By Janet McAfee

There are more than a few tears being shed at Loving All Animals/Pet Rescue Center after Lynne Lockwood gave notice of her retirement which is effective October 1, 2019.  Lynne exemplifies the heart and soul of animal rescue, and Coachella Valley animals have benefitted from her talents for 10 wonderful years.  She filled various staff positions during the past 9 years, always showing endless compassion for the animals and a keen ability to inspire others to join the cause.

How did Lynne become involved in animal welfare at Loving All Animals?  Her previous careers were in airline sales and teaching school.  In 2009, Lynne’s deaf 9-yr-old PekaPoo dog, Baby, went missing from her Palm Desert home.  The dog could not hear people calling her, but fortunately was fitted with a collar and ID tag.  Her neighbor, Lindi Biggi, telephoned to say she found Baby, and the two women immediately clicked when Lynne retrieved her dog.  Lindi told Lynne about her exciting new nonprofit organization, Loving All Animals, and its plans to combat the problem of homeless pets.  An ardent animal lover, Lynne was surprised by the extent of this problem in the Coachella Valley, and immediately signed up to volunteer.

Loving All Animals grew, and soon Lynne was hired to answer the office phone calls.  Several years later, Lynne became my rescue partner, rescuing and adopting dogs for the organization. She participated in pet adoption events in our community, too numerous to count.  With her enthusiastic, gracious and welcoming personality, Lynne’s current position as Office Manager/Volunteer Manager is another perfect match for her talents.  Lynne reports, “We have such wonderful and compassionate volunteers.  They are so willing to do any task, whether it’s transporting animals to the vet or cleaning kennels.”

Lynne explains, “The people at Loving All Animals, throughout many changes over the years, are united by sharing the same goal which is helping the animals.  The core mission of Loving All Animals is to rescue these animals and get them into wonderful homes.  Loving All Animals was always my second family.  So it’s bittersweet that I’m leaving them to move to be near my own family.  My husband Chuck and I will join our daughter Katherine and son-in-law Cameron in the Las Vegas area.  My two rescue dogs, Corky and Buffy, will happily join their two pups.”

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Lynne contemplates the changes she has seen in animal welfare during the past 10 years, “Ten years ago, people used to brag about the pure breed dog they purchased for thousands of collars.  Today, folks brag about how their rescue dog transformed into the best dog ever.  There is a major shift in how community cats, previously called feral cats, are treated.  These cats used to be rounded up and euthanized at public shelters, but today they are trapped by volunteers to be spayed or neutered and then returned to live their lives in the community.”  

Playing the harp is Lynne’s other passion, and she will continue to work part time playing beautiful music.  We will continue the work at Loving All Animals/Pet Rescue Center, committed to carry on the loving spirit and kindness that Lynne bestowed to so many humans and animals.  Lynne shares her parting thoughts, “If you want to do something where you make a difference every day, Loving All Animals is the place to volunteer or foster.  Your reward is that wonderful feeling you get when you comfort a frightened dog or foster a tiny underage kitten.”

Lynne hopes others will join the “army” of animal advocates in the Coachella Valley.  Considering adopting, fostering, volunteering, or donating.  Contact Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000 or www.lovingallanimals.org.  

Good luck Lynne Lockwood and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  We love you, and you will always be a part of our family!

Janetmcafee8@gmail.com