Best Friends: A Paradise for Homeless Animals

“I really love you, oh you’re my best friend.” Queen’s bass guitarist John Deacon may not have written his famous song about your furry favorites, but it doesn’t mean you can’t sing the words to them (I’m looking at you Cooper and Maisy)! And if you’re an animal lover, the work Best Friends Animal Society has been doing might interest you.

For the past thirty years, the founders of Best Friends Animal Society have been working to accomplish their mission to end the killing of shelter pets. Best Friends built the largest no-kill sanctuary in the heart of the beautiful red rocks in Kanab, Utah where they provide a home for over 1,700 animals. And it doesn’t stop with cats and dogs — Best Friends houses all different kinds of animals from goats and pigs to horses and rabbits (just to name a few).

“We wanted to create a place which was really special, a really special place to visit for animal lovers and people to rescue animals,” said Gregory Castle, Best Friends co-founder and CEO.

It takes 8,000 volunteers to help keep the refuge operating, and nearly 30,000 people visit the 20,000-acre property every year, some looking to spend time with the animals, and others looking to adopt a new furry friend. Hoping to make sure each adopted animal finds the perfect home, Best Friends has an extremely thorough adoption process. “Our adoption processes do vary depending on the species. There are some species that are going to need to require different things, not just a doggy door or litter pan,” Best Friends emergency response manager John Garcia explained.

Even though the staff is proud of the progress they’ve made over the last few decades, they know there is more work to do. Their ultimate goal: to end the killing of all shelter pets.

“Over 3.5 million dogs and cats are dying every year. That’s about 9,000 a day,” said Frances Battista, Best Friends co-founder. “It’s unacceptable. It doesn’t need to happen. And so that is where our attention is on in the work that we’re doing.”

Watch my complete piece on Best Friends on Yahoo News.

Best Friends operates pet adoption centers and spay/neuter clinics in Los Angeles, New York City and Salt Lake City.