Answers to questions about volunteering at our Kanab, UT Sanctuary

We truly appreciate your interest in volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. The wonderful work you do is very important and there are many ways to lend a hand and heart to make a difference in the animals’ lives. Together we can Save Them All.

Who can volunteer?

We welcome anyone who is six years old and up, although minors age 6-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while volunteering. Each adult can supervise up to three minors during a volunteer shift. If your group has four or more minors, two adults must be present to supervise them while volunteering.

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What volunteer opportunities are available?

We invite you to participate in the regular routine of animal care such as feeding, cleaning, grooming, walking, etc. Spending time socializing with the animals is also important, as it helps make them more adoptable and gets them closer to a forever home.

For safety considerations, each animal area has its own minimum age requirements:

Cat World = 6+
Bunny House = 8+
Parrot Garden = 8+
Dogtown = 10+
Piggy Paradise = 12+
Horse Haven = 12+
Rescue Village Rabbits = 15+
Wild Friends = 18+

Click here for volunteer projects and guidelines in each animal area.

You can also schedule volunteer time in our Gift Shop (minimum age 18). For volunteer opportunities at Angels Rest and special projects in areas such as landscaping and maintenance, please contact the Volunteer Department in advance to discuss those options.

For kids ages 6-9, Best Friends offers a fun-filled, free summer day camp from 8-11:30 a.m., Monday-Friday, early June - mid-August. Learn more and sign up here.

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What are the daily volunteer shifts?

There are two volunteer shifts every day of the year. Shift times are 8:15-11:30 a.m. and 1:15-4:00 p.m. The Sanctuary is on Mountain Time.

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How do I schedule volunteer time?

You have the ease and flexibility of creating your complete volunteer schedule online. We suggest you schedule your volunteer visit as far in advance as possible because we get very busy and each volunteer area has a maximum number of volunteers it can accommodate during each shift. To get started go to volunteers.bestfriends.org.

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What happens when I arrive at the sanctuary?

You will have a pre-scheduled 10-minute check-in at the Welcome Center prior to volunteering. A representative from the Volunteer Department will meet with you to provide name badges, schedules, and other important information to make your volunteer experience the best it can be. (Any pertinent lodging or tour information will be provided by the respective departments.)

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Can I take an animal on an outing or sleepover?

Some of our dogs and cats are approved to go with volunteers on outings and sleepovers which is a real treat for them. To take an animal on a sleepover or outing you’ll first need to volunteer at least one shift in that specific animal area. No advance reservations are necessary for outings or sleepovers—those arrangements will be made onsite when you’re volunteering.

Please note that if you’re travelling with your own pet(s) you won’t be able to take one of the Sanctuary animals on a sleepover. Also, any children in your group must be six years old to take a cat and 10 years old to take a dog.

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What should I wear?

For your protection, closed-toe shoes are a requirement for volunteering in any of the animal areas. Long pants are strongly recommended for volunteering with horses or pigs—in fact, it’s a good idea to wear long pants in all the areas. We advise dressing in layers during the spring, fall and winter months because the mornings can be chilly and the afternoons warm. Wearing a hat is a good idea because the sun is bright year-round.

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What about transportation?

Transportation is not provided so you’ll need your own vehicle to get around. The Sanctuary is spread across more than 3,000 acres so you’ll need to drive to and from the Welcome Center, animal areas, and other locations. Many of the animal areas are several miles apart so walking is not a viable option and bicycles are not allowed on most Sanctuary roads. RV’s longer than 21 feet will have difficulty maneuvering some of our Sanctuary roads and parking areas so it’s strongly suggested that you plan for a car if travelling in an RV larger than that.

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Is there a place to eat at the Sanctuary?

The café at Angel Village offers a vegetarian/vegan buffet for $5.00 per person every day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This is a great way to meet Best Friends founders and staff, as well as other volunteers. Every Thursday during lunch there’s an informal program of updates and special stories.

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Can my own pets accompany me in the animal areas?

For everyone’s safety, your own pets are not allowed in any of the animal areas nor are they allowed to remain unattended in your vehicle. 

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Can special groups volunteer at the Sanctuary?

If your special group is interested in volunteering on a project together (for instance, Girl/Boy Scouts, church group, tour group, college or high school group, etc.), please contact The Learning Experience at learningexperience@bestfriends.org.

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How can I schedule a Sanctuary Tour?

To schedule a tour, please call the Welcome Center staff at 435-644-2001, ext. 4537. Tours are offered daily at 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

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Where is Best Friends located and where can I stay?

Detailed information on traveling to the Sanctuary is available on our web site, click here. Please note that Utah is on Mountain Time so if you’re flying into Las Vegas and driving to Kanab, remember that Las Vegas is on Pacific Time so there’s an hour difference.

If you’d like information about lodging at the Sanctuary (cottages, cabins, RV sites) or accommodations in Kanab (five miles from the Sanctuary), click here.

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Have more questions?

Please email us at volunteers@bestfriends.org or call us at 435-644-2001, ext 4119. We are open every day at 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Mountain Time.

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