The community’s “Best Friends”

A volunteer at the Best Friends Animal Society takes one of the center's animals on a walk. The center is located at 2005 S. 1100 East and welcomes volunteers from the Westminster community. Photos by Tonje Sekse

A volunteer at the Best Friends Animal Society takes one of the center's animals on a walk. The center is located at 2005 S. 1100 East and welcomes volunteers from the Westminster community. Photos by Tonje Sekse

Devon Clarke—Finance major from Ontario, Canada—visits Bubba at the animal shelter. Clarke and Bubba bond from separate sides of Bubba's home. 

Devon Clarke—Finance major from Ontario, Canada—visits Bubba at the animal shelter. Clarke and Bubba bond from separate sides of Bubba's home. 

Need a break from studying or are an animal lover in general? Students can visit the Best Friends Animal Society located 2005 S. 1100 East in Sugar House. Visitors can get involved, take a break and be surrounded by animals in need.

Best Friends Animal Society is a national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters.

Those who work at the center said they hope that students at Westminster will continue supporting animals and would love for them to get involved with their services

“Students are welcome to adopt or volunteer if they have the time to do so,” said Temma Martin, public relations specialist at Best Friends Animal Society. “Information about volunteering is available.”

Volunteers at the Best Friend's Animal Shelter can work in the 'kitten room'—a refuge for kittens and students alike.

Volunteers at the Best Friend's Animal Shelter can work in the 'kitten room'—a refuge for kittens and students alike.

Devon Clarke, finance major from Ontario, Canada said she saw the animal shelter when she walked around in Sugar House.

“I am a dog owner of two but, since I live in Canada, I don’t get to see them that often,” Clarke said. “I tend to visit the center to spend time around animals.”

Once a month, Clarke visits the animal shelter where she spends time reading information about the dogs.

“I wanted to volunteer, but I had to make a four-month commitment, and I am not able to commit to that,” Clarke said.

Being far from home makes it difficult for Clarke to see and spend time with her dogs.

A Best Friends' volunteer tends to a kitten that is available for adoption. Interested students can inquire about volunteering or adoption at the center.

A Best Friends' volunteer tends to a kitten that is available for adoption. Interested students can inquire about volunteering or adoption at the center.

“I miss home and my dogs, but having the center so close to campus makes it easy to visit and to relieve some stress from studying, as well,” Clarke said.

Mathilde Nordby Jensen, finance major from Vhaler, Norway, has visited the Best Friends Animal Society multiple times, too.

“I like to visit the center to relieve stress and block out noise,” Jensen said. “Visiting the Animal Society gives me realization of what matters in life.”

Sometimes, adopting a pet is a lengthy commitment that can last the entire lifetime of the pet.

Walking the dogs, cuddling the kittens and talking with visitors are all part of the volunteer experience at Best Friends Animal Society.

Walking the dogs, cuddling the kittens and talking with visitors are all part of the volunteer experience at Best Friends Animal Society.

”While it's great to have a furry college companion, the decision to adopt requires a lot of thought and planning, and should be taken very seriously,” said Temma Martin, public relations specialist at Best Friends Animal Society.

Students tend to have a sense about the responsibility that comes with adopting a dog during college.  

“Due to work and school, I don’t have time to commit,” said Mathilde Jensen, finance major.

Clarke, finance major, said she cares about animals and wishes she could volunteer to walk dogs when she is not able to adopt. However, because of the commitment, she can’t do either one.


“It makes me sad because they need a home,” Clarke said. “I feel sorry for the dogs. Visiting the center wants me to adopt, but my mom would be mad if I did. I am a student-athlete, which takes up most of my time and commitment that makes it difficult to have a dog during college.”