct mailing purposes. Its Board of Directors adopted a policy prohibiting the sale, rental, or exchange of its donor list. This Privacy Policy outlines how donor information is used.

How Does Best Friends Use My Personal Information?

Best Friends collects and uses your personal information to circulate news about Best Friends and its programs, to promote events, to acquire new members and subscribers, to operate the Best Friends Websites, and for other internal marketing, promotional, and fundraising purposes.

Network Partners: Best Friends operates the No More Homeless Pets Network, a network of 501(c)(3) public charity animal welfare groups and government shelters (“Network Partners”) committed to saving the lives of homeless pets. Best Friends may share personally identifiable information with Network Partners for whom you elect to raise money at events like the yearly Strut Your Mutt fundraiser. While any data you provide when registering or participating in an event like Strut Your Mutt will be used by Best Friends and housed in the Best Friends database, we will not share your information with any other Network Partners that you have not elected to raise funds for. If you have concerns and do not wish to receive communications from your selected Network Partners, please contact us before registering for the event by sending an email to privacy@bestfriends.org.

Corporate Partners:  Best Friends may, from time to time, share personally identifiable information, including email and home addresses, with carefully selected corporate partners to provide the programs, products or services for which we contracted. These corporate partners are required to protect the privacy of your personally identifiable information, and not use or disclose your personally identifiable information for any other purpose. If you do not wish to receive communications from those partners by email, you may change your email preferences here.  To opt-out of mail and emailed offers, you may opt-out by sending an email to privacy@bestfriends.org. Keep in mind that this Privacy Policy applies only to our communications channels; if you independently provide information to a third party, you will be subject to that third party’s privacy policy.

Outside Contractors:  Best Friends may employ independent contractors, vendors and suppliers (collectively, "Outside Contractors") to provide specific services and products such as to help us perform statistical analysis, send you email or postal mail, process donations or send email or other messages on your behalf (such as issue advocacy emails to legislators).

Access to your personally identifiable information by these contractors is limited to the information reasonably necessary in order for the Outside Contractors to perform their limited function for us. We also require that these Outside Contractors protect the privacy of your personally identifiable information consistent with this Privacy Policy, and not use or disclose your personally identifiable information for any purpose other than providing us with products or services for which we contracted.

Other:  We may share aggregated demographic information with our funders, such as grant-making organizations and foundations, for the purpose of demonstrating that we are meeting our organization goals.

Best Friends may release personal information if we believe that the law or legal process served on Best Friends requires it, to protect and defend the rights or property of Best Friends, or in an emergency, to protect the personal safety of an identifiable visitor or the public.

How Does Best Friends Use Cookies?

The Best Friends Websites use "cookies" to ensure the integrity of the registration and transactional processes and to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard drive by a Web page server. Most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the Best Friends services or Websites you visit.

To protect our visitors, cookies do not save payment or credit card information. You have the ability to accept or decline cookies.

How Does Best Friends Use Pixel Tracking?

Best Friends may use pixel-based tracking on the website to gather information about your website activities and display relevant content to you on the Website and other media networks.  Any personally identifiable information shared with or gathered by these media networks is considered confidential.  

How Does Best Friends Use My Email Address?

Best Friends sends email to opted-in addresses only.  An individual who receives email from us may opt-out of email at any time by following the opt-out instructions contained in any Best Friends email.  Please note: you may have an email profile on multiple Best Friends Websites, and may need to manage your email preferences via those messages individually. 

How Can I Manage My Communications Preferences?

There are many self-service options available to manage your mail, email, and other communication preferences. If you need assistance in managing your preferences, please email privacy@bestfriends.org.

  • Mail: The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) maintains a national Do Not Mail list. If you would like to remove yourself from all direct marketing lists, visit the DMA website to update your preferences.
  • Email: In compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, all Best Friends emails also have an unsubscribe link in their footer. Note that some email lists for affiliated Best Friends programs may require you to opt-out specifically from those email communications. You can also manage your email communications preferences for Best Friends here.
  • Phone: The FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry will allow you to remove a number from all telemarketing lists. Visit the National Do Not Call Registry website to update your preferences.
  • Text / SMS: Best Friends sends SMS messages to subscribers through mGive. You can view mGive’s terms and conditions here. To stop receiving SMS communications from Best Friends, text STOP to 90999.
  • Internet Activity: Best Friends is investigating a “Do Not Track” mechanism that would allow you to choose whether you want to allow Websites covered by this Privacy Policy to collect information about your Internet activity. Currently, Do Not Track signals are not effective on our Websites. You will be notified of any actions taken by Best Friends resulting in a change to this Privacy Policy by the methods described in the section entitled “Changes to the Policy.”
  • Other communications preferences: For any other communications preferences you would like to change, please email privacy@bestfriends.org.

Contact Information

Best Friends welcomes your comments regarding this Privacy Policy. If you have any questions or believe that Best Friends has not adhered to this policy, please contact Best Friends at privacy@bestfriends.org. We will use commercially reasonable efforts to promptly determine and remedy the problem.

[Revised: 3/31/2016]