Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

This blog is rapidly going to the dogs. Since I’ve been on an animal theme as of late it’s a good time to continue with one more from our summer travels. On the last full day of our Grand Canyon vacation we left the North Rim and drove through Utah and Zion National Park before arriving in Vegas for the night. On route to Zion we abruptly came upon Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, I didn’t know a lot about the facility and recalled receiving requests in the mail for donations as well as a brief mention in my research of Grand Canyon travels but I had no idea where the sanctuary was located.

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Being the animal lovers that we are there was no hesitation, yeah it’s not just me it’s a family affair, we turned off the main road and followed the signs to the visitor’s center. Best Friends is home to 1,700 animals spread throughout the beautiful red rocked Angel Canyon. Outside the the visitor’s center we saw a van loading up with people and thought that perhaps we were right on time for a tour, turns out you have to book the tours well in advance since they are so popular, we were very disappointed to say the least. I pleaded with them to let us tour the facility because it was very likely that we’d never make it back, they took pity on us and said that we could drive through but wouldn’t be able to get out of the car.

According to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary they are the pioneer in the no-kill movement. Thirty years ago 17 million animals were dying each year in shelters. Their focus was to bring attention to spaying and neutering nationally and increase adoptions which they’ve promoted with success. Now there are 4 million dying each year, 9,000/day which is still too many, their goal is 0 deaths. The fate of cats is the most alarming, 70% who enter shelters are killed.

Best Friends took in 22 of the most traumatized dogs from that despicable football player whose name I won’t even type, these dogs are called the Vicktory Dogs. Many of them have been placed in loving homes, one, who I found out later, was transported and adopted though our local shelter. At Best Friends where the dogs are housed it’s called Dogtown and for four years there was a National Geographic program called DogTown which followed the lives of the animals and caregivers, in the final season there were episodes about the Vicktory Dogs. I challenge you to watch this and not be sickened by what human beings are capable of inflicting on man’s best friend, it’s unforgivable.

We drove around the Sanctuary for about 1/2 hour. I put my 100-400mm zoom lens on my camera and was able to capture a few of the animals.

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I left Best Friends Animal Sanctuary wishing I lived closer and was able to volunteer.

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