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Oasis for the Unwanted

Tucked away in Angel Canyon, at the heart of the Golden Circle of the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks and Lake Powell, is one of the world's timeless sacred places. It is also the home of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a haven for the injured, unwanted, and discarded pets of America.

One of the battlecries in the debate between No-Kill and traditional shelters is that no-kill shelters carefully select their animals, weeding out the severely ill, aged and otherwise unadoptable animals, keeping the cream-of-the-crop for adoption. Not so with Best Friends!

As an example to the contrary, Benton House, a special facility for disabled cats, was named after "Hizzoner" Benton, who was brought to Best Friends after being hit by a car while trying to track his family who had moved without him. Benton's injuries left him with a club foot, but his personality so endeared him to Best Friend volunteers that he became the Chairpurrson Host of Benton House.

Benton House was the scene of chaos in 1998, when Best Friends Sanctuary and Sally Thorson of "Cats Are Truly Special" negotiated a trade. It seems that two colonies totalling 50 feral cats had been living on a vacant lot under the Golden Gate Bridge. When a construction crew showed up the verdict was that the cats had to go. Volunteers from the Sally's group scooped up the feral kitties and were successful in finding homes for all but twelve. The last dozen were traded to Best Friends for an equal number of more adoptable cats who were transported back to the San Francisco SPCA for adoption.

The feral cats will be cared for at WildCats Village, which was the gift of a Best Friends member whose mother left her a bequest to be used for her favorite charity. Feral cats eke out a meager, miserable existence, foraging for food in back alleys or behind supermarkets and restaurants. Best Friends works with members in their own neighborhoods to spay and neuter and then provide for these cats for the rest of their lives. Even though Best Friends can't take in every feral cat in the country, Wildcats Village means a new life free of fear, hunger, sickness and pain for hundreds of these once-helpless and sad creatures. Indeed, Best Friends claim that there's a party every night at Wildcats Village isn't far from wrong!

Best Friends' vow is 2001--No homeless pets. To accomplish this behemouth goal, they are providing information and assistance to other groups who want to set up a similar sanctuary or just do whatever they can to help the homeless animal problem. You can download PDF booklets from this page covering subjects from "How to Start a Spay-Neuter Program" to "How to Start your Own Sanctuary"

If you're short on time and energy, you can still help. There are never fewer than 1,500 animals at Best Friends. The cats alone eat one ton of dry food, 3,760 cans of moist food, and 100 pounds of special diet food each month. They also use one ton of kitty litter a month. You can sponsor a cat, dog or "most needy animal" for a year for only $17.00. For this small amount, you'll receive a personalized Sponsorship Certificate, a 5" by 7" photo of your new Best Friend(s) and the first of a quarterly news update about the animals you're helping to support. For $25 or more, you'll also receive a year's subscription to the award winning Best Friends Magazine.

Mail your donation to:

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Kanab, Utah

The Best Friends Mission Statement is built around The Golden Rule. I can't think of a more profound way of demonstrating it than supporting this worthy organization. Angel Canyon is a miracle of nature. What happens inside it is a miracle of love. Do I sound like I'm nuts about Best Friends?

Yep. I guess I am.

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