April 18, 2008

Best Friends Animal Society

While browsing through literature about the Kanab, Utah area I came across a bit of information on a place called Best Friends. Something in the back of my head told me that this was a place that I needed to see. Perhaps I had heard about it in the past even though I really couldn't remember hearing about it.

I looked up their website (http://www.bestfriends.org/) and found out that they welcomed visitors with a free tour. After a short phone call our reservations were made for the next afternoon.

We drove north from Page, AZ towards Kanab. We passed through town and headed north to Angel Canyon. Angel Canyon has been a place of peace and healing for thousands of years. The Pueblo people gathered here as is evident by the cliff dwellings and rock art.




We arrived a bit early for our tour. We browsed through the gift shop and watched the hummingbirds at the feeder on the deck. The whole place was beautifully landscaped with native plants, a koi pond, gleaming white fences and emerald green grass.

We were oriented to the organization and ranch with a short video before boarding a van for our tour of Dog Town and Cat World. There were many other parts of the ranch that we would not see because there wasn't enough time to do so in one tour. Other areas that we passed were the areas for horses, sheep, goats, pigs, wild animals, and the clinic.

We arrived first at Cat World. Although there were several buildings in Cat World, we were going to visit the building that housed cats that were feline leukemia positive. The philosophy of the society is that every animal be given a chance to live a good quality life, even if they weren't adoptable.

Each building has several rooms that opened to an outside enclosure. Both the inside and outside of each room was filled with cat beds, toys and all kinds of objects that cats can get inside. The outside rooms had runways and places up in the ceiling for cats to hide if they are feeling unsociable. A few of the cats had run of the whole building.

Our next tour was of Dog Town. The buildings in Dog Town were all octagonally shaped with large runs on the outside. While in Cat World we were free to pet any cat, in Dog Town we were instructed to only pet dogs that were running loose. The dogs here are divided into "packs" of friends and each pack has their own run.

Each dog, as each cat has their own story as to how they arrived at the sanctuary. Several of the dogs in this building were dogs that were picked up from New Orleans after Katrina.

Best Friends is a no-kill shelter. At any one time, they have over 2000 animals in the sanctuary. The mission of Best Friends is driven by the philosophy that kindness to animals helps build a better world for all of us. Best Friends also works with human groups all over the country to bring about a time when homeless, unwanted animals are no longer destroyed at shelters and when every healthy dog and cat can be guaranteed a good life in a caring home.


LiveWorkDream said...

Oh you guys, how neat. Thank you for the tour of BF. We've always wanted to go there, but it's hard when you have your own four legged family member with you (can't bring him on-site, last I heard).

They are such an awesome group of people.

Cynde Lou said...

This was a totally awesome post. The pictures were outstanding! Thanks for putting the information about "Best Friends" on your blog--they need all the exposure they can get!