The growing population of homeless existing in the United States is an issue of grave concern. In urban areas likes New York City, there are temporary emergency centers and soup kitchens that can provide these disenfranchised folks with food and a roof over their head.
But humans aren’t the only ones suffering from homelessness? Our pets also experience homelessness. They, however are not always facilitated in the same way. Yes animal shelters do exist, but they are normally smaller facilities unable to take on more than a 100 or so displaced dogs and cats. That was until a former movie set in Southwestern Utah reinvented itself into an inspiring no-kill homeless animal refuge called the ‘Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.’
Best Friends Society
A group of concerned animal rescuers who had founded the Best Friends Society of Arizona back in the 1960s realized they needed more space to assist with the growing crisis of homeless animals. So they moved their shelter to a 33,000-acre ranch in Kenab, Utah, situated in the scenic Angel Canyon, just 3.5 hours north of Las Vegas. They started modestly, repurposing old edifices and movie set backdrops, while learning new skills and becoming adept at fundraising.
Their primary goal was to create an environment where animals could be adopted on an ongoing basis, versus being euthanized. Their activism spurred on a movement, a quiet revolution of sorts.
Today, the sanctuary houses approximately 1,700 animals, where organizers have tasked themselves with the job of finding homes for at least 75-percent , while taking on the responsibility of care for the remainder.
Supported by millions of dollars in donations, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary currently operates with several custom-designed centers for animals of all types, a state-of-the-art veterinarian clinic and a headquarters that houses a welcome center, gift shop and offices. Today, it is home to dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, pigs, goats, mules, sheep, burros and wildlife.
It is also licensed by state and federal wildlife agencies to care for injured or orphaned wildlife. Permanent staff, which includes veterinarians, is supported by hundreds of volunteers.
Readers Can Sponsor an Animal or Volunteer
Our PetsLady readers can select a homeless pet at the Sanctuary to be your special friend. Your donation gift will help your sponsored pet -- and all of the other pets around the country who are touched by the work of Best Friends.
Sponsorships also make great gifts! You can send a personalized e-card to your loved one, and you will receive periodic updates about your sponsored pet's progress.
You can also remember a loved one, donate to honor someone for his or her birthday, or find a unique gift for that special animal lover in your life. In so doing, you can rest assured your gift is going to assist in helping pets who need a second chance in life.
Also, you might want to consider joining the thousands of people who travel from all over the world every year to volunteer at the Sanctuary. From walking an enthusiastic dog, to cleaning a rabbit run, to just sitting and talking to a shy cat, there's always plenty to do to help the cause. Sound like a good idea?