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Best Friends Sanctuary for the animal lovers heart Visitors flock to nation’s largest no-kill refuge
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, at the heart of the Golden Circle of national parks, is a miracle of nature, millions of years in the making. What happens there every day, for thousands of homeless animals, is a miracle of love.
Every year some 20,000 people make the trek to the sanctuary. About 3,500 visitors also stay to volunteer. They might contribute a few hours or a few days while others choose much longer stays. Some even end up moving here permanently so they can contribute their labor of love to the sanctuary on a regular basis.
Abused, abandoned or neglected, the animals come to this spectacularly beautiful place in a remote part of southern Utah’s red rock country. Here they find refuge from a world that has treated them harshly. About 1,500 dogs and cats, horses and mules, bunnies and birds, and other animals, find the special care, unconditional love and safety they need. Many visitors feel they reclaim a part of their soul through their simple acts of kindness to animals while at the sanctuary.
The distant white cliffs of Zion National Park stand
watch over the sanctuary, forming a giant semicircle around the sage and
juniper woods where the dogs and cats have their homes. Angel Canyon,
the home of Best Friends, is noted for its atmosphere of peace and healing.
According to the oral history of the ancestors of the Pueblo people who
lived in the Golden Circle of what is now Southern Utah, their people
would gather each year here at Angel Canyon to give thanks and seek guidance.
Today’s visitors and volunteers, like the animals, all come with stories: Honeymooners who met while volunteering at their local animal shelter; families holding reunions and spending time caring for animals; a woman celebrating her 94th birthday by cleaning cat boxes; schoolchildren who chose working at the sanctuary as a reward for good grades, and people who come in honor of a beloved pet who died, are a few of the reasons people come to Best Friends.
Visitors are welcome the year around. Free, guided tours are offered daily.
To find out more about visiting, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 435-644-2001, ext. 0.
Volunteers perform a wide variety of functions working with the animals. RSVP by e-mail: email@example.com or phone 435-644-2001, ext. 119
Visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary