Mary and I were invited to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah to take photos of some of their adoptable animals.

The Sanctuary is home to nearly 1,600 pets, most of which are adoptable. Some pets will spend the rest of their life at the Sanctuary. All of the pets we photographed are available for adoption.

We spent the first day volunteering in Dogtown and Cat World getting to know some of the pets we were going to photograph. In addition to the photos of dogs below, we also set up our studio and took photos of special needs cats too.

You can also see a behind the scenes video of our shoot with Yvonne.


“Yvonne is a gentle cuddle bug who loves a good belly rub. She is sweet and affectionate and enjoys lap and cuddle time. At the Sanctuary, she is working on crate training and she gets along great with pretty much any dog. Though she’s not particularly playful, she doesn’t mind if other dogs are. Yvonne was born in 2013 and came to Best Friends from a shelter in Texas. Although she enjoys being outdoors and is great on a leash, she has an old injury to one of her back legs, so she can’t do any strenuous activity. She is currently on prescription medication for pain and is being evaluated by Best Friends vets. She may be getting surgery to repair the injury, which will require some rest and recovery time. Yvonne has shown aggression toward cats in the past, so she cannot live with them.”

Mr. Buddy

“Calm and easy going, Mr. Buddy is always happy to see people he knows, and he’ll greet you with his giant tail wagging in big circles. He seems to bond with people very quickly and then he wants to spend time with them, even if that means just lying around next to someone in a comfy spot. At the Sanctuary, Mr. Buddy seems confident in most situations. He jumps into cars without hesitation and rides very well. Mr. Buddy was born in 2012 and showed some guarding behaviors in a previous home. Because of this, Mr. Buddy would likely do best in an adult-only home. He’s currently living as a single dog at Dogtown, and this is what seems to make him happiest. Mr. Buddy is currently working on greeting a a variety of new people. He currently is available for outings and sleepovers!”

Lady Gaga

“Lady Gaga is incredibly sweet. She loves meeting new people and giving kisses. She is always so happy to see Dogtown caregivers, volunteers and even large tour groups. She loves to snooze on people’s laps whenever she gets the chance. She has been great meeting other dogs, and she lives with a dog who is challenging to pair with others. She has also lived with small dogs successfully in the past. When other dogs are barking, Lady Gaga is quiet. She enjoys going for car rides and walks, but, if the ground is muddy, she would prefer to be carried. Born in 2014, Lady Gaga is diabetic and gets insulin twice a day. While she does not care for the shots, she is tolerant and cooperative when getting them. At Dogtown, Lady Gaga is working on basic training cues and loose leash walking. If you’re looking for a sweet little lapdog, she may be the perfect one for you.”

Judy Garland

“Judy Garland just might greet you by rolling onto her back to ask for some gentle belly rubs. She is a lovely, mature little lady (born in 2012) with a sweet, joyful, and fun personality. Since she came to Best Friends from a shelter in Arizona, she’s enjoyed spending time with Dogtown caregivers and volunteers. Judy gets along well with her doggie roommates both young and old, male and female, and she can often be found playing or cuddling with them. When she’s not playing, she likes to relax outside in the shade. One of her favorite pastimes is going for walks around the Sanctuary, and she has excellent leash manners. Judy also does well on car rides and in her crate. She has a sweet and gentle personality and would do well in a quiet home. She’d be equally happy playing with her toys, going for walks or simply cuddling with you on the couch. One of Judy Garland’s best assets is her wonderful smile. It’s sure to light up a room or your whole house.”


“Kiki is a friendly, engaging little lady. She loves her toys and has energy to burn. One of her favorite things is playing fetch with people. She walks nicely on leash and sits politely when asked. Kiki loves her walks and does well on car rides.

Born in 2014, Kiki came to the Sanctuary from a Best Friends Network Partner in Arizona. She has an old injury that’s left her with some incontinence problems, so she takes prescription medication to help keep her healthy. Routine and structure help Kiki have fewer accidents, and she’s not too hard to clean up after. Kiki can be bossy with other dogs at the Sanctuary and protective of her beloved toys. She prefers that other dogs leave her alone while she plays. At the Sanctuary, she is working on crate training. She’ll do best in an active home where she will have an outlet for her abundant energy.”


“Iggy may be hard of hearing, but he’s easy to love. As a deaf dog, he’s already learned many hand signals, including the cues for “sit,” “wait,” “stay,” “free,” “shake,” and “drop it.” Iggy is very smart and food motivated, and he loves to learn. He’s crate trained and is currently learning more hand signals in Dogtown. Iggy’s favorite things are people, toys and playing fetch. Born in 2013, Iggy spent the first year of his life in a shelter in California. He cannot live with small dogs or cats, as he has shown aggression toward them in the past, and he is picky with dogs his own size or larger. Iggy has enough energy to make a great hiking buddy and enough love to last a lifetime.”


“Burton may have been born in 2010, but he sure doesn’t act like a senior. He’s used to living with a big family, as he originally lived in a home with multiple people and both big and small dogs. This calm boy is friendly with people and loves to snuggle with Dogtown volunteers. Burton loves to be outside and is well-behaved on walks. In yards, however, he tends to become an escape artist. If he gets out, he has a high prey drive and will chase barnyard animals like goats. For that reason, he’ll need to go to a home with a person or family who can monitor him closely in a secure fenced yard. If that’s not possible, he’d be happy going for leashed walks instead. Mellow and good natured, Burton is just a nice dog to be around.”