For almost 10 years, it has been a dream of mine to visit and volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. They are a revolutionary animal sanctuary that has changed animal welfare in this country, and are the driving force to the entire country being no kill.
When work was taking me to Las Vegas last winter, the opportunity presented itself for my mom to join me a few days earlier to finally visit and volunteer at Best Friends.
We volunteered with the pigs at Marshall’s Piggy Paradise for our morning shift. We helped prepare their morning meals, and then headed out to distribute their food. Getting to meet all those fun characters was a blast! Then, Mom and I were honored and lucky enough to be asked to do clicker training with two lovely, under-socialized piggies, Chester and Smokey. Chester was much more brave, but both had great progress and really will do anything for an almond!
The afternoon shift was with the dogs in “The Garden” of Dogtown. We took two dogs out at a time, walking Bolt, Smokey, Dorothy, and Cisco. The walking path is really nice and has spots to stop and snuggle with your walking buddy if they want. Most of the pups we walked were more about sniffing than cuddling, although Bolt did sneak in a few kisses.
Our first day of volunteer shifts proved to be muddy, a little chilly, and incredibly fun.
Best Friends lets volunteers do sleepovers with approved dogs and cats, so we selected a pup who hadn’t been on a sleepover in a few weeks to join us for the evening, Chinook. A big, loving goofy guy!
We visited Angels Rest with our new best friend and walked the beautiful and peaceful grounds. Dinner was carry out back to the hotel so we could enjoy it with our lovely companion for the evening. Chinook was a really lover boy and slept on the bed the entire night. He was also potty trained and was a true delight to have overnight!
The next morning, we dropped off the handsome Chinook and then headed to our final volunteer shift with the kitties in Cat World. Of course, we chose to go to “Casa de Calmar” which is where the FeLV positive cats live. Having recently lost my sweet Calliope who had FeLV it was the only place I could go.
These cats have massive indoor/outdoor enclosures and get to enjoy all kinds of hiding spots, toys, climbing options, and beds. They definitely are lucky kitties!
Best Friends proved to be everything I had hoped it would. It has been over a decade in the making wanting to come experience this place, and it was so very worth it. The animals are treated extremely well, the staff are amazing and kind, and the location is just phenomenal.
Visiting and volunteering truly was a dream come true. I can’t wait to go back!