A Splendid Haven: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary    Part 1
 
A Splendid Haven: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary  Part 1
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Welcome beloved viewers to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. On today’s program we visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary at Angel Canyon in southern Utah, USA. It is the nation’s largest sanctuary for homeless animals and was established by the non-profit organization Best Friends Animal Society which strives to bring about a better world through kindness to animals. At any given time the Sanctuary is home to up to 2,000 dogs, cats, birds and other animals who have unique physical, emotional, and behavioral needs.

They are brought to Utah from shelters from around the country for specialized care and attention with a focus on rehabilitation in order to re-home them. For those unable to find a new home, Best Friends allows them to stay at this perfect haven for life. Faith Maloney, an Animal Care Consultant at the sanctuary and one of the co-founders of the Best Friends Animal Society, now shares a brief history of the site with us.

I’m originally from England so I came over here to the United States in 1971. And with a group of friends, some of us who actually started “Best Friends,” and knew each other back then. So we met each other through the years, raising families, doing our work, that kind of thing.

And then in the late 1970’s we decided this is something we wanted to do. And we started it in a place in Arizona (USA), not too far from here, but we knew we needed a bigger facility. And we found this piece of property and purchased it in 1984. So we’ve been here for 26 years.

The sanctuary is 1,500 hectares in size and is surrounded by gorgeous national parks. The refuge is divided into several aptly named areas for the different animals that reside there like “Dogtown,” “Cat World,” “Bunny House,” “Horse Haven,” “Parrot Garden,” and “Piggy Paradise” to name but a few. Let’s now find out about the friends living in Parrot Garden from Amy Meade.

Welcome to the Parrot Garden at “Best Friends Animal Society.” Here we have just over 80 parrots. Cody is who you're filming now and he is a Congo African Gray. He's only 21. He could easily live to be 60. Parrots are kind of in a unique situation in our homes. Since they are wild animals, some of the unique problems that they present us with aren't problems to them; they’re problems with us adjusting to living with them.

They are very loud in the wild, they don't have cell phones. If they want lunch and want to know if you've got something better over there or if you've found something, they're going to have to call. And they use their voices to do that, so their voice has to carry.

It takes a lot of responsibility and patience on our part. Providing lots of toys, lots of enriching experiences, foraging opportunities. In the wild, they spend most of the time looking for their food. When we put their food in a bowl and they don't have to do anything to eat, they get bored, they can develop plucking behaviors, excessive screaming and they get bored. They are very intelligent so they do get bored.

Horse Haven is ready and waiting for you! Let’s trot on over to the site.

One kind of little interesting thing about horses, is they are very, very sensitive creatures. They’ve really been incredibly abused in all through the centuries really as a work animal. People forced them into doing what they wanted. Our work with horses it’s much more relationship-based. That’s what we believe we should be doing with the horses, just having a good companionship, relationship with a horse.

We do have a kind of training here called Parelli. And it was founded by a gentleman Pat Parelli and his wife. And it is based on building that relationship, reinforcing that relationship. And when you have that relationship with the horse, the horse will do whatever you ask her, because she wants to, the horse wants to.

Right, a friendship.

He or she, it’s a friendship. And that’s a wonderful training method and we’ve been doing that here for a number of years now. It’s based around games. They love to play, and this whole training course is based on games with balls; they kick balls around the field and they do all kinds of things and this develops the friendship and the trust between the trainer and the horse.

Who’s up for a visit to Piggy Paradise?! Ms. Maloney will now tell us about the wondrous Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs.

Well they’re generally called Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs or from that region of the world because where they’re native. And they are meant to have a belly. They are meant to have a little pendulous belly, that’s the way they look. They were brought over here as a fad many years ago, over 20 years ago because the lie is that they’re going to be really small. They take four years to grow, four years to get their full height and weight.

So often what people are doing is because they breed very young, so they breed very young parents, who then have little piglets. And everyone says, “Look how small (they are),” but that pig is under a year, so it’s going to take another three years to get to their full weight and height.

