FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

by Teresa Bitler

May 14, 2019

Teresa Bitler

Age Specific / Adult Children

Whether your family loves dogs, cats or critters of any kind, volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, is an unforgettable experience.

What’s it all about?

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary was founded roughly 35 years ago by friends who rescued old, sick and difficult animals from almost certain death at shelters. After bringing them to their no-kill sanctuary, the friends were able to place most of the animals with forever families. The animals just needed some extra time and attention they wouldn’t have received at a kill shelter.

Today, the 3,700-acre Kanab property is home to more than 1,600 dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, pigs, horses and other creatures, at least on a temporary basis. On average, 1,200 of the animals find new homes every year. Those who aren’t adopted have a forever home at Best Friends.

How can you volunteer?

The sanctuary welcomes volunteers ages 6 and up to spend anywhere from a day to a week or more helping out. You might be asked to play with puppies, feed rabbits or simply cuddle with a cat that needs some attention. Or, you can offer to help in other ways, like working in the gift shop or greenhouse. Tasks are assigned based on the sanctuary’s needs and the volunteer’s age and preference.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Photo: Teresa Bitler

Apply online here before you go and as far in advance as possible. If your family wants to work with animals, you’ll be asked to specify the animal area you’d like to be placed. Each has a minimum age requirement. Cat World and Bunny House are both suitable for ages 6 and up. Dogtown is ages 10 and up. Other areas include Parrot Garden (8+), Piggy Paradise (12+), Horse Haven (12+) and Wild Friends (18+). You can learn more online about specific volunteer opportunities in each area here.

What should you expect?

When you arrive, you’ll check in at the Welcome Center and receive name badges and schedules before preceding to your assigned area. There, you’ll get a general overview and be given your tasks for the morning. The sanctuary breaks for lunch. Enjoy the on-site $5 vegan buffet, then head to your assigned area for the afternoon.

Dressing appropriately will make the day much more pleasant. Closed-toe shoes are required. (Clogs are not allowed since they could slip off your feet.) Best Friends strongly recommends wearing long pants, especially when working with horses or pigs, and bringing a hat. In the fall, winter and spring, your family will want to dress in layers since it can be cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon.

Can you just visit?

Of course! Tours are offered daily at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (Best Friends recommends scheduling a tour before you go.) While on site, you can eat lunch at Angel Village’s vegan buffet and pick up a souvenir or two at the gift shop.

Your family can interact in other ways, too. You can have a sleepover with an adoptable dog or cat in a cabin or cottage at Best Friends or in a hotel room in Kanab. Or, you can take a dog on an outing for a canyon hike, trip to Angel Village or maybe even a visit off-site.


Insta Feed
Destinations / Europe
Feb 23, 2020

Croatia for Families: Dubrovnik, Food and More

The coastal city of Dubrovnik, in the south, is perhaps the most popular destination in Croatia for families. The red roof tops of the white buildings are a strong contrast to the jewel-toned Adriatic Sea surrounding the city, making it a picturesque stop for many cruise ships. The city is known for being affordable for families looking for a seaside vacation.

Destinations / Europe
Feb 23, 2020

Croatia for Families: Off-the-Beaten-Path Locales

Croatia is quickly gaining popularity as a destination of choice for family-friendly vacations. As tourists seek roads less traveled, this amazing country on the Adriatic coast is getting its chance to show the world its rugged beauty, beautiful coastline, impressive collection of islands, and picturesque cities and villages that rival even the most tried-and-true vacation destinations.

Travel Tips
Feb 21, 2020

3 Spots to Experience Wildlife in India

India boasts so many incredible sites, from the Taj Mahal and Hawa Mahal to the Red Fort and Humayun's Tomb, it can be easy to overlook the magnificence of the country’s natural beauty and wildlife in an attempt to fit in as many landmarks as possible.

Host Your Next Event in Urban Wine Country

While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.

Destinations / North America
Feb 21, 2020

Review: Loews Miami Beach Hotel

Last month, we spent three sunny days (and one rainy hour) at Loew’s Miami Beach Hotel, where I hadn’t been for more than 10 years. This oceanfront resort is perfectly located in walkable South Beach, just one block from Lincoln Road, two blocks from the new eateries in Time Out Market, four blocks from the Convention Center and an easy walk north or south to all the must-see shops and dining spots lining Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue.