Answers to questions about volunteering at our Kanab, UT Sanctuary

COVID-19 UPDATE: As of Monday, March 16, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary will be closed to all visitors and non-local volunteers until further notice. Best Friends cares deeply about the health and well-being of our staff and visitors and, although this is a difficult decision to make, we believe it is the best thing to do for everyone’s welfare. You can find additional information here along with contact information should you have any questions or concerns

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.can 

How far in advance should I sign up for volunteer shifts?

Volunteer shifts should be scheduled as far in advance as possible. Each animal area has a maximum number of volunteers it can accommodate during each shift and may fill up. To get started, please visit or contact the Sanctuary Volunteer Department at or 435-644-2001 Ext. 4119.

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.

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

Cat World = 6+
Bunny House = 6+
Parrot Garden = 8+
Dogtown = 10+
Piggy Paradise = 12+
Horse Haven = 12+
Wild Friends = 18+
Sanctuary Store = 18+
Angel’s Rest = 18+
Landscaping = 18+

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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.

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

Additionally, we offer volunteer shifts in our Sanctuary Store, Angel’s Rest (seasonal) and Landscaping (seasonal).

For volunteer special projects in areas such as maintenance, please contact the Volunteer Department in advance to discuss those options.

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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

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What happens when I arrive at the sanctuary?

You will have a pre-scheduled 10-minute check-in at the Volunteer Center in the Hamlet 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. Volunteer check-ins are held every day promptly at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Failure to attend your check-in may forfeit your scheduled shifts. (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, cats and rabbits are approved to go with volunteers on sleepovers and some of our dogs are approved to go on outings 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 during the trip or within the past year. 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 traveling 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 or rabbit and 10 years old to take a dog.

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What should I wear?

Closed-toe shoes are required for volunteering in all animal areas. Sneakers or hiking shoes are the preferred footwear in most animal areas, while boots are suggested for horses and pigs. Clog type shoes are not permitted. Long pants are strongly recommended for volunteering in any animal care area, especially the horses or pigs. 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 and sunscreen is recommended because the sun is bright year-round. If you work with equines, goats, or sheep at home or in your community, please bring clothes and shoes with you that have not been worn around those animals.

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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?

Our $5 vegan buffet is served daily at Angel Village Cafe from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The cafe accepts cash, checks, debit and credit cards. Meal tickets can be purchased from the Sanctuary Store with your credit or debit card.

The Canyon Grill, located outside of the Best Friends Welcome Center, is open Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., during the summer months.

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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 groups volunteer at the Sanctuary?

For information on group volunteering click here.

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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. Click here to schedule a sanctuary tour.

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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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How do I encourage others to get involved with Best Friends once I'm back home?

Check out our volunteer toolkit ​and Network Partner list for additional ideas on how you can make a difference for the animals in your community.

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Have more questions?

Please email us at 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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