Today we visited Best Friends Animal Society. In the late 1980s, when Best Friends was in its early days, roughly 17 million dogs and cats were being killed in shelters every year. Despite the commitment of shelter workers to the animals in their care, the conventional belief was that little could be done to lower that terrible number. Best Friends' No More Homeless Pets campaign created a new vision: A grassroots effort to place dogs and cats who were considered "unadoptable" into good homes, and to reduce the number of unwanted pets through effective spay and neuter programs. Since then, the number of dogs and cats being destroyed in shelters has fallen to approximately 5 million a year.
But that is still 5 million too many. I’m sure most of you have heard of Best Friends and Dogtown which was featured on National Geographic. This place is incredible. They own 3700 acres in Angel (or Kanab) Canyon and also lease another 30,000 acres from BLM. They have 500 employees (largest employer in the county).
Best Friends mainly takes in animals that need to be rehabilitated or have physical problems that makes them, supposedly, unadoptable. They were the sanctuary that took in the pit bulls that were used or fighting by Michael Vick. Pit bulls are the most euthanized breed in the United States.
They also rescue cats, horses, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, pot bellied pigs, etc. Did you know that if you volunteer you can take a pet home with you for a sleep over? Most of the motels in this area, all allow the animals to come spend the night. People really enjoy taking the pigs for the night. They are even trained to let you know when they need to go outside.
We visited the dog Fitness Center and got to watch Teddy on his underwater treadmill. We didn’t get to visit the Puppy House because they are under quarantine. Kennel Cough was brought in by some new puppies.
Then we went to the Laundry Room and this is where I lost my heart. Because it is nice and warm, this is where they bring the senior small dogs. We walked in and were immediately surrounded by love. There are currently six dogs here and each one of them just wanted to be petted and cooed over. This is where I would volunteer when we come back again. And it definitely solidified for me that “if” we are to ever have another dog after ours are gone, it will be a senior dog. Maybe one that is blind, or one that is afraid because it’s been abused. All they want is love.
We also got to meet the most beautiful larger dog – not sure what mix she is. Short hair, kind of a greyhound shaped body. She and her puppies had been dumped in the desert. She had been shot and left for dead. Thank goodness someone found her and the pups. Because of being shot, she is deaf in one ear. But friendly and loving and excited about going for a walk. The stories had me in tears the entire time.
I don’t understand how people can be so cruel to animals and I sure hope there is a “special” place in Hell for these people.
I didn’t take very many pictures. Too busy being loved. If you would like a really rewarding experience, take a day or two and volunteer your time with Best Friends. Or if you need a special friend, be sure to check out their web site.