KANAB, Utah Racer Michael Annett, who is legendary driver Richard Petty’s protégé in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to “learn from the best” as he pursuing his dream of opening an animal sanctuary.

In February 2013, Annett’s girlfriend, Heidi Spillane, and her mother visited Best Friends. Spillane ended up adoption a dog. So when she and Annett decided they needed more information on developing plans for an animal sanctuary, they knew where to come. The couple came to Best Friends for a compressed “How to Start an Animal Sanctuary” workshop. Their dream is to have a sanctuary somewhere in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.

“Coming to Best Friends is the best way for anybody who wants to learn about helping animals,” Annett said. “The workshop was so beneficial. Best Friends is very successful and they want other people to be successful too. The founders of Best Friends share their mistakes, as well as their successes, and they want to make sure every step we take is in the right direction.”

While at Best Friends, Annett and Spillane also toured the animal care areas. In Dogtown they hung out with Ebony the dog, who was so thrilled they were spending time with her that she jumped into her little pool and then did her own version of the Harlem Shake: exuberantly soaking them. In the Parrot Garden, they were tickled to see “cockatoo McGyvering” when the staff had to come up with impromptu cages to protect sprinkler heads because the ever industrious cockatoos had dismantled the misting system in their aviary.

“The most important thing people need to know, if they want to help homeless pets, is that the problem starts with people not the animals. It is our responsibility to spay and neuter them. We can build a million sanctuaries but if people are not spaying and neutering their pets there will never be enough homes.

“When we were in Dogtown and I learned about red collar dogs (dogs with special behavior issues). Best Friends never gives up on those dogs. And we can never give up on the dream that we can save them all.”

About Best Friends Animal Society®

Best Friends Animal Society, is a national animal welfare organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®. The society’s leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah headquarters, the country’s largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.

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