Pigs are intelligent and make wonderful companions. They are loyal and show great love to those around them.

Pigs are smarter than dogs, I was told. They can be house-trained, they will sit on command, and they can be clicker trained.

When we return, we will meet other residents of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants, featuring a visit to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, USA, a “no-kill” refuge for special needs animals. “No-kill” means only if an animal has a terminal or painful illness will euthanasia be used, and only if it is the most compassionate option.

The residents, who typically come from shelters or are brought in by rescue groups from across the country, often need only a few weeks of loving care before they are ready to be re-homed with a warm family. There are also wild animals staying at the haven. It looks like it’s time to visit the Wild Friends area with our guide Haven Diaz and make some new acquaintances!

Welcome to “Wild Friends” here at “Best Friends Animal Society.” At “Wild Friends,” we take care of all of the educational wildlife that’s here because of physical and mental disability, and they’re non-releasable back into the wild because of those injuries and conditions. We also do a wildlife rehab program where we’re getting injured and orphaned wildlife back out into the wild that’s come in, from various injuries and things like that. So we do handle the rehab portion of it as well.

We also do the domestic species; it could be reptiles, avian, all the domestic species. Ok, what you’re seeing is a Barn Owl. Her name is Suvali. She has a shoulder injury that was non-repairable. So she’ll spend the rest of her life here with us. And they’re here strictly for the purpose of education: educating the public, conservation, things like that. And these guys are strictly nocturnal, so she is kind of peeking at you slightly, it’s hard to tell.

It’s okay buddy. This is Poet, he’s a Prairie Flacon. … The portion of his left wing… It’s okay, Poet. You’re okay, buddy. He’s also non-releasable in our education program due to a physical disability.

He’s beautiful.

How do you care for these (birds)?

It’s basic cleaning and the feeding, clean water, and clean habitats or enclosures. And we’re also careful to make sure that they have a good quality of life. We provide enrichment for them as well, given the fact that they have to spend the rest of their life in captivity. We pretty much provide everything we can and to give them the best quality of life given the circumstances.

How does the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary ensure wild birds feel at home?

Well, with falcons they’re solitary, so they don’t really want a lot of company. These guys all came in as mature, wild animals. So for them, it’s just providing them with safety, security, not only the food and water, but also making sure that they’re happy and they’re not going to be with another bird, because they’re solitary.

So we have contact with them twice a day for feeding and cleaning, and we just pretty much give them their space and let them, have their own area and feel safe and secure. So that’s pretty much what we do aside from the cleaning. We let them have their free space and feel comfortable in their habitat.

What should we do if we find an animal in the wild requiring medical attention? Here is some wise advice.

These two are Alfred and Annabel, they’re two American crows. They came into our program because they were actually raised by people. So when I was saying earlier about physical and mental disability, these guys have the mental disability. They don’t know how to be social with other crows, or survive in the wild.

Annabel actually crippled her feet in a fall from a nest, and some people actually took her in. But she should have been taken to a rehab facility with some of the Good Samaritan laws that have been passed, you are actually legally covered to transport an injured wild animal from where you found them to a wildlife facility.

You want to get in contact with your local department of wildlife services to do that, and if you ever find injured wildlife, it’s best to have a trained professional relate to them, but in the event you’re not able to get someone to a location, you may be their only chance, especially when you’re out in the wilderness and we find animals, you are covered legally to transport them to a wildlife rehabilitation center.

The best thing to do is to secure them safely, don’t handle anything that you don’t feel comfortable handling, because you’ll probably just make the situation worse. And then quietly and safely transport them to your nearest wildlife facility. And also, veterinary facilities are legally covered to do immediate emergency medical care and they usually do have contacts for wildlife rehabilitators, so it’s a good resource to use.

Our gratitude Faith Maloney, Amy Meade, Haven Diaz and the rest of the dedicated staff of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for providing such a safe home and a magnificent rehabilitation place for all animals. Please join us on Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants tomorrow for part two of our feature on this remarkable refuge.

