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.can
- How far in advance should I sign up for volunteer shifts?
- Who can volunteer?
- What volunteer opportunities are available?
- What are the daily volunteer shifts?
- How do I schedule volunteer time?
- What happens when I arrive at the sanctuary?
- Can I take an animal on an outing or sleepover?
- What should I wear?
- What about transportation?
- Is there a place to eat at the Sanctuary?
- Can my own pets accompany me in the animal areas?
- Can groups volunteer at the Sanctuary?
- How can I schedule a Sanctuary Tour?
- Where is Best Friends located and where can I stay?
- How do I encourage others to get involved with Best Friends once I'm back home?
- Have more questions?
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 volunteers.bestfriends.org or contact the Sanctuary Volunteer Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 435-644-2001 Ext. 4119.
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.
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 = 6+
Parrot Garden = 8+
Dogtown = 10+
Piggy Paradise = 12+
Horse Haven = 12+
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 special projects in areas such as landscaping and maintenance, please contact the Volunteer Department in advance to discuss those options.
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.
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.
You will have a pre-scheduled 10-minute check-in at the Volunteer Center at 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. (Any pertinent lodging or tour information will be provided by the respective departments.)
Some of our dogs and cats 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. 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.
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 animals, climbing ladders or performing other volunteer tasks. 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. 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.
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.
Our $5 vegan buffet is served daily at Angel Village cafe from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cafe accepts cash, checks, debit and credit cards (50-cent surcharge on debit or credit card charges). 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 p.m., during the summer months.
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.
The Best Friends group volunteer experience offers a unique program for five to 12 people seeking an integrative service learning experience for two to five days. At least two adults are required per group, and one adult can supervise up to five minors. For more information on group volunteering click here.
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.
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.
Check out our volunteer toolkit for additional ideas on how you can make a difference for the animals in your community.
Please email us at email@example.com or call us at 435-644-2001, ext 4119. We are open every day at 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Mountain Time.