Best Friends, Utah’s popular pet sanctuary, to open a hotel


Utah’s most popular pet sanctuary is about to get even more pet-centric. Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, which hosts about 30,000 visitors annually, will open a hotel nearby in late summer.

Five miles south of the animal sanctuary, a leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile will have 30 rooms and 10 suites specifically designed to make four-legged guests just as comfortable as their two-legged companions.

With luck and many volunteers, L.A. city shelters on track to reach no-kill status »


Amenities with animals in mind include:

►two-door entries, designed to prevent animals from slipping out of rooms;

►sleeping nooks for pets complete with mattresses;

►a fenced-in park with its own water feature;

►pet washing stations;

►pet sitting and pet walking services (by prior arrangement); and

►fabrics and materials used in rooms designed to withstand regular use by animals.

Guests’ pets aren’t the only critters welcome at the Roadhouse. You may bring animals that you are considering adopting from the animal sanctuary (which go beyond the usual cats and dogs). Overnight stays can help people determine whether they truly bond with a rescued animal, the shelter said.

Room prices will range from $159 to $299, with a vegan continental breakfast included. You’ll also find vegan grab-and-go food at the Mercantile next door, as well as drinks, including beer and wine, and Best Friends-branded merchandise.

Best Friends offers free tours that are so popular you must book in advance to make sure you get a spot. It gets high marks on Tripadvisor for its scenic canyon setting where you can hike and visit with the animals. (Best Friends also partners with Southern California agencies to take in animals and keep them at a no-kill shelter in Mission Hills.)

Proceeds from the hotel and store will help fund the animal sanctuary’s campaign to end the killing of dogs and cats in U.S. shelters by 2025. Since it launched in 1984, Best Friends has advocated for a halt to the euthanasia of stray animals. During the past 35 years, the number of animals killed in shelters has dropped from an estimated 17 million annually to 800,000, according to the shelter.