For more details on the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, please visit

Thank you for your company today on our program. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment, following Noteworthy News here on Supreme Master Television. May all beings be blessed with everlasting joy in their lives.
Greetings beloved viewers and welcome to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. On today’s program we continue our tour of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary at Angel Canyon in southern Utah, USA.

It is the nation’s largest sanctuary for homeless animals and was established by the non-profit organization Best Friends Animal Society which strives to bring about a better world through kindness to animals. At any given time the Sanctuary is home to up to 2,000 dogs, cats, birds and other animals who have unique physical, emotional, and behavioral needs.

They are brought to Utah from shelters from around the country for specialized care and attention with a focus on rehabilitation in order to re-home them. For those unable to find a new home, Best Friends allows them to stay at this perfect haven for life.

The sanctuary is 1,500 hectares in size and is surrounded by gorgeous national parks. The refuge is divided into several aptly named areas for the different animals that reside there like “Dogtown,” “Cat World,” “Bunny House,” “Horse Haven,” “Parrot Garden,” and “Piggy Paradise” to name but a few.

Today we have the privilege of calling on the charming residents of Bunny House, with rabbit care expert Burke Beesley as our host.

You want to have a big enough cage for them. Just a little rabbit hut, a little pen is just not enough room. They need to have room where they can run around a little bit and play.

One of the main things for the rabbit is to always have hay for them to eat. Their digestive system is a lot like a horse, where they have to eat all the time, they’re a grazer. And if they don’t have something like hay to eat all the time, then they can have problems.

So not just one specific feeding time, but food always.

Yes, we only feed them pellets in the morning. We have hay for them at all times. And in the afternoons, most times we have greens we give them. They really love those. You’re their best friend when you have the greens, you know. Like oh, dandelion greens they love and parsley, cilantro, all kinds of stuff.

Most rabbits don’t really like being picked up or held. But some of them will tolerate it. You see Puck, he’s trying to get away. He’s tired of being held. All right, I’ll put you down. There you go. You will be brushed.

Oh my Goodness! He’s shedding.

Yes he is.

Well it’s pretty hot. We have a lot more problems in the summer than the winters. Because if you think about it, a rabbit has a big heavy coat on. So they have problems in summer, heat exhaustion and things like that. So all our runs have misters in them. Mainly it wets the ground so they have like a cool place they can lay down on. It’s funny, some will stand right under the mister, and just get all soaking wet.

This is the exercise lawn. We rotate all the rabbits from down below in the buildings, give them a day up in the lawn to play, or we’ll open up one of the cages up here and let them play.

So what makes a rabbit a good pet?

Well they’re so cute! Rabbits can be litter box trained, easier than a cat they say. They get on with other animals. We have a caregiver who has a black Labrador Retriever; he gets along with her two rabbits. There are others that have cats that can get along. If you introduce them when they’re babies, they usually can grow up and be friends. So it’s neat!

That’s cool!

When a rabbit thumps, what does that mean?

That’s like a warning sign. They’re, not comfortable with what’s going on, you know. If we go into their cages a lot of them will thump at us. That’s just a warning sign.

What about having a rabbit as a companion inside a house or apartment? Will they still be healthy and happy?

They can live comfortably. Give them plenty of things to play with, things to chew on, they’re really curious. Rabbits are really curious so we give them all kinds of things to chew on, to hide in, toys to play with, they do play with toys. “The House Rabbits Society,” I think most of their members’ rabbits live in the house. It’s nice too though if you can have an outdoor park, put them out during the day, a nice lawn or something. A lot of people will do that. Put a little x-pen to keep them in.

When we return, we will complete our tour of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants, featuring a visit to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, USA.

The residents, who typically come from shelters or are brought in by rescue groups from across the country, often need only a few weeks of loving care before they are ready to be re-homed with a warm family. Cat World is our final stop where Tammy Yamada will introduce us to some lovable felines, including some very special ones needing extra attentive care.

