Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Kanab Utah

You refused to be satisfied until we agreed to go tear up and snot at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, in Kanab. We're dehydrated now - I hope you're happy.

Just the visitor's center
Best Friends started with a couple dozen animal lovers who rescued animals from shelters and kept them in their homes. Twenty-eight years ago, they found this 3000-acre tract, pooled their monies, and made a down-payment. Today, they have a $45 million annual budget, all private donations.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Raven and Celine
L to R: Raven, Celine
This was Celine's first approach to be petted since her arrival. She's a quick learner; she twined around our legs throughout our visit. The cat was friendly, too.

It's a lovely place, and that's all I'm going to say about that.


The staff prefers you not stick your hand into the fence, but, since Liz was extruding out through the fence, this seemed legal. Please notice the "feral" kitty.

Holly is half domesticated, half community pig.

No matter what Judy says, this is NOT the end.

Teddy got so fat in his previous situation that he was mechanically blind - his fat squeezed his eyes shut. Think about that when you're reaching for the Krispy Kremes.

Timmy the Goat has been adopted, but deferred his relocation until his friend's broken leg is healed. She gets very bored hanging around in her body splint all day. Pooping and peeing on yourself is fun - ask any vulture - but a horse needs a goat.

I AM TOUCHING A HORSE!!! Her name is Montana, and I know other stuff about her, but this is a half-hour show, Wilbur.

Lunch at Angel Village was super-duper! It's strictly vegetarian, and vegans can find plenty to eat, too. Food is free, the view is $5. All-you-can-eat, and coffee and teas. Eat there. 11:30 AM - 1 PM.


They look a little like scary avenging angels to me, but they're still bloggable. 

Sit around on the porch and enjoy the hummingbirds. Very peaceful.


We loved it a lot, and we signed up to volunteer tomorrow. We asked about pigs, and learned they are the fortunate sons, so there is rarely an opening. We'll see what's open tomorrow and choose something then.

No, it's still not the end.
We strolled downtown and saw this store:

Mary Lee is the owner of Coral Canyon Nature Center, and she runs educational workshops about desert animals.

Taxi catching a ride on Annie. I touched him, too, and that felt sufficient.
Mary intends to have facilities that are more spacious for the animals, and that's why she opened this store. She sells handmade gifts and crafts to raise money. I learned a lot about Taxi, the carpet python, Annie asked what he eats (rats), and I asked where his anus is (there). It's a cute shop, and a place to find locally-made souvenirs and gifts for the people back home who resent you for visiting Kanab without them.

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Maggie Whitehead said...

toldja. :-)

Gaelyn said...

Dang, you've found all kinds of things I didn't know about in Kanab. Met the owner of Willows the other day and she recommended a vegetarian cafe called Canyon something. I'm going to have to explore this little berg some more.

Mechanical blinding huh.

Great post.

Jim and Sandie said...

Okay, now I know it's kind of sad to visit an animal sanctuary but really and truly, this place is so positive and wonderful that I didn't think it was such a tear jerker (like some animal shelters I've been in). You got some great shots.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Jim and Sandie, you're right. It's a good place. Most of the tears are just for the animals' happy landing. Thanks.

Thanks, Gaelyn. Yeah, it's cool here! If you'd quit going south on your weekends you'd have more time here!

Yes, you did Maggie. You wuz right.

Teri said...

I've heard of the place, and thought of volunteering - but I would want to adopt all the animals. It looks like a beautiful place.

The Good Luck Duck said...

It's a thin line, Teri. A slippery slope. A tangled web. Annie needs to work with animals who won't fit in the Duck.

sierrasue said...

If you volunteer in cats tomorrow and land in Cal Mar building, please give Joni a hug for me. She is a friend of mine who works there. Great gal.. You will Love meeting all the kitties or doggies, or whatever area you end up in. I love Kanab. Actually bought a lot there in Vermillion cliffs a few years ago. still undeveloped. Pretty views !!!

klbexplores said...

Yup, I'm convinced, definitely worth a stop....minus the up close and personal with the snake! Pictures yes....holding NO!

tammy said...

Annie, you are a brave woman. Britney has nothing on you!

Kimbopolo said...


Steve said...
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Steve said...

I like pig butts and I cannot lie!

Bob said...

Mmmm. Krispy Kremes.....*drool*

Oh wait. Were you saying something?

Anonymous said...

What an amazing setting for these special creatures. So glad I gave up Krispy Kremes many years ago! :)

The Good Luck Duck said...

Paint, your eyeballs thank you. Yes, Best Friends is a remarkable place.

Bob, how many fingers am I holding up? No, it's more than one.

LOL Steve! I just remembered (you other brothers can't deny) that my backpack has a pig butt on it. NOT BELOW IT.

I know, Kim!

Isn't she, Tammy? She was totally enjoying it. I think Taxi liked it, too.

