As a volunteer, you'll have the opportunity to experience firsthand this magical place and contribute to improving the lives of the animals who call Best Friends their home-between-homes.

Not sure what to expect? No worries. We’ve got the scoop on everything from safety guidelines for volunteers to what to wear and bring.

Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

Keeping you and the animals safe

We're focused on keeping you and our animal friends safe while you're volunteering, so you’ll need to read through the safety guidelines overview before your shift.

This is an overview of safety across all volunteer areas. Safety guidelines are not limited to what you see below, so you can expect that each area will have specific rules that you’ll need to follow while you're volunteering. You’ll hear more about those in your orientation when you arrive at the time of your scheduled volunteer shift.

Health and safety

  • Age requirements vary by location, so please be sure to check the requirements on each animal area's volunteer page before signing up to volunteer.  
  • We ask that you don't bring your personal pets when volunteering at the Sanctuary for the safety of you, your personal pets, and the animals living at the Sanctuary. 
  • Pets cannot be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances, regardless of whether or not the vehicle has a "Dog Mode" setting that manages the interior temperature.
  • If you have a cold, flu, or upper respiratory infection, please cancel your shift.

Interacting with animals, staff, and fellow volunteers

  • Please do not use cellphones or cameras when you are supervising animals.  
  • Please be aware that many animals jump and/or move unpredictably, which could cause or exacerbate injuries. Be careful to keep enough distance that you can respond appropriately in case a biting, scratching, or kicking reaction occurs.  
  • If animals start fighting, please get the attention of staff members, and let them respond. Please don't try to break up a fight yourself.  
  • Make sure you close and secure gates and doors when entering and leaving animal areas.  
  • As a volunteer, you might come in contact with hay, dust, and other allergens. 


  • Parking and driving are permitted only in designated areas, and you'll need to have your own transportation to the area in which you're volunteering.  

What to bring and wear

Your packing list will vary, depending on the season and your planned activities.

Here's what you'll want to consider as you're packing for your trip:

Altitude and climate

  • Kanab, Utah, sits at a high-desert elevation of approximately 5,000 feet. Low humidity and bright sunlight are the norm, so sunblock and a hat are year-round essentials.
  • Some people find that the altitude affects their breathing and energy level, though for most it is not an issue. Because the climate is very dry, we advise visitors to bring bottled water with them.
  • During the fall and winter months, we recommend dressing in layers. Mornings and evenings can be quite cool, with the temperature often dropping substantially overnight and warming up in the afternoon. Summer daytime temperatures can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • You will be walking in sandy terrain, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. (Rugged sneakers or light hiking boots are best.) Long pants are a good idea when volunteering with the animals, and it’s a requirement when volunteering with the horses and pigs.

Animal safety and welfare 

  • If you have pets at home, please bring clothes that you have not worn around your animals at home. While long pants are recommended for some areas, please make sure you dress appropriately for the weather and desert climate.
  • Some animals are sensitive to smells, so please refrain from wearing perfume, cologne, or strongly scented lotions.
  • Closed-toe shoes are required for volunteering in all animal areas. Sneakers or hiking shoes are the preferred footwear, and shoes must have a heel strap at minimum. Clog-type shoes are not permitted as shoes could fall off while walking or working with animals, climbing ladders, or performing other volunteer tasks.  

Lunch with a view

Join staff members, other volunteers, and visitors at the Angel Village café for a delicious plant-based buffet lunch.

Seasons at the Sanctuary

When to expect sun, rain, or snow

A few other things to consider

Pigeon perched on a person's mobile phone that the person is holding

Cellphones and internet access

Reception at the Sanctuary might be spotty in certain areas, but nearly all Sanctuary buildings have free Wi-Fi for guests.

Smoking and Best Friends facilities

Smoking is permitted only in designated outdoor smoking areas. Smoking is prohibited in all Best Friends buildings and work vehicles (including golf carts) and within 25 feet of building entrances, exits, air intakes, and windows. To reduce both litter and the risk of brush fires, all cigarette butts must be disposed of properly in a designated receptacle.


For safety reasons and in keeping with our principles, firearms are not allowed.

Horse in pasture at animal sanctuary in Utah surrounded by red rock hills

Volunteer at our animal sanctuary

Stroll with a dog, spruce up a rabbit run or simply keep a shy cat company. There are plenty of ways to make a difference at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.