Saturday, October 25

Kanab Day Three: Best Friends Animal Society tour & lunch

a welcoming sign amidst the beautiful scenery of Angel's Canyon

Best Friends Animal Society is my favorite charity, and visiting their headquarters in Angel's Canyon has been on my bucket list for the past few years. The last day of our family vacation was going to be the best!

ready to roll!
I signed the family up for the tour about three months ago, and thought about it nearly every day.  After I purchased every cat tee shirt I could find in the gift store, along with a few other mementos, our tour began with a 20 minute video explaining the history of Best Friends. About 1700 animals call the sanctuary home. 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
Angel's Rest, where the sanctuary's animals and others were laid to rest was a serene place. Lovingly decorated graves and wind chimes created a sacred space. As we drove by we saw the many memorials to beloved animals.
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. 

this little lady slept throughout our visit, but did enjoy a few nice pets

Some cats preferred to snooze inside, and others enjoyed exploring the "outside".

friendly tabby fellow
It was wonderful to see the cats sunning themselves and napping. They all seemed content and happy, and grateful for a few scratches.

Someone is ready for lunch!
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.

these two were the friendliest and won my heart

Although we didn't get to go inside, we did get to visit the kittens.They were all in a mandatory two week quarantine since they were new to the sanctuary.

little cutie! he loved all the attention from our tour group

This little fellow was such a riot! When anyone approached his enclosure, he would jump around and show off. He was blind, but he knew when it was time to perform. In fact, he was so charming there were a list of people ready to adopt him.

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.

not so good dogs, but so cute!!
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.

everyone loved 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! I've heard awesome things about the all-vegan buffet at Best Friends and was really looking forward to trying it for myself. Lunch was only $5.00 for the buffet, including a salad bar, entree, dessert and coffee, tea or hot chocolate. .

so much chikn!
Lunch was a BBQ Chikn sandwich, potato salad and a few other tasty options. Gardein fillets were laid out in a tray, ready to be scarfed down. The salad bar was complete with plenty of veggies, toppings and salad dressings, including vegan ranch.

lots of salad stuff!


I was thrilled with vegan potato salad. Toppings for the BBQ Chikn sandwich included Vegenaise and BBQ sauce. For dessert, there was a vanilla cake, marbled with chocolate. It was especially good with my coffee.

I was a happy vegan. Lunch hit the spot, and it was one of the best meals I had on our vacation. I did go a bit crazy on the Vegenaise and vegan ranch, but I've never seen them offered on a buffet!

The view from the porch was unbelievable. Best Friend employees are lucky for many of reasons, but inexpensive vegan lunch with scenery is one.

Visiting Best Friends Animal Society was life-changing for me. Witnessing the result of hard work and dedication to animals has helped me align my energy and prioritize my goals. I want to promote eating a delicious animal-free diet, while spending my extra time helping animals. I can't wait to come back next year to volunteer.

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