Best Friends at Dogtown

New book explores the dog population at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.

Posted: June 30, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

With approximately 2,000 animals housed within its 3,700-acre facility, Best Friends Animal Society in Angel Canyon, Utah, is the largest no-kill animal shelter in the country.

The majority of the nonprofit group’s residents are dogs, and they also are the subject of the first of four books about the society.

“Dogtown: A Sanctuary for Rescued Dogs,” by Bob Somerville, takes a look at the facility’s canine population, which includes the infamous Michael Vick dogs, as well as refugees from New Orleans and Beirut.

In addition to describing some of the charity’s more famous rescues, Somerville also spotlights some of the lesser-known residents, like three-legged Soldier, who was tied to a tree and abandoned, and Grover, who suffered from severe separation anxiety and constantly jumped fences.

Somerville also traces the nonprofit’s history back to its humble roots. Started by a group of friends in the 1970s, the organization first worked with local humane societies, then expanded to form its own sanctuary in Arizona, before finally purchasing in 1983 the canyon lot that would become its permanent home. Dogtown was born in 1987, and as its population grew, so too did its amenities.

“Dogtown” also looks at some of the people that help make the facility a loving refuge, like animal behavior expert Sherry Woodard, veterinarian Frank McMillan, and animal care adviser Jess Popowich.

“Dogtown: A Sanctuary for Rescued Dogs,” by Bob Somerville, is on sale now.


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Helen   Indianapolis, IN

9/23/2009 7:33:44 AM

If we only could treat humans like we treat our best animal friends, think what a wonderful world it would be. I love the show Dog Town.

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Toni   Shawnee On Del, PA

6/12/2009 4:17:08 PM

after seeing your show aired for the second time, I was wondering is you still have the border collie female named Corina. She is so cute. I have had three border collies in my life and I was wondering if she is up for adoption.

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Kerri   Puyallup, WA

11/7/2008 3:44:19 PM

I have been so moved by watching Dog Town. I am so thankful that there are places that take care of all these animals. I have rescued all my pets. Keep doing what you are doing. Someday I would like to come and visit dog town. You are all special people.

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Karl   Port Huron, MI

9/4/2008 8:37:01 PM

Have seen ads on TV lately. I would like to know more about your organization, and what I could do to

I am probably motivated by both the horror of
M. Vick scenario and by a recent
I had when my Pit-mix was imprisoned for 10 days in June/08 for being him. Wasn't running loose,didn't and wouldn't
a fly, 67 lbs. of love and goof. Please contact me and let me know what different options there are so I may


p.s. currently doing contract project in Colorado

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