Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in Kanab, Utah, is one of the largest ‘no kill’ animal facilities in the United States.  On any given day, it’s home to about 1,500 cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, and other animals.

Ed and his wife Rebecca at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary - UtahAnd these animals come to the sanctuary in Utah’s gorgeous Angel Canyon from far and wide. They come for special care from other animal shelters, from animal rescue groups, and from kind-hearted souls who find an abandoned, injured, or homeless animal in need of their assistance.  But once these animals arrive at Best Friends, its extremely dedicated staff makes sure that nothing bad will ever happen to them again.

Many of the creatures that arrive at the sanctuary just need a few weeks of special care before they're ready to go to loving new homes with loving new families.  But there are also those animals here who are truly the outcasts of society - unwanted, lame, too traumatized by past abuse, or too old, handicapped, or ill to ever be adopted.  For these lovable, innocent creatures, Best Friends is truly a unique home and haven and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else in the United States.

My wife and I visited Best Friends a few years ago, and here’s what we saw:

Cat World

Extremely quiet and peaceful when you first step in to one of Cat World’s numerous screened enclosures, but when you soon spot the eyes of all the magnificent cats all around, peering inquisitively at you, purring, or nuzzling up against your legs, you quickly realize - this place is alive with felines who have a wild daily life all their own.

Here at Best Friend’s Cat World, felines truly rule, and every cat here has found a place to finally rest from what was, until now, often a very long, difficult, and painful journey for them.


These dogs may have been down on their luck at one time – abandoned, abused, and homeless - but none of the dogs here at this gigantic complex look sad or forlorn.

They are extremely well cared for, and everywhere you go, you're greeted with wagging tails, whelps of excitement, and huge, friendly, extremely happy eyes. And if you linger in Dogtown for a while to talk to or to pet any of them, you’re often also greeted with big, wet, canine kisses.

Feathered Friends

Here, the parrots and the other birds are always happily chatting and singing away, and the dedicated staff are always cheerfully chopping vegetables and other nutritious bird food in the bright, airy, bird rooms.

And don't be surprised if someone cries out, "Hello!" and that someone is not a human!

My wife and I also toured Horse Haven, The Bunny House, and Wild Friends, where numerous injured and sick wild creatures are skilfully rehabilitated and then released back into the wild.

Although we were very impressed with this facility, we also learned that the work of The Best Friends Animal Society isn’t restricted to the state of Utah.  The Best Friends Animal Network now reaches across the entire nation, helping humane groups, individual people, and entire communities to set up and maintain spay/neuter, shelter, foster, and adoption programs in their own neighbourhoods, cities, and states.

I was so impressed with what I learned that I quickly volunteered for their national pet transport program, helping many other volunteers around the U.S. to get dogs and cats to their new adoptive homes – sometimes clear across the country.

Michael Mountain is the President and one of the founders of Best Friends.  He grew up in England and studied philosophy, music, and literature at Oxford University. A growing urge to campaign for the needs of nonhuman animals led him to travel across Europe and then across America as an advocate against vivisection and all cruelty to animals.

And as the creator of the national ‘No More Homeless Pets’ campaign, Michael Mountain spearheads Best Friends’ efforts to bring about a time when there will be no more homeless pets, and a time when every dog or cat that's ever born can be guaranteed a good home with a loving family.

I’d say Michael and his extremely dedicated staff have truly made much progress in animal welfare, but there is a lot more to be done on behalf of our nonhuman neighbours – by each and every one of us – each and every day.

Helping Best Friends

The mission of Best Friends is driven by the simple philosophy that kindness to animals helps build a better world for us all. And the work of Best Friends is supported entirely through the donations of members and supporters, and by numerous volunteer efforts.

Through the generous hearts and hands of people like you, its goal is to ensure that any animal who comes into the care of Best Friends will never again be alone, hungry, sick, afraid, or in pain.

Your generous donations help the animals at the Best Friends Sanctuary, and also help support their No More Homeless Pets campaign.  You can also make a donation in memory of a beloved pet or person; you can sponsor one of the many pets or wild animals truly in need at the sanctuary; and you can volunteer your time and effort to one of their many animal outreach programs.

To obtain more information about Best Friends, and to learn how you can help their extremely worthy cause, please visit their website:

You can read other articles by Ed Kostro in his own section of this website; please click here:

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)

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