Visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary was a dream come true. Located in Angel’s Canyon in Kanab, Utah, the sanctuary is home to approximately 1700 animals.
Last October we took a family vacation with the Rocks to Kanab, and the tour of Best Friends was our favorite part of the trip! (And thank you to MY mom who took care of the kitties while we were gone!)
The tour began with a 20 minute video explaining the history of Best Friends. The core of Best Friend’s work is to keep animals out of shelters, Save Them All is their mantra.
We boarded the bus to explore the sanctuary. Best Friends owns 3,700 acres and rents another 17,000 acres of land. It’s a huge place, with homes for cats, dogs, parrots, bunnies, pigs, horses and all sorts of wild life.
Our tour guide pointed out the fun historical spots of Angel’s Canyon, like where scenes from the Lone Ranger were filmed. While we drove through the gorgeous canyon, we learned more about the sanctuary.
Angel’s Rest, where the sanctuary’s animals and others were laid to rest was a serene place. Graves decorated with beloved toys and wind chimes created a sacred space. As we drove by we saw the many memorials to beloved animals. (It makes me tear up to just think about it!)
Our first stop (and my favorite) was Cat World, a village of buildings with special lodging for cats with feline leukemia and those who are incontinent. Each building allows the cats to roam free, inside and in a safe outdoor enclosure – the best of both worlds.
Our tour group had the chance to learn the personality of a few of the cats. This cat announced she was ready for food by systematically knocking down each food bowl. It was apparently very effective.
After plenty of cat skritches and snuggles, we made our way to Dog Town. Again, there were many different building for the dogs. We visited the small dogs – they were adorable! The dogs that were good and quiet were rewarded with treats, while the naughty ones were ignored. All the animals in the sanctuary are trained by encouraging good behavior.
One of the newer residents was able to come outside to meet our group. She was a bit on the shy side, so meeting new people was an important part of her training.
After her caretaker explained a few ground rules to make her feel comfortable and not encourage bad behavior, she meet the crowd. We were told to get down to her level and offer our hand before we petted her.
She was so gentle and sweet. It was evident she would make a wonderful family pet with the way she interacted with the toddler in our group and the other kids.
Next was lunch! We have heard awesome things about the all-vegan buffet at Best Friends and were really looking forward to trying it. We were also famished, so we were happy it was all-you-can-eat! Lunch was only $5.00 for the buffet, including a salad bar, entree, dessert and coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
The view from the porch was unbelievable. Best Friend employees are lucky for many reasons, but inexpensive vegan lunch with scenery is one.
To schedule a tour of Best Friends, visit their website. The two hour tour was life-changing day for us. Witnessing all the work that people do for animals as well as meeting the animals and hearing their stories was extremely moving. If you’re in Kanab, you have to see Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for yourself!