Monday, October 20, 2014

Can You Help Save This Dog ???

This little girl was left behind when her family moved out in a very bad, high crime neighborhood..  We got a report today that a very high kill facility was coming for her in the morning.  We went to check it out. What we found was a very sweet girl.  She is young probably around a year maybe a little older.  I couldn't leave her.  There was another pittie on the property that had disappeared the night before.  We have no foster for her so she is living in the outside kennel for now since I have 5 male pitties who are not fans.  If anyone has room for her we can arrange to get her to you.  We have named her Claire.  She appears to be ok with other dogs.  She has shown no aggression.  If you can help, please contact Deb at 618-520-9608 or Krystle at 618-531-1110.  


Begging To Get Buddy & Sally To Safety ....

Begging to get Buddy and Sally to safety!
These two beautiful dogs have been overlooked and are way past their stray hold. The ACO will have to put them down soon AS THEY ARE URGENT! They truly are awesome dogs and don't deserve to die!  The ACO has kept them safe this long in hopes that they can be saved!  Begging here, both will be euthanized if the City finds out she still has them!  Both Sally and Buddy are very sweet, playful dogs and do well with other dogs!  Both love people and would make great family companions.  This small rural town gets no help.  Where they are located dogs are a dime a dozen on street corners.  Can someone please help Sally this golden gourmet girl and Buddy the Lab/Border Collie mix? Can help with transport arrangements! Information and pictures below!!!
Contact Linda at
<Sally Marionville.JPG>  IN DANGER!!!
Sally is a smaller Golden Gourmet waiting patiently for someone to save her.  Her time is up.  She is great with other dogs and plays with Buddy.  Please, please save her! Sally is about 40 lbs and 30 inches tall. 
<Buddy.jpg> IN DANGER!
Buddy is a Lab/Border Collie mix.  He is a real sweetheart and has a ball playing with Sally. Buddy is about 40 lbs also and 30 inches tall!
Linda, Kiki, Peggy, Misty and Robin, Saving Dogs of Missouri Group


Looking For A Great Dog Trainer in St. Louis, Missouri

If your looking for an outstanding dog trainer look no farther than Lauren Turnbull. She is the owner & certified dog trainer of TRINITY TAILS TRAINING. There mission statement is: Striving to help pet owners develop positive relationships with their canine companions. She provides private, customized, in-home dog training and pet sitting services. She has over 10 years of experience in pet sitting and working with dogs. She received her certification as a professional dog trainer in 2008 from Animal Behavior College. She will provide a free in-home consultation prior to beginning any training program or pet sitting services. She will meet with clients, discuss goals of training, observe dog behavior and fill out  contract & paperwork and answer any questions. She has participated in many training apprenticeships to further dog training knowledge. She has worked at and managed two well known kennels in the St. Louis area. Lauren currently volunteers at Support Dogs, Inc. as a TOUCH therapy team with her Golden Retriever named HUDSON. Also she is in an Instructor Internship at Support Dogs, Inc. to become a TOUCH therapy instructor. She, like myself, just started writing a biweekly blog called " The Dog's Corner" on her website. She is on Facebook " TrinityTailsTraining" and her website is and you can email her at
She offers Special Package Deals for individuals who RESCUE, FOSTER or ADOPT a dog. So what are you waiting for give her a call at (636) 290-8320
Since Lauren was a little girl she has always loved animals, and dogs hold a special place in her heart. She loves large breeds and currently has 2 of her own, Hudson(a Golden Retriever) and Raphael(a Cane Corso).  In 2008, she attended Animal Behavior College where she earned her certification as a dog trainer. However, her education did not stop there. She has completed several apprenticeships; including basic obedience and hunt work. She has been a pet sitter since 2005 and has been a manager at a few well known kennels in the St. Louis area.
Lauren currently trains dogs at a local animal shelter and currently holds a certification as an AKC evaluator to evaluate S.T.A.R. Puppy, CGC, and CGCA tests.
Currently, Lauren is involved in an instructor internship with Support Dogs, Inc. to become a TOUCH Therapy instructor (3 year program).
Hudson is Lauren’s demo dog and is trained in basic obedience, agility, rally, Touch therapy, basic hunt work, and tricks. Lauren’s new addition to her pack is Raphael (currently 7 months old), and is her new “project”. Lauren is training him obedience and, when he reaches the required age, therapy work. Raphael is going to be a huge success, because not only does he have 1 teacher, but he has 2 with Lauren, and Hudson!
Dog training is a passion for Lauren and she loves helping people develop relationships with their pets, as well as providing excellent care for them. Lauren will love working with you and your dog no matter the size, age, or breed.

