Today we drove 179 miles from Nevada, a short way through Arizona and then up into Utah to a campground in Cedar City. It is amazing how the scenery changes as you change states. It almost is like the change in landscape is how the state borders were chosen. Driving through the rock cuts was amazing.
As soon as we arrived at the campground, we traveled by car one and a half hours to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary down in Kanab, Utah which is near the Arizona border. Best Friends originated in the late 1970s with a group of friends who worked with their local humane societies to care for homeless pets with special needs. In the mid-1980s, they started a sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, that soon led to the founding of Best Friends Animal Society. It is a nationwide organization promoting rescue, adoption, spay/neuter and education programs. Animals needing special care come to the sanctuary from shelters and rescue groups all over the country. These sad animals are cared for and loved by the staff and volunteers at the sanctuary. Most of the animals who come to Best Friends are soon ready to go to good new homes. The ones that are too traumatized by past abuses, or too old or handicapped, have a home at Best Friends for the rest of their lives. We sat through a video telling about how some of the animals came to be at the sanctuary. For those of us who are animal lovers, it was heartbreaking, but there are only "happy tails" for those animals who come here. We then went on a guided bus tour to see some of the headquarters for the animals. At any one time Best Friends is a home for approximately 2,000 rescued dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, pot bellied pigs, birds and other critters waiting to be adopted. We went into a building that held about 50 cats. There were beds, cubby holes with blankets and play toys all over this large room. There was also a door that they could go outside anytime to a screened cover room with trees to climb and more places to play. One of the amazing things was that there were no bad smells throughout the building. If you didn't see the cats you wouldn't know they were there. Although you did know they were there because most of them were wanting your attention. We also went into the older dog headquarters. We walked into a large octagon room that had ten large caged rooms with each room having 2-3 dogs. It was explained to us that they built the building this way for the dogs so they all can see you when you walk in where they are. They had found that dogs usually started barking when someone went past them and out of their sight. This way, all the time someone is there all the dogs can see you. It was true, there was hardly any barking at all.
Best Friends lies on 3,700 acres of beautiful western landscape, surrounded by 30,000 additional acres that are leased from the federal government. This is an amazing place to visit. If you want to know more about it, go online at www.bestfriends.org. If you are in the area go for the tour and/or volunteer your time. They are always looking for volunteers to help care for and socialize with the animals, making them more likely to be adopted.