Student Chapter of the National Associatioin of Veterinary Technicians in America (SCNAVTA) organized a trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT.
Broadview University-Orem students drove down together and shared hotels rooms for a three day volunteer experience. They were assigned to different areas each day. On the first morning they worked in Dogtown. Students helped shovel huge amounts of red sand out of some of the kennel areas to make it easier for the dogs and handlers. Weeds and debris were also cleaned up around the dog runs to make it safer from both fire and rattlesnakes! Time was also spent socializing some of the dogs, including spending time with some of the Michael Vick pit bulls and simply sitting with dogs that are very shy and scared of humans.
The afternoon was spent with the pigs in Piggy Paradise where the students learned a great deal about proper pig husbandry. That night students were able to have a doggie sleepover. Three dogs from the sanctuary were taken to the students hotels to spend the night. The dogs rarely get a chance to be in a different environment and have one-on-one time for longer than a few minutes. The dogs were happy to be in a new place and seemed to really enjoy themselves.
The next morning was spent working with special needs cats. These cats have certain diseases: incontinence issues, neurological problems, deformities, blindness, etc. The students had an amazing experience helping with the treatments and care of these special cats. They finished by going to the rabbit house, where student Elita Flores saved six guinea pigs. She adopted two of them which opened up spots for four guinea pigs from California who were due to be euthanized.
To learn more about The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary/Dogtown,
visit their website. Also, several years ago, the National Geographic Channel produced a series called Dogtown featuring this 33,000 acre animal facility. A book was also written, called DogTown: Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Redemption, by Stefan Bechtel (available at the Orem Campus Library: 636.0832 BEC). Check them out from your campus or local library.