Sick Man Has 'Complete Turnaround" After Hospital Reunion With Lost Pet

Sick man has 'complete turnaround' after hospital reunion with lost pet

Oct. 16, 2014 at 4:31 PM ET
James Wathen had stopped eating. Frail and barely able to speak, the 73-year-old whispered to a health care worker that he missed his dog, a one-eyed Chihuahua he hadn't seen since paramedics whisked him away to a Kentucky hospital weeks earlier. 
So a team of nurses hustled to learn the fate of Wathen's beloved pet, Bubba, hoping a reunion might provide some peace and comfort to their heartbroken and deteriorating patient — even if arranging one meant bending a hospital rule against pets.
James Wathen rests with his dog, Bubba, after their second reunion since Wathen was hospitalized.
Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter
James Wathen rests with his dog, Bubba, after their second reunion since Wathen was hospitalized. 
A series of phone calls eventually led the nurses to the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter, where Bubba was taken and placed with a foster family, said Mary-Ann Smyth, president of the non-profit facility.
Coincidentally, Bubba had also recently fallen ill.
"The dog quit eating a week ago, which is very strange," Smyth told "The dog didn’t know where James was and James didn't know where the dog was and believe it or not, they both stopped eating at about the same time."
Plans were made to bring the little pooch, who lacked his bottom row of teeth along with his right eye, to the hospital over the weekend.
“He was so sad at first. We had him wrapped in a baby blanket and he was shivering,” Smyth said. “The minute we got about 20 steps from this guy’s room — I kid you not — his little head went up. His eyes got real bright and he was like a different dog.”
She says a similar transformation took place in Wathen during his roughly 30-minute hospital reunion Saturday with Bubba. 
"They didn’t think James was going to make it," she recalled being told during her initial visit to the hospital. “I was 10 feet from his bed and you could barely understand him because he was so hard to hear. The nurse had to lean up right against his face to hear what he was saying."
Bubba, a one-eyed Chihuahua, stopped eating shortly after he was separated from his owner.
Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter
Bubba, a one-eyed Chihuahua, stopped eating shortly after he was separated from his owner. 
But he slowly perked up as his dog snuggled with him on his bed. By the time Bubba returned for a second visit Tuesday, visible changes were noticeable in both man and his best friend.
"He’s done a complete turnaround. He's speaking, he's sitting up, he’s eating. He doesn't look like the same guy," said Smyth, who didn't attend the second visit but saw Wathen in footage recorded by the shelter's director. "And the dog is eating and doing better now, too."
An ailing Wathen, on his first reunion with Bubba.
Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter
An ailing Wathen, on his first reunion with Bubba. 
Baptist Health Corbin, the hospital treating Wathen, did not return repeated messages left by seeking comment.  
But nurse Kimberly Probus told WKYT-TV a team of nurses went looking for Bubba after "one of our social workers realized it was mourning the loss of the dog that was making our patient even worse and emotionally unhealthy."  
Smyth said she's not surprised at the healing power pets provide their owners.
"I hope this story will show to people the tremendous difference that animals can make in people’s lives," she said. She also hopes it will encourage people to think about rescuing pets from shelters like hers, which is rebuilding its facility after its previous home burned down in a fire last November.
“One of the biggest problems we face is the way some people think of animals. People just don’t see animals as creatures and beings, they see them as property,” she said. “I hope people understand they’re not 'its,' they’re 'beings.'”
Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Google+ or on Twitter.

Don't Get A Dog If All Your Going To DO Is Chain Him Up All Day ....

A Maryland Police Officer Gets Year In Jail For Savagely Beating then Straggling Girlfriend's Dog and Took Pictures

A Maryland police officer will be spending a year in jail after he pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in a Montgomery County courtroom last week.
Earlier this year, 28-year-old, Baltimore city cop Alec Eugene Taylor became enraged when his girlfriend’s seven-month-old Jack Russell terrier “Rocko” had an accident on the floor.  
Taylor savagely beat the dog with a mop, and then strangled it until it was no longer breathing.  Taylor then heartlessly took photos of the dead puppy and sent them to his girlfriend like it was no big deal.

