Best Friends - The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary by Samantha Glen gives the inside "scoop" on how Best Friends came to be and how it has grown into an international advocate for no-kill shelters nation-wide The first Best Friends news letter was a mimeographed single sheet telling about the sanctuary located in beautiful Angel Canyon outside Kanab, Utah. A small group of dedicated people back in the sixties (probably "hippies" and everyone knows how lazy and dirty they are - right? Read on!) bought a ranch in Eastern Utah, with minimal funding at best, and how they tenaciously hung. on, building it gradually into the grand place it now is. From the start they knew the need for a no-kill sanctuary with good living quarters designed especially for the animals they immediately began to be inundated with, was a huge undertaking. They couldn't turn any animal away and through their own creativity and dedication they were able to turn around near bankruptcy into the shelter it is today. There are stories of unthinkable human cruelty along with stories of human love and devotion. I read the entire book in one evening. About six hours. I simply couldn't put it down. There are wonderful photographs of various founding members as well as those who support them,, such as vets, whose care is vital. Yes, there are some stories in this book that are bit hard to read. But overall it is an extremely uplifting book. And it's easy to start and stop anywhere in the book. You can read a chapter and put it down and read more later. I learned just this week that Michael Mountain, one of the chief founders still lives in Angel Canyon at Best Friends. While he is no longer visibly active he still works to help the Sanctuary. He is currently active in environmentalism and marine life (and that, of course, doesn't mean the US Marine Corps!). Faith Maloney, another of the original founders, also still lives in Angel Canyon at the Sanctuary and she has an advice page where people can send in questions re problems they are experiencing with one of their pets (cat or dog) and Faith will answer. Faith's page is in their lovely, glossy magazine that is upbeat, doesn't present the reader with horror pictures of animals being tortured or killed. This book tells some harrowing stories, but on the whole it is very upbeat. You might need a tissue while reading it, but a whole box is hardly necessary. If you want to read an uplifting book about animals who come to Best Friends and are healed, loved, cared for and made to feel safe - if you want to read about loving homes being found for many and see how the "no-kill" movement is taking hold all across this country get this book! It's been out a while so you can find it used book stores, in the library, on Amazon either used or new or on Kindle- also in Barnes and Noble which is where I first purchase mine several years ago. All the original founders are now in their seventies, a few in their eighties. As a child of the sixties, I can relate to that! Visit their website and find out how you can become a member. Visit their Facebook page and learn more. I'm "Guardian Angel" as far as Best Friends membership goes. I adopted one kitty from them whom I saw on their web site. She had been rescued from a hoarding situation in the extreme cold and heat of Nevada. The muscles in her ears had atrophied since she was in such a tiny enclosure out in extreme heat and cold. So her ears didn't stand up like most kitty's ears do. She had been declawed. I applied to adopt her on line. A Best Friends volunteer showed up at my house to determine if I would be a good human for this little cat who had endured so much. The volunteer left saying that if she ever came back as a cat she would love to be one of mine. Shortly after her visit another wonderful volunteer drove this fragile kitty from the Sanctuary to Chatauqua Park in Boulder where we met and she gave me "Cybil". I renamed Cybil "Grizabella" for the kitty who sings the haunting song "Memory" from the musical CATS. All her teeth had to be pulled when she arrived at Best Friends. She had had numerous ear infections and I had to put drops in her ears a couple of times a day. She only weighed two pounds when I got her. During the nine more months she was alive she slept on my pillow each night with her chin resting in the palm of one of my hands. She actually gained a pound. She never again knew cold, heat, thirst, hunger or fear. Her kidney's began to fail and I was only able to buy her a bit of time with sub-cutaneous fluids. I held her and sang old cowboy and Beatles songs to her and she slipped away across the Bridge. She KNEW she was loved and safe! Although letting her go made a cat-shaped hole in my heart, I would do it again and have many times since Grizabella. I've been rescuing cats since I was about twenty and feel it is one of the reasons I'm on this earth My idea of a perfect vacation is to go to the Sanctuary and spend a week or two loving on kitties, walking the occasional dog, communing with the pigs. and hanging out with the horses. I fear I would come home with a pig and possibly a kitty or two. Pigs and chickens are allowed inside the city limits here in Los Alamos.
If you've never heard of Best Friends get the book! Then visit their website and learn how you, too can support this amazing Sanctuary and the no-kill movement.Their goal is for this country to become a "no-kill" nation by 2025. And with all of us doing what ever we are able to do, that goal just might become reality! I guarantee you'll love this book!!
LFFAC adventures, stories and maybe even a cute cat video every now & then.