My husband and I toured the astonishing Best Friends facilities, and I am still so inspired. I wouldn’t be surprised if I stay inspired permanently–seeing all the ways that Best Friends helps animals gives me all sorts of ideas for things to do!
Back in the 1980s, a group of friends began rescuing dogs and cats, and later animals of other species, and they bought a beautiful piece of land in southern Utah, where many of them lived and which has over time grown to a huge facility. Here is the Welcome Center:
Our tour of the 3700 acre facility took us and about a dozen other visitors in a mini-van, from one spot to another. We drove past their vet clinic, where five veterinarians and I think it was 25 vet techs work. Past the rabbit, guinea pig, and bird dwellings, the puppy areas, the dog training center, the various dog dwellings and the several cat dwellings. We saw horses in pastures. There are something like 1700 animals there on average. Many are there for relatively short times before being adopted, but others are there for years, and for others it is their home until they cross the Rainbow Bridge, and then there is a pet cemetery.
We went inside one of the houses for cats, and got to pet a group of them. We visited one of the dog dwellings, and one dog was able to join us for pets and attention. Great fun, I could have petted everyone!
Our tour guide told us that their overall budget, for the work done in Kanab and elsewhere, runs about a million dollars a week. That seemed quite understandable when you consider all that they do. There are something like 400 employees, along with numerous volunteers. I asked where the funds come from, and the answer was that 90-something percent (I forget the exact number) come from donations from individuals.
It would be a joy to volunteer there… maybe I will sometime. We didn’t have time on this trip. Here is the link to their website:
From the home page, you can read about the animals available for adoption, the programs, and how to visit. Going to Best Friends is something I have wanted to do for many years, and I am so happy to have been there.