According to the Washington Post, the following text message exchange took place between Taylor and his now ex-girlfriend, Deborah Avila.
I almost killed rocko, he took a wet s*** all over the carpet after I let him outside.” Taylor reportedly wrote late in the afternoon on Feb. 26.
He then sent a photo of the dog to Avila, who responded by asking,“Why is he laying like that?”
“I beat him, I might of paralyzed him,” Taylor replied.
“Is he walking?” Avila asked.
“Nope… I think he’s pretty much dead. Imma throw him out now,” Taylor responded.
Cruelty to animals is part of The MacDonald Triad, traits that often are demonstrated in sociopaths from a young age.  It says an individual who is able to engage in cruelty to animals may have no conscience and no remorse for their behavior.
Warren Brown, Taylor’s defense attorney argued in court that work-related stress contributed to the violent outburst that ended in the dog’s death.“I think we all have unfortunately a little dark side in us, and sometimes it comes out, and I think for a variety of reasons, it showed itself at the moment that he inflicted the injuries to the dog that led to the dog’s death,” Brown said.
“On a daily basis [he] patrolled the very deadly streets of Baltimore, this man snapped, and this was out of character for him,” he added.
Surprisingly, Judge Richard Jordan was not sympathetic to these arguments and he sentenced Taylor to a year in prison, exceeding the suggested sentencing guidelines, which was 3 months.
We do know that you had to beat him out from his hiding place from behind the washer or the dryer with the mop, it’s absolutely disgusting what you did,” Jordan said in court last week.
Taylor’s parents have called the sentence “excessive,” and claim that the only reason that Avila pressed charges against their son was because their relationship did not work out.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dangerous Dogs To Be Aware Of.....

Join The St. Louis Animal Rights Team Tonight From 6-7p.m.

Join the St. Louis Animal Rights Team  tonight from 6-7pm as we educate circus goers about the abuse and misery animals endure for the sake of a few moments of entertainment.  

We will meet at the corner of 14th and Clark Street in front of the main entrance to the Scottrade Center at 6pm. 

START will provide signs and literature, so just come on down!

Call or email Bonnie with questions or for more info. 


These Dogs Need Our Help Immediately To Save Them ....

Last chance…..NO OFFERS!!  WHCR: Hamilton, IL:  We are beyond full!  Dogs will PTS!! Out of time, overdue.  Please don’t let them die, we need help!  If you can help sponsor, adopt or rescue, please contact  N. IL transport on Sat 10/18.  WE ARE DESPERATE FOR HELP! Please Please!!  We have a small 8 run county dog pound, not a shelter.
<image025.jpg><image015.jpg>Sara and Simon, pair was dumped at the pound last week.  Aco really likes this duo!!  Very nice dogs, 2-3yrs old, male and female, she clearly has had puppies :(  They will be PTS if not rescued!!!!
<image008.jpg>Paco SENIOR!!! Male rat terrier, 11 yrs old, dumped at the pound because his family moved!  He is around 10lbs, fine with other dogs!! 
<image019.jpg><image021.jpg>Cyder, male PBT, very handsome, sweet boy.  Found stray, not reclaimed :(
<image002.jpg><image004.jpg>Already Neutered!!  Riley, male neutered lab mix.  He is super sweet!!  Around 50lbs, 4ish years old.  LOVE THIS GUY!
Keokuk, IA: Animal Control-SUPER URGENT!!
<image014.jpg>Sponsorship help!!  OUT OF TIME!!!!!George... adult male Mastiff mix.  Strong but very friendly.  Has been a blood donor at local vet clinic.  Maybe 2yrs in age and 75 lbs.  
KAHOKA, MO (N. East MO)>
<image005.jpg>Phoebe, female terrier mix, around 2 yrs old, shy at first, 30 lbs, fine with dogs and cats.  Stray not reclaimed.
<image009.jpg>Simon, beagle mix boy, around 1 yr old and 30lbs.  Fine with other animals.  Found stray, not reclaimed.  Very sweet happy boy!!!
sponsoring saves lives
Anissa Sadeghi-West Hancock Canine Rescue
BISSELL's Partners for Pets
NOW GIVING CREDIT FOR PURCHASES MADE AT RETAIL STORES!!  West Hancock Canine Rescue is proud to be a Partner for Pets! BISSELL have teamed up to help organizations like ours raise money, and now you can help too!  When you purchase pet products and enter the code ADOPT at checkout, a portion of your purchase will be donated to our organization.  What's more, every purchase goes towards an entry for us to win a $5,000 quarterly giveaway! 
It's simple. 
·         Shop pet products on 
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·         Then select our organization! 

