A Vacation of Giving Back - My Family Travels
Me at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

My family trip to Kanab, Utah, was an amazing opportunity. Though the trip there and back was extremely long (1,600 miles and 25 hours each way), the life changing experience made it well worth it.

We decided to take our trip to Kanab to volunteer at the largest animal shelter in the world: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  Prior to our departure, there were many details to work out. We first applied and registered as volunteers, and signed up for the areas where we were interested in volunteering, and when we wanted to do it.

Situated in Angel Canyon, the sanctuary encompasses over 3,000 acres and holds well over 1,000 animals. We stayed in town at the Treasure Trail Motel, and commuted the brief 5 minute drive each morning to volunteer. When we first arrived at the sanctuary we received an orientation and tour, and were soon on our way to volunteering. Throughout our week of volunteering we interacted wtih countless animals, most of which were cats, dogs, horses, pigs, and goats.

It was so inspiring to see a place such as this that views every single life as important. The employees even live-trap pesky mice, and release them away from the sanctuary! The workers there have endless patience and sympathy toward each and every animal. What had an impact on me most was hearing about the dogs that they lovingly refer to as the “Vicktory Dogs.” These canines were once the dogs belonging to NFL player MIchael Vick. Vick organized brutal Pit Bull fighting, resulting in both physical and mental trauma to the dogs. However, the Pit Bulls were brought to the sanctuary and patiently rehabilitated, and most have been adopted out to new, loving owners.

Though volunteering each day in general was an extremely rewarding experience, the most beneficial part of our trip was learning how to bring the information we had learned and apply it to our own local shelter. We used everything we had learned to educate our fellow local volunteers, working to fulfill Best Friends Animal Society’s mission: to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets.

After spending a day in Piggy Paradise, the pig section of the sanctuary, Tim the trainer journaled about our experiences.


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