Pantops Pet Salon
Follow us on Facebook

Pantops Pet Salon & Spa
Charlottesville's Professional Dog Grooming

It's what we do -- it's all we do.

(434) 293-2424
Fax: (434) 293-8231
504 Pantops Center
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Volunteering at Dogtown

Sunday, December 27th, 2009 by Jenna

My friend Erika recently took a trip out to Kanab, Utah to hang out with the four-legged stars of National Geographic’s show, “Dogtown.” The show takes place in the canine section of Best Friends Animal Society, the largest no-kill sanctuary in the US. Their 25th anniversary was this year and with support from volunteers, they have become a 90 acre home to 1,700 dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds, and more. Each animal is evaluated on a case-by-case basis by twelve counselors who either decide to accept the animal or find other alternates to offer. Best Friends specializes in the unique care required to rehabilitate tough cases–animals otherwise considered to be “unadoptable” because they are too old, too ill, or too unsociable like the dogs they rescued from Michael Vick. Some of their animals find new homes in a few weeks while others need long-term, sometimes permanent care.

Erika took a tour around the different sections of the facility and saw several people from the TV show as she visited a variety of animals including pigs and horses! She said she saw volunteers feeding the pigs popcorn and that there were harnesses for taking them out on walks. She choose to volunteer with the dogs–you can spend as little or as much time as you’d like and even do doggie sleepovers. She choose to take Harley, an Australian Cattle Dog and he turned out to be quite the celebrity around Kanab. While she was walking him, a guy eating at a restaurant ran out to say hi and when she took Harley out to dinner with her, even the owner knew him. Harley was very well behaved though Erika mentioned that Best Friends has such a specific training program that they tell you not to do any training with the dogs because it might interfere with their process. She tried to take Harley for a jog too but he was real relaxed and didn’t seem to understand why this crazy lady kept trying to get him to run!

What a great vacation! She got the gorgeous backdrop of the canyons and helped brighten Harley’s day with affection and exercise.

Check out more about Dogtown on the Best Friends website. You can follow blogs and the progess of dogs seen on the TV show or join in some of the workshops they offer including a week-long intensive seminar on starting an animal sanctuary, Behavior and Handling classes, art and even Jin Shin Jyutsu for your dog.

Leave a Reply