Please Consider Adopting A Black Shelter Dog

Friday, October 17, 2014

For 5 Months, This Heartbroken Dog Waited For His Humans, Then A Miracle Happened !!!

Buddy the dog was abandoned in a large agricultural field in Bakersfield, California. Every day, he would sit in the middle of the field like he was waiting for someone to come back for him.
He lived in the field for 5 months before a kind-hearted woman took it upon herself to save him!
Buddy lying in the field where he was abandoned.
Annette was visiting her sister when she learned about Buddy. As soon as she heard, she knew had to try and rescue him.
Annette wrote how she successfully saved Buddy on Her story is reprinted here with permission from
“This is the story of Buddy. I learned about him while visiting family in Bakersfield earlier this month when my sister, an animal advocate, showed me a video story that a local television news station had produced about a white dog that had been abandoned in an agricultural field in Bakersfield. The video was dated November 2012. She told me that the dog was still out in that field. I couldn’t believe that I was being shown a video that was two months old and the dog had not been rescued yet.
Buddy had been sitting in the middle of the field, day after day, like he was waiting for someone to come back for him. People said they had seen him in the field as early as August 2012. No one ever came back for him.
When the local television station did their story on Buddy several people tried to catch him by doing crazy things like trying to throw a net over him and chasing him in all-terrain vehicles, which terrorized him. People left food and water for Buddy in the field for months.
When I heard about Buddy, I told my sister I would try and rescue him. I had watched many Hope For Paws animal rescue videos. I decided to use some of the strategies I had seen in their videos. I came armed with hamburgers. It took me 7 ½ hours over the course of 2 days to catch Buddy.
Day 1: I was able to walk within 20 feet of him then I would sit down in the dirt and scoot toward him a little at a time to get closer. I would talk and sing to him in a calming manner. I would get within a few feet of him and toss him some hamburger. When I would get too close he would get up and move away. I would start the approach and scoot toward him over and over again. I scooted around in the dirt in that field for 4 ½ hours and by the end of the day I was within an arm’s reach of him and had him eating out of my hand. I knew if I lunged at him, I would scare him and lost the trust I had built. So, I decided to return the next day. I took away the food that had been left for him by others, leaving only water. I wanted him to be hungry when I returned the next morning.
Day 2: Rain was in the forecast for that night so I was determined to catch him. I was armed with weiners and chicken. I approached him like I had the day before. I walked near to him, sat in the dirt and began scooting toward him and talking to him. He was hungry and came to me, eating out of my hand, but he was still tentative. I saw that he had a collar so I decided that I was going to have to grab him because he was not going to stay still and let me attach a leash. Grabbing him and scaring him was not the way I would have wanted to catch him, but I didn’t have a better choice.
He was not cooperative when I tried to lead him on the leash out of the field. I had two leashes on him, both mesh, and he chewed clear through one and partially through the other. He was too heavy to carry through the field so I called for back-up. I needed better leashes that Buddy couldn’t chew through and help to get Buddy out of the field. He was fighting the leash. Help arrived and we slowly led him out of the field. He chewed through a third leash in the process. By the time we got him to the edge of the field he was exhausted. Watch the rescue below.
We took him in for an exam and the vet estimates he is a couple of years old. I could not believe that he had spent 25% of his life living in that field! He did have matted hair and had barbed wire wrapped around his tail and matted into his fur, but was otherwise in good health.
Buddy wagged his tail the day of his rescue and slept a lot for several days after. Life on the streets is hard on a dog and they do not rest. Buddy has now been placed in a foster home to learn to trust people again and to be socialized. He is being fostered in a home with other dogs, cats and birds and is doing well. He likes being with people and is a very attentive dog.”
Buddy did get his happy ending! He was adopted by his foster family shortly after his rescue!
Buddy after his rescue.
This inspiring animal rescue story deserves to be shared! I hope it encourages others to help animals in need of homes!


Belmont County Animal Shelter Waiving Adoption Fee Sunday

Belmont County Animal Shelter Waiving Adoption Fee Sunday

Best Friends Does So Much For Animals In Need .......

