Recently Ed, I and The Magic Zoo were traveling through Utah on our way to a Veterinary Conference in Reno, Nevada. It was a glorious trip, with dramatic autumnal views all along the way. We were driving quietly through Kane County when I noticed an iconic sign. The peaceful silence was broken. “ED, WE JUST DROVE PAST BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SANCTUARY!”
We did a quick turn around. After all, no animal lover in her right mind would pass this spot without stopping. And to think… I had NO IDEA it was on our route!
Unfortunately we were a bit crunched for time and couldn’t stay the couple hours it would take for an official tour, but we were encouraged to journey through several acres of gorgeous, peaceful red rock and autumn color, and along the way met a wonderful staff member walking her two rescue dogs and passed another staff member working with some of the equine guests. We drove all the way to the beautiful cemetery where former inhabitants of Best Friends found a final resting spot under a glorious Utah sky, where wind chimes tinkled and soft desert breezes whispered past.
What a place!
If you have never heard of this marvelous facility, here are a few facts:
- The Sanctuary is home to dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, pigs, goats, mules, sheep, burros and wildlife.
- Many of the animals who have found a home here were neglected or abused.
- They are all given whatever they need to heal their bodies, minds and souls
- Most of them thrive and eventually find good homes, but for some, Best Friends becomes their permanent safe haven
Even the Wild Ones get some Help
Not only domestic animals are helped by this wonderful facility and its caring staff. Orphaned and injured animals are also treated, including bobcats, eagles and bunnies. Best Friends’ Wild Friends refuge is actually a federally licensed wildlife rehabilitation center.
Volunteer Program at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
I love the fact that a place like this exists…and think every animal lover should visit and if possible, stay and help as well! Best Friends has a wonderful volunteer program, and anyone is encouraged to join. On their website they state, “From walking an enthusiastic dog, to cleaning a rabbit run, to just sitting and talking to a shy cat, there’s always plenty to do.”
I would love to come back someday and take the official tour. Any who knows…maybe someday I’ll have a few days to stay and volunteer my time!
If you can’t make it to beautiful Utah and this incomparable facility, I’ll bet there’s a wildlife or domestic animal rescue site near you with plenty of animals just waiting for a kind word, a pet or a walk around the block! Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a shining example of what a rescue facility can be, given animal lovers willing to donate their money, time and lives to making the world a safe place for the animals we love.