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UCLA Animal Lovers Welcomed at the Best Friends Animal Society

by Connie K. Ho | October 17th, 2011

With phrases like “Never leave any animal alone” and “all animals deserve a home,” the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah is a place where all animals can find a home and where volunteers of all backgrounds are welcomed. During spring break, Emily Ho was able to participate in a volunteer trip to the Society’s Animal Sanctuary with a group of students from the University of California, Los Angeles. Ho never realized she would learn so much about animals through volunteering.

Ho wanted to be involved in her university’s community and decided that volunteering was a great way to do so. She made a 10 hour trek to the Animal Sanctuary, which she described as an “Animal Disneyland.” The group of students was able to decorate the bird room, clean up horse defecation, and feed the pigs with dry fruit. Her interactions with the animals helped her become more sympathetic.

“You start to realize that animals themselves have their own feelings. Some people cut themselves because they’re depressed. There are some birds that will pluck their own feathers because they are so stressed out as well as emotionally and mentally unstable because of what they’ve dealt with,” said Ho. “They’ve had to reproduce birds and birds and birds, and that’s just animal cruelty.”

Besides giving people the opportunity to help out at the Animal Sanctuary, the Best Friends Animal Society promotes love for all animals. One of the initiatives that stood out to Ho was the Animal Sanctuary’s work to adopt more pitbulls because people normally don’t find them attractive.

“What they do is really interesting because it’s kind of a different stance. They’re not in your face about it. They’ll tell you the information and you can accept it and listen to it or not,” replied Ho. “Regarding these serious issues, they’re still very optimistic and it’s such a warm and encouraging environment.  You feel encouraged to help this organization and to help their message.”

Following her experience from volunteering in high school and college, Ho believes that service learning is important. She hopes to participate in more community service in the New Year.

“It opens your eyes and it’s a great way to hear different people’s stories.”

Photos via Emily Ho

Emily Ho is a Communication Studies student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  She is currently a staff member of Campus Events Commission and Design Marketing Director for the Undergraduate Communication Association.  On her free time, Emily likes to dance, cook, and travel.



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