The History of Best Friends ........

Thirty years ago, a group of people made a leap of faith to realize a vision that they had long shared – to create a sanctuary for abandoned and abused animals. This was the logical extension of the rescue and advocacy work they had been doing for years. Little did they appreciate that their endeavor would catapult them to the forefront of a fledging movement to end the killing of 17 million dogs and cats who were dying in our nation’s shelters at that time. With little money, no master plan, few construction skills and countless lives hanging in the balance, they set out to address a local aspect of a much larger problem. What they created instead was the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the world and a national movement to end the killing of companion animals.
Looking back now, it was a watershed moment for animal welfare. Yet to the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, it wasn’t about carving a place or moment in history, it was simply about doing the right thing for creatures who could not speak or act on their own behalf. The founders sought a meaningful spiritual life and they held to an understanding that the spiritual is expressed through kindness to those most in need – the animals and the earth.
Today, the number of animals dying in our nation’s shelters is down to about four million per year. It’s still a problem. Yet the work inspired by the founders of Best Friends has yielded a movement to Save Them All, creating a significant cultural shift in how animals are treated. That movement, rooted in the simple notions of right versus wrong, kindness over killing, individual value over faceless numbers, has taken hold in all corners of the country, from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City to Brown County, Indiana. Today, over 200 communities around the country are considered “no kill.”
The story of the founding of Best Friends and of its creators can be compared to other pivotal social movements: John Muir and the Sierra Club; Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute’s preservation of species. It is also a story comparable to the beginnings of other iconic brands like Apple and Nike. Steve Jobs, seeking to get a computer into the hands of everyday people, started Apple in his garage; Bill Bowerman, a University of Oregon track and field coach who wanted to improve the performance of his athletes, joined with avid runner Phil Knight, who had an MBA, to create Nike. The story of Best Friends is one to be shared with anyone who might be inspired by the power of a belief, and how that belief can change attitudes, transform lives and create a better world.
Why Best Friends Was Founded:
Paul Eckhoff, co-founder, with some special friends.
In 1984, the founders of Best Friends made a promise to one another and to the animals already in their care that they would build an animal sanctuary in Southern Utah, where they could dedicate their lives to housing and finding homes for unwanted pets while advocating the importance of no kill. At that time, shelters across America routinely killed cats and dogs as the primary method of pet population control. There wasn’t a national voice to end the killing. However, as the founders began to broaden the reach of Best Friends, they quickly learned that others would stand with them. Thirty years later, they have inspired others throughout the country to take up the mantle of no kill and have helped to reduce the number of animals being killed in shelters by 76 percent.
Unlike the beginning of other nonprofit organizations, Best Friends was not launched with much fanfare. There was no official board leadership, strategic plan or outreach strategy. Financially, the founders had very little money. They had salted away what they needed to make an acceptable offer on the property that would become the Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, and were earning some income off the sale of their previous property in Arizona. In terms of designing and constructing the space, the founders had very few practical skills to meet the needs of their current animal population, never mind the scale of what it ultimately became.
The founders were a motley crew. Francis Battista’s background in real estate led him to discover the land in Southern Utah for the Sanctuary. London-educated architecture graduate Paul Eckhoff straightened and reutilized old nails to create the early bunkhouse and facilities for the animals. Cambridge-educated philosophy major Gregory Castle built the roads and became the electrician. Faith Maloney, known as “Chief Dog,” rode herd on the dogs while construction of the Sanctuary was underway. Seventeen-year-old Judah Battista, Francis’s son, worked with Diana Asher to care for the cats. He slept in a shed at night while construction of the facilities was underway. Quite literally, the founders say they relied on a set of construction manuals from Time Life to help guide the way. What these remarkable and passionate individuals lacked in expertise, they made up for with sheer hard work and determination, and their connectedness to the animals and one another.
Francis reflects on early days at Best Friends“We had no visible means of support. We were hung out to dry. We were all in it together.” –Francis Battista
All of this development went on as Best Friends was adding to the daily population of unwanted animals who found their way to the Sanctuary. The local area, despite a small population, turned out to be a seemingly endless source of homeless pets. And without a long-range plan and a means to generate sufficient income to keep up with the growing numbers of animals, the founders found themselves in a huge predicament in the early ’90s. The owner of their previous property in Arizona had defaulted on the mortgage, leaving Best Friends unable to meet their financial needs. With their duty to the animals foremost in their mind, the group realized they had to create a formal entity that could generate a reliable source of income. The group set about fundraising. They set up tables in front of grocery stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City to raise sufficient money and in-kind donations to feed the animals and keep the lights on, while developing a rudimentary mailing list. The daily tally was deposited into the organization’s bank account to keep Best Friends operational. Co-founders Michael Mountain and Steven Hirano created Best Friends magazine, highlighting the positive news about the animals at the Sanctuary. Lucky for the group, it wasn’t long before they discovered that so many others felt as they did about animals. There was enough interest and eagerness to create a national movement across the country.
Through passion and purpose, trial and error, and a belief in the intrinsic value of all living things, the founders prevailed.
The Founders Belief System:
While the creation of Best Friends Sanctuary grew out of a desire to address the senseless killing of animals in shelters, the group was ultimately motivated by a desire to live a life of kindness, compassion, integrity, and a connection to something greater than themselves. United in the belief that all life has intrinsic value, the founders worked to put aside personal ambition and ego to stay true to the goal of ending the killing. The result was something far greater than they had hoped – a better life for themselves and those with whom they shared their values.
