Wednesday, October 12, 2011



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.

IMG_3428 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.

IMG_3429 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.


  1. Oh, I think if I was there I would be in tears the whole time. I would probably want to bring them all home. I love animals so much. That's one thing about Mexico that I wish they could work on more, that is spaying and neuturing the dogs and cats here. I think that anyone that abuses animals should be abused back the same way that they hurt the animals, IMO.

    Kevin and Ruth

  2. Need to dry my eyes before I write. What a beautiful blog. I am not sure I could visit there...tug at my heart too much.

  3. Disregard the moisture on the keyboard :-)

    What a great place, we know we could never visit there as we would be crying and we would want to take home a number of animals. We already full-time with three cats and that is too much sometimes.

    We are currently in Torrey Utah for a week heading towards Kanab on the 19th. Will you guys be there would like to have our paths cross sometimes!!

  4. Thanks for a wonderful story. I am familiar with Dog Town. How sad for that dog that was shot and left in the desert. I agree with Ruth - do the same to them! The only problem with visiting is Russ would want to take them all home! I'm a *little* more practical, but not much!!

  5. I'm sure I'd have a new family member if I went there. I really don't want the responsibility of another dog. I've been the primary caretaker for to many over the years. I like to get up or go to bed on my own time. Can't always do that with a pet in the family.

  6. I was in tears just reading your post. I KNOW I would be very emotional if actually there. I will definitely take a look at their website and if ever possible....volunteer!

  7. That sounds like a rewarding, yet heartbreaking, experience that you had today.

    On a different topic, do you plan to head to Lake Powell to do some fishing?

  8. Terrible stories, yes. However, there should be tears of joy for a place like this!! If one can't volunteer, this may be the place to send a donation. I know they advertise on TV but it always bothers me that they want to send you a magazine, a sweatshirt and other stuff instead of taking all that money it costs to send you stuff and giving it to the humane societies.

    Nice blog, Sandie.

  9. Oh Sandie....what a heart wrencher today. I agree with you how could you abuse any animal....with those soft eyes of theirs all they need is love as you have so aptly pointed out.



  10. Hi Jim and Sandy. Like your input from the shelter. It is making you sad and you would like to take home all of them.
    But - if it comes to reality- it is not so easy to adopt a pet. I don't know if Peter talked about our experience to get another dog after our dear Boomer died. They did not accept people who live permanently in a motorhome. The rules ask for a permanent address, a fenced yard and that they can come to check out your household to see if the dog fits in. I went and asked several shelters. Same thing. They were terribly sorry - but the rules....We were really p.... off. Even the ones that had advertisement saying:" Help me - my time is running out!" (means on death row). We didn't get a dog their either. You see, I am still angry!
    3 years later.

    And thank you for wishing me well. I am still waiting for an appointment with a specialist. Weird thing is all my blood work turned out excellent. Nothing to worry about from that side. I hope it is a good omen.

  11. I think that would be a very hard place to visit. I guess the visiting would be OK, but the leaving would be hard. :(

  12. Yours is a beautiful story, and I think it probably brought tears to everyone's eyes.

    I read an update several months back that gave an accounting of Michael Vick's dogs. Only one or two were so far gone they had to be euthanized, but it is surprising that many have become beautiful, loving, family pets. I'm glad Vick has to pay for all the rehab and upkeep for the dogs, but why they ever let him back into football should turn football fans off the sport.

  13. Wow... very powerfull post... the numbers are stagering...

  14. What a sad post. You have such a big beautiful heart. I need to get more kleenex now.

  15. Two comments. Wonderful work they do, we did see it on tv. There is one just like it (except smaller) in Merritt. Angels Animal Rescue. The founder worked at Monck Park with me this summer. They have amazing stories of dog rescues.

  16. oh Sandy..what a wonderful way to spend the day...Best Friends is one place that we have seen on TV and have both said we want to visit..thank you so much for sharing the highs and lows of your day..cruelty to animals is the worst..I can see why you left your heart there!!

  17. I have to stay away from places like this or there'd be no room left in our RV for me. I'd be overloaded for sure!

    Don't understand how some people can be so cruel to animals. Glad there are places like this to take the unwanted dogs in and love them!

  18. It has always been my plan to someday open a no-kill shelter. I would probably have to win the lotto, because I could not turn any away.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.