The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary at Angel Canyon, at the heart
of the Golden Circle of National Parks in southern Utah, is home on any given
day to about 2,000 dogs, cats, and other animals, who come from shelters and
rescue groups around the country for special care they can only receive at Best
Most of the animals who find their way to Best Friends have special physical or
behavioral needs, and our expert staff of veterinarians, trainers and caregivers
offer them all the help they require.
The following story is about Lance, a dog we sponsor at Best Friends. Like other members of Best Friends, we do what we can, with whatever resources we have, to give back to the animals that give so much to us . . . love.
Visit Best Friends website by clicking on Lance's picture so you, too, can experience the wonderful work the volunteers give to these animals at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
Sometimes life can seem
pretty scary. Lance the dog would certainly agree. He used to be so fearful
he'd run and crash into the fence whenever somebody approached. That's a rough
way to live.
Lance had good reason
not to trust people, though. He's one of the 22 dogs who came to Best Friends
from the estate of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick after he was arrested
and charged with "conspiracy to engage in dog fighting in violation of the
Animal Welfare Act." Lance spent who-knows-how-long living with cruelty
and violence as part of his daily life. All at the hands of people who didn't
care about him beyond his abilities as a fighter. No wonder he didn't want to
be around people. They'd always let him down before.
When he first came to
the sanctuary, Lance was one of the most withdrawn of all the Vicktory dogs (as
we're now calling them). Crashing into the fence was only one way he tried to
hide. Lance would also pace around frantically in his play area, trying to run
away from the world. When caregivers took him on walks, he hunkered down and
tried to hurry through to the end so he could return to his living space.
The staff members
working with Lance know he needs time. They are willing to give him the room to
move at his own pace. But guess what? He's already rounded a couple of corners.
He's realizing that life can have some good in it, too.
For instance, he'll now
play with toys on occasion, which he wouldn't do when he first arrived. And on
some of the walks, he's started really taking an interest in the terrain around
him. Sniffing, looking, checking everything out - even picking up sticks in his
mouth now and again. That's a big step forward!
Lance still paces in his play area from time to
time, and he still doesn't know how to trust completely, new people in
particular. He has a long journey ahead, but it's not one he'll have to travel
alone. There is help and loving hands every step of the way. And someday, Lance
will come to realize that for himself. Please help him on his journey with your
friendship and support today.