“We are following a path or a vision. People identify with this. It is actually a better life.” –Gregory Castle
The Founders Reflect Back on Themselves as a Unit
Co-founder Faith Maloney at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
While the story of Best Friends is one that is truly unique in the world of other well-established national or international animal welfare nonprofits, the founders do not regard themselves as anything special, even though they have achieved a kind of “rock star” status in the animal welfare community. In addition to being the leading voice behind no kill, Best Friends is recognized as a leader in all aspects of animal care and rescue, with practices and innovations that are leading the way in animal care nationwide. In terms of their philosophic beliefs, the founders are also well regarded for taking “the road less traveled” in pursuit of what was most important: ending the killing of companion animals in shelters.
When asked about their individual role in the success of the organization, the founders disavow any personal accomplishments to the importance of working together. For them, rescuing animals was always the number one priority, and everything else was subordinate to that. The founders happily lived without the common material possessions and luxuries that others would find necessary. Furthermore, they did not view this as any kind of sacrifice.
Supporters of Best Friends say the founders were (and still are) “living a dream.” However, Francis Battista described the day-to-day management of a start-up sanctuary, with an ever-growing population of homeless animals, and lack of necessary staff and resources to succeed more like living a nightmare. Yet they persevered. They maintained a strict focus on mission and did what was required to save the lives of more animals.
“Prioritizing the dream. We had that dream, an ideal that was so important that it was in the depths of overselves. Making that a priority instead of glossing over it like most people do is a principle that has guided us through.” –Gregory Castle
“What has happened here is not because of any one of us, but because of all of us who have very different visions and personalities have managed to set aside in the quest for the greater thing.” –Jana de Peyer
“What is it about this group that is so attractive? The integrity runs right through us. We do what we are.” –Steven Hirano
“The ability to put aside ego and serve a greater purpose. It is why people come here and they see what we were able to do.” –Cyrus Mejia
The Unique History of the Founders: How They Came Together in a Quest for a Better World
Gabriel DePeyer at Angel Canyon
The founders of Best Friends began their work 20 years before they founded the Sanctuary. They came together in the turbulent 1960s in an effort to sort out personal conflict and live a better life. They saw the problems that bedeviled the larger society as scaled-up symptoms of the pettiness and problems that trouble and destroy personal and family relationships. While the obvious answer of kindness was a glib toss-off for most, the discipline of observing a life committed to kindness was of a different order of commitment. The very simple principle of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” was and is their guiding philosophy, and they extended this essential guide to life to the animals with whom we share the planet and especially to those with whom we share our homes.
The founders of Best Friends believed that by relating with kindness and unconditional love toward the most vulnerable and unfortunate recipients of humankind’s irresponsible actions, animals, they were being consistent with their aspirations for society as a whole. As Francis describes, “We were working out human conflict, understanding why despite our best efforts, we destroy our own dreams, and ruin our relationships.” This pursuit was manifest through the group’s relationship with animals. They were confounded by how our species could create companion animals, bring them into our environment, and fail them in the most basic way. If we can’t fulfill a commitment to an animal who makes few demands and offers unconditional love, how can we expect to manage the more demanding relationships of human interaction that make up our society?
Ultimately, the group felt a genuine responsibility toward these loyal and loving creatures. Their desire to pursue a better life for their animals and themselves led them on a spiritual quest to the beautiful canyon in Kanab, Utah.
The Spiritual Side: The Philosophy of Best Friends Leads to a Better Life for All
“We thought if we would be a voice crying out in the wilderness, let’s find a really nice wilderness.” –Gabriel de Peyer
Best Friends Animal Society is located in a red rock canyon near Kanab, Utah, at the heart of the Golden Circle of national parks, which include Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon. The locale of the sanctuary is a sacred place that was once home to ancient peoples of the Southwest. The founders knew they had discovered something very rare and special in what has become known as Angel Canyon. Visitors to the Sanctuary feel the healing effects of the animals and the canyon and a connection to something very powerful.
In creating Best Friends for the animals, the founders say they were simply listening to their inner voice. Founder Anne Mejia talks about how there is a desire within people’s hearts to do good things. But we get so trapped in our lifestyle, in our obligations, expectations and commitments that we sacrifice the voice within and suffer immensely as a result. The founders overcame whatever expectations were upon them to live a traditional life to follow their passion – rescuing animals. What others might perceive as a complicated existence (no money, home or personal possessions), the founders describe as “breaking out of jail.”
While the founders can be viewed as rejecting society’s norms of the time, they would not advise the rest of us to drop our personal responsibilities and commitments in pursuit of our passion. However, they do share an important bit of philosophy that could make us all a bit happier: It’s never too late to listen to your voice and follow your heart and your passion. Also, be kind. Silva Battista explains it best: “If you don’t understand or accept the basic principle of kindness – that it is an unbroken continuum that encompasses all life, including the animals, and if you dismiss this as not being important – you won’t get anything else right.”
The Founders Today
Of the 28 individuals who began Best Friends in 1984, 10 continue to bring their own special gift to the whole that is Best Friends. Some play a very active role in the day-to-day aspects of the organization while others who reside at the Sanctuary interact with the thousands of visitors and volunteers who make their pilgrimage each year to Angel Canyon.
The work, begun 30 years ago by a group of individuals dedicated to living life by the Golden Rule, will continue on long after the founders have retired. For the animals whose lives have been saved and will continue to be saved at the Sanctuary, through local rescues and through advocacy efforts, the founders have definitely shown the world what a little kindness can do.
“When people can no longer say ‘it’s only a dog,’ that is social change.” –Cyrus Mejia