KLB, I'm there with ya. Something about an animal with a prehensile everything.

Sue, I got sick and ruined today, but when we volunteer we will do that. And YOU HAVE LAND HERE??? Could you park your RV there and boondock?? That's what I want, really bad.

Molly said...

I'm glad you got a chance to visit BF's! When we went there, it was for our honeymoon & we really want to go back. Angel's Rest is so beautiful & sad & perfect. *sigh*

Harriet said...

Putting this place on my todo list. Great post and photos.

Jim and Gayle said...

Best Friends is an amazing place and the animals really have it nice. After we toured it we felt bad for our two cats stuck in a 30' RV!
Also the property they own looks like a national park, it is so scenic. Too bad there is no place for volunteers in RVs to park except the couple of pay sites they have there.

Happy Trails said...

Sierra County has a very similar facility, only much smaller, near Truth or Consequences NM. They have a great little RV park for volunteers or visitors. http://www.deserthavenanimalrefuge.com/Here is their link:
Chuck and I passed by Best Friends twice in the full heat of summer! We had our HoundHerd of 3 with us and knowing we would have to leave them in the truck, we just kept on moving on! Thanks for giving us a glimpse inside!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Sue, that's good to know. I want to see TorC, so this would be a perfect place to visit - thanks for the link.

I've heard of others who couldn't take the tour because of dogs on board, and that's too bad. They do ask if you have pets with you on premises.

Don't they, Jim & Gayle? Same with us. Our cats would love those climbing trees and rafter spaces. And lizards who sneak in.

Harriet, I'm glad everyone hectored us until we visited. :D It's really great.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Sorry: Geri! It was the "Sierra" part + my vertigo=Sue.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Molly, it's pretty great. The windchimes are inspired.

Sherry said...

Loved Best Friends. Did you take "the tour" and go all over the place? Amazing what they have done. Just shows what a few good friends and a LOT of dedication can do. I have a friend who flies out there from Virginia to volunteer for 6 weeks and pays her own way. Really devoted.....don't get stuck there now, it's easy to do.

Joel said...
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Wheelingit said...

Yeah, you went!! Great to know that peer pressure works via the internet too. If puppies are open tomorrow that's another fun volunteer gig...I spent 2 days with pups when I was there. And since you liked it I can now say "I told you so" and you should consider all future comments from me as duck commandments.

Bob Giddings said...

In a campground on the Kitsap peninsula I ran into a woman traveling with a pig named Busy Lizzie. Also a husband, a rabbit, and a rather embarrassed looking dog. All squeezed into a truck camper.

Now that's togetherness.


Maybe you could find a way to fit a pig into your composting scheme.

The Good Luck Duck said...

LOL at the dog looking embarrassed, Bob. Dogs pull that look off like no other. That's a rotund pig, for sure - could he climb into the camper?

I will have to consider the composting scheme with a pig in it. He could "compost" our vegetable scraps...

Wow, Nina, that's powerful! Resistance is futile, I've heard. Puppies - yuck! Who could stand that???

Sherry, I like your friend already! Yeah, we did take the tour, then we wandered around on our own, as permitted. I think one of our wheels is stuck here already.

Anonymous said...

Can I apply to live there full-time? ;o

The Good Luck Duck said...

As in, give you a forever home? It's possible, Mary. You can certainly apply to work there - lots of people move from all over the country to take a job there. And, they give you all the time you need to overcome your unadoptable traits. :D

intrepid-decrepit-traveler said...

Beautiful visitor center in what looks to be a very scenic area.

Man, that pig... now that's just obscene to let a mammal get that overweight. Hope BF put the little feller on a diet. Is he still mechanically blind or can he see?

Hey, when IS it "the end?"

The Good Luck Duck said...

I know, Intrepid. Whoever did this to me should be shot. I understand that he is getting some vision back, and my latest post shows him taking a walk with a volunteer.

Oh, sorry! THE END!

Bob Giddings said...

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig;
Home again, home again, dancing a jig.

I didn't actually see Lizzie climbing into the truck camper. Perhaps she had to be blindfolded, and made to walk the plank. Har.

But I suspect everyone just gave her a wide berth. Certainly I did.

I do like the idea of an on-board composting pig, though. Every RV should have one. It is an ancient and magical alchemy, turning vegetable scraps into bacon.

Mmmmm. The mere prospect might revive a pale road-addled Vegan or two.

¡Vizcacha! said...

OH Bob! We got a pig gig for Saturday, so I won't regale them with this tail of bacon. I'll stick to reading them Charlotte's Web.

Bob Giddings said...

Well, swill. I guess. Try not to be ham-handed about it, or tell any porkies. Lard knows, there's plenty of that going around the Web already.

¡Vizcacha! said...

OW! You're pulling every boarish trich in the book! But, I won't bristle.