I just returned from my second visit here; and this truly is the most marvelous animal sanctuary that Iíve ever seen; and Iíve visited quite a few of them over the last several years.
Itís called The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in Kanab, Utah, and itís one of the largest Ďno killí animal facilities in the entire United States. On any given day, Best Friends is home to about 1,600 cats, dogs, birds, horses, rabbits, and other animals.
And these abandoned, abused, injured, and homeless creatures come to this sanctuary in one of southern Utahís magnificent red-rock canyons from far and wide. They come for special care from other animal shelters, from animal rescue groups, and from kind-hearted souls who happen upon an animal in need of their assistance.
But once these animals arrive at Best Friends, its extremely dedicated staff makes sure that nothing bad will ever happen to them again.
Many of the waifs who arrive here just need a few weeks of tender loving care before they're ready to go to new homes with new families.
But there are also many animals here who are truly the once sad outcasts of society - unwanted, lame, too traumatized by past abuse, or too old, handicapped, or ill to ever be adopted. For these lovable, innocent creatures, Best Friends is truly a unique home and haven, and I havenít found anything quite like it anywhere else.
An extremely quiet and peaceful setting when you first step in to one of Cat Village's numerous screened enclosures, but when you soon spot all the magnificent felines all around, peering inquisitively at you, purring delightedly, or affectionately nuzzling up against your leg, you quickly realize - this place is very much alive with felines who finally have found sanctuary.
At Cat Village, these felines truly rule, and every feline here has finally found a safe haven from a far too often extremely cruel world.
All of the many dogs here may have been down on their luck at one time Ė abandoned, abused, homeless - but none of the dogs here at this gigantic complex look sad or forlorn any more.
They are extremely well cared for, and everywhere you go, you're greeted with wagging tails, sheer whelps of excitement, and huge, friendly, extremely happy canine eyes. And if you linger in Dogtown for awhile to talk to or to pet any of them, youíre often also greeted with big, wet, canine kisses.
Here, the parrots and the other marvelous birds are always happily chatting and singing away, and the dedicated staff is always cheerfully chopping veggies and other nutritious bird food in the bright, airy, bird rooms.
Best Friends also has Horse Haven, The Bunny House, and Wild Friends, where numerous injured and sick wild creatures are skillfully rehabilitated and then released back into the wild.
And the work of The Best Friends Animal Society isnít restricted to the state of Utah. Their Animal Network reaches across the entire nation, helping humane groups, individuals, and entire communities to set up and maintain spay/neuter, shelter, foster, and adoption programs in their own neighborhoods, cities, and states.
I was so impressed with what I learned on my first visit here several years ago that I quickly volunteered for their national pet transport program, helping many other volunteers around the U.S. to get dogs and cats to their new adoptive homes Ė sometimes clear across the country.
Since I was heading back east after this particular visit, I transported a marvelous hound dog named Rosebud 1,500 miles to her new loving home in Illinois; and she was truly a wonderful traveling companion, and a very sweet canine.
Helping Best Friends
The mission of Best Friends is driven by the simple philosophy that kindness to animals helps build a better world for all of us. And the work of Best Friends is supported entirely through the donations of members and supporters, and by numerous volunteer efforts.
Through the generous hearts and hands of people like you, its goal is to ensure that every animal who comes into the care of Best Friends will never again be alone, hungry, sick, afraid, or in pain.
Your donations help these animals at the Best Friends Sanctuary, and also help support their No More Homeless Pets campaign. You can also make a donation in memory of a beloved pet or person; you can sponsor one of the many pets or wild animals truly in need at the sanctuary; and you can volunteer your time and effort to one of their many animal outreach programs.
To obtain more information about Best Friends, and to learn how you can help their extremely worthy cause, please visit their website: www.bestfriends.org