Behind the Scenes

The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is spread on approximately 3,700 picturesque acres in the red rock country of Southern Utah. On any given day, it’s a place where about 1,700 dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and more find healing, medical care, behavioral training, love and a home between homes.

In 2013, 992 of them found loving new homes, despite their rough start in life. Here is a rundown of other animal shelter facts about the Sanctuary.


  • 569 new arrivals found refuge in Dogtown.
  • 566 dogs found loving homes.

Cat World:

  • 395 cats arrived at Cat World.
  • 318 cats found forever homes.

Bunny House:

  • 31 bunnies hopped in, seven needing urgent veterinary care.
  • 32 bunnies hopped out, into loving homes.

Parrot Garden:

  • 63 birds arrived for help, most with special needs.
  • 58 found wonderful homes.

Horse Haven:

  • 86 percent of Horse Haven residents had special needs in 2013 and all received the care they needed.
  • 36 horses lived on Horse Haven pastures and six found homes in 2013.
  • More than 250 horses have found loving new homes since Horse Haven began.

Wild Friends:

  • 218 wild animals stopped by for healing.
  • 111 were returned to the wild.

However, Best Friends’ work extends well beyond the Sanctuary. These are a just a few of our accomplishments in 2013 in our work to Save Them All.

  • 3,353 pets found homes through the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles. Our NKLA Coalition found homes for more than 24,000 pets in Los Angeles shelters, while helping to reduce shelter deaths from about 19,000 in 2012 to approximately 14,000 in 2013.
  • Around 23,000 pets received spay/neuter services from Best Friends–Utah programs and across the state. For the first time, 23 Utah shelters and communities reached a 90 percent or better save rate, a big step toward taking the entire state to no-kill status.
  • 763 pets from 65 organizations found homes at Best Friends’ fall and spring super adoption events in New York.
  • Community cat programs have helped bring the save rate for cats in shelters up to 74 percent in San Antonio, Texas, 87 percent in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and nearly 86 percent in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Breed-discriminatory legislation was defeated in 36 cities, four counties and six states, while more than 540,000 pit bull terriers were positively impacted by Best Friends’ pit bull initiatives nationwide.
  • More than 3,600 dogs took Best Friends’ Pup My Ride to safety, while Best Friends was directly involved in banning the retail sale of puppy mill dogs in 11 communities across the country, including Chicago and Los Angeles.
  • The number of Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network partners saving lives across the country surpassed 800. A grand total of 9,524 pets from network partners were adopted through Best Friends adoption promotions.