Incredible Accomplishments From Best Friends .......

Our national initiatives focus on the animals most at risk—the ones likely to enter America’s shelter system: Cats, pitbull terriers and cast-offs from puppy mills. 
image description


The vast majority of dogs killed in shelters are pitbull terriers. Best Friends is working throughout the country to help these dogs, who are battling everything from a media-driven bad reputation to legislation designed to bring about their extinction.
Pitbulls directly impacted by our programming in 2011
Number of dogs from Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation that were brought to our Sanctuary in 2008. We call them the Vicktory Dogs! Where are they now?
Pitbulls potentially impacted by fighting Breed Discriminatory Legislation (BDL)
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25% of shelter dogs are purebreds from puppy mills, bred solely to make money for their owners. They live in tiny, wire-bottomed cages, in squalid conditions, with little human contact and often no veterinary care. It is no life for man’s best friend. Learn more at Puppy Mill Initiatives.
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714Dogs impacted by our puppy mill programming in 2011
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31 and risingCities have enacted ordinances prohibiting the retail sale of dogs and/or cats in pet stores
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Ending the killing of homeless pets is not possible without strategic efforts to help both owned and community (feral or stray) cats. 
  • 72% of cats who enter our nation’s animal shelters are killed.
  • 80% of these cats are deemed feral.
  • 2–5% of cats that enter shelters are reunited with their owners, compared to 30% of dogs.
Community cats were directly impacted by our programming in 2012.
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Feral Freedom is a trap/neuter/return (TNR) program for “community cats”—free-roaming feral, stray and lost cats who live outside and don’t belong to anybody.
  • 17,000 cats have been fixed since 2008 by Feral Freedom, a program supported by Best Friends.
  • This program has helped reduce the number of animals killed in Jacksonville shelters by 66%.
  • Best Friends has supported similar programs in other cities, such as Albuquerque and San Antonio, and achieved similar livesaving results.
Download the guide for more information on Feral Freedom.