By Janet McAfee
Calling Coachella Valley pet seekers! Loving All Animals now takes humans to local shelters and rescues to find their perfect canine or feline best friend. These shelter tours are popular with pet seekers who don’t know where the public and private shelters are located and would like to have an enjoyable experience in selecting a rescue animal. Karen, a passenger on a recent tour reports, “I live here part time and didn’t know where the shelters are located. This was a fabulous experience. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable. We met dozens of dogs and had so much fun!” These limousine shelter tours may be the only program of its kind in the country.
Loving All Animals, a Palm Desert animal welfare organization, received a donated limousine several years ago. It served as a moving billboard encouraging the adoption of shelter animals with the message “FROM A HOME IN A SHELTER TO THE SHELTER OF YOUR HOME”. While the stretch limousine was recently retired, the shelter tours continue thanks to Christian Soto, owner of Desert Limo Inc., who graciously offers the use of one of his fabulous SUV limousines.
Evanne Levin is the best spokesperson for the limousine shelter tours. She