Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for DOG TOWN

     I love dogs.
     That was my main motivation for visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, last week. When I filled out my volunteer application two months ago, working with the dogs was my main priority. Through the sanctuary newsletter and regular Facebook updates, I knew some of the stories behind the dogs. Some were rescued, some came from other shelters, and some were relinquished by their owners who had lost jobs. Whatever their situation, I couldn't wait to meet them in person.
Nectar smiling for the camera
     DogTown, as the sanctuary calls its dog area, is big enough to be a town. For one, it's 2.5 miles away from the Visitor's Center and stables. It's comprised of two areas, Dogtown Heights (for the younger, high energy-level dogs) and Old Dogtown (the mature dogs). DogTown has a total of 22 buildings, many of them yurt-style, each holding approximately 20-25 dogs. There is also a fitness center, a health clinic, and a separate Puppy Care Center. The buildings are surrounded by wide paths through the desert landscape, each marked for the dogs in a specific building.
     The dogs have full access inside the building and outside in their enclosures, which are yard-like with trees, rocks, dog houses, and high, jump-proofed chain-linked fences. In other words, the sanctuary folks have taken great care in the comfort of these animals.
     Some of them will be there the rest of their lives, because they are considered 'unadoptable'. Their previous lives left scars too deep for them to be rehabilitated. Take, for instance, Paladin, a regal German shepherd, who was tied up and used for target practice by his gun-toting owner and the guy's friends. While he has healed physically, Palladin doesn't trust people. The caregivers in DogTown, who work with him everyday, have helped him understand the world isn't as cruel as he first thought. Paladin has found his forever home at the sanctuary.
     If you want to look through the adoptable dogs at Best Friends, you can find them here. Notice that many of them are 'smiling', like Nectar in the picture above. That's because they know the sanctuary is one of the best places on Earth!

12 comments:

  1. Visiting from A/Z; what a great place to volunteer! I'm sure the stories can be heart breaking; so thankful there is a place for dogs that are unadoptable can live out their lives among those that love them.

    betty

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    1. Yes, me too.
      Thanks for stopping by! (Corgis are one of my favorite dogs!)

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  2. What a happy place for the animals!! So sad the fate that befalls them to bring them there.

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    1. It really is! You can tell by the all the tails wagging and 'smiling' that they love it there.

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  3. I look forward to the day when I can volunteer with a shelter or rescue agency again. For now, I can only give financial aid, but I would love to be around the dogs.

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  4. That's wonderful that you're still helping in some way. They need money just as much as they need the people to do the physical work. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  5. Nectar looks like a very great dog! I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs during April

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    1. Good luck to you! That is an ambitious goal! Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Hi, I did some mental math as I read your post and figured they have between 440 and 500 dogs in residence. Mind-boggling! So very sad that so many dogs have to be penned up. Glad they are there to provide care for them. Thank you for the interesting article. Regards to you. Ruby

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  7. "Dog Town" would be such a great name for a book! It sounds like a great sanctuary. Kudos to you for helping such a great cause!

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  8. My grandpa was from Kanab! You don't hear of people from there too often. Great post about ways to help.

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