So, do you find that there are people who want to take on special needs pets?

Yes! Oh, definitely. Like last year, we had three neurological cats. Now we just got new ones here yesterday. Her name is Griselda, she’s a little bit neurological. She walks wobbly; she has a hard time just to walk normally. And last year we had a severely neurological cat who couldn’t even walk, who couldn’t even sit up. We had to feed her three times a day. And it is such a commitment, but there are many people who fall in love because after all, they’re loving that cat, not their physicality, and all of them were adopted.

This is Mystery, she’s from Pahrump Rescue from Pahrump, Nevada (USA.) She doesn’t have any teeth, she doesn’t have any claws, she can’t hear and until about last year, for over like two years, she couldn’t let us be near her. She was really feisty, but then after everyday’s love and caring, she now loves us. Like, just like this guy, he didn’t like us at all for many, many years. And all of a sudden he goes, “Humans are not that bad.” And look at that! He just can’t get enough. Huh, Wolfie?

We next asked about the notable differences between dogs and cats in terms of how they relate to their human companions.

Well, I would say many people have dogs and people know about dogs too. And they kind of think that, “Okay, cats would be the same.” They would obey whatever you told them to do, you make the rule and they would follow.

Cats are not like that, although they can be trained of course, they can be trained to use a litter box which is very important. They soon learn when would be the feeding time and if they need to get medication, most of the cats would adapt. They would get used to it and they would take medication. Or like IV fluid, we have to do sometimes every day for certain cats, they get used to it, so they’ll be like, “Okay, just go ahead and get done with it.”

But most cats, I would say, you get along with them, and you don’t force what you’re trying to do, so you have to be very patient. You kind of sit down on the floor and let them know that you are safe, and non-threatening, and you’re here to love them, and they would slowly come to you.

The Sanctuary cares for over 700 cats and they live together in groups with indoor and outdoor areas for them to play about in. There are even small holes made especially for the felines to stay inside if they want privacy.

There are like different bedrooms here, is that correct? (Yes.) So there are certain cats in each bedroom or they are allowed to roam between the rooms?

This building has different rooms. So this room and the next room, is the FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) room. And Wolfie was actually in this room before. And other rooms are general rooms. And unless we see a cat that needs to be moved, they usually stay here and they’ll always live here until they get a forever home.

It is perfectly safe for humans to be around cats with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and the Best Friends Animal Society says that in most cases it is fine for these cats to be in the company of non-infected cats. Blood transfusions and serious, deep bite wounds are how the disease is transmitted. Unfortunately misunderstandings about the nature of the condition sometimes lead FIV positive cats to be abandoned by their caregivers and it is more challenging to place these cats in new homes.

So, the feline version of HIV. Basically their immune system is compromised, but otherwise, they are very, very healthy.

Is it communicable?

It’s very difficult to transfer too. It has to be a really, really deep wound and still they may not get it. And so, if the cats are mellow, like Wolfie… Wolfie is FIV positive, but because he is good, so he can live with FIV negative cats no problem.

We try to keep the numbers down in this room particularly, so they get less stress, and less chance of getting sick.

So all of them are very adoptable, every human for every cat, every cat for every human, I guess. You can’t really tell who needs who. And sometimes you need the cat and you just know like, “Hey, you’re my cat.”

For benevolently looking after gentle homeless animals, Supreme Master Ching Hai is honouring the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary with the Shining World Compassion Award and a US$20,000 contribution for the resident animals’ medical care.

Our gracious thanks to all the dedicated staff, including Burke Beesley and Tammy Yamada, at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for the lovely tour and taking such good care of animals in need. May you continue giving much needed love and support to all the beautiful residents.

For more details on the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, please visit

Thank you for joining us today on Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment, following Noteworthy News here on Supreme Master Television. May you be blessed with everlasting joy in your life.
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