A place of respect and solace
Burial of the dead is one of the markers of our humanness and is a practice that goes back at least 130,000 years. In most cultures, it is a solemn ritual of closure and celebration of the life of the deceased. It is only fitting that we share that custom with our animal friends.
Angels Rest is the cemetery at Best Friends Animal Society where all Sanctuary residents who pass over the Rainbow Bridge are interred. It is a place of love and respect, final farewells and tearful memories.
Angels Rest is set on a high overlook in the lower canyon against a sheer red cliff looking out over Kanab Creek and more cliffs, both near and distant. However, the magic of the place owes at least as much to the meticulous care that it receives from Canyon Department staff, who have created something that is more like a Zen garden than a cemetery.
And then there are the wind chimes — dozens of them — placed as memorials for never-to-be-forgotten friends. Each plays soft, mellow tones in the breeze for every placement of a lost friend.
Animals who come to Best Friends are treated as individuals. In fact, the philosophical underpinnings of the Sanctuary and of the no-kill movement are that every life has intrinsic value and is worthy of every effort we can make, not only to save that life, but to afford it the dignity and respect it deserves, even in death.
It is a tremendous privilege that each of us has in caring for an animal friend, seeing him or her safely through life. When the time comes, it is a greater privilege, though painful, to see the animal peacefully through to the other side.
Angels Rest encapsulates in a way the seriousness, dedication and love that every staff member, volunteer and supporter pours into the care of the animals here at the Sanctuary and into our mission of No More Homeless Pets.
The overall effect is timeless and arresting, so do not enter its gates unless you are prepared to be deeply moved.
To include your pet in our public blessing on September 29 at Angels Rest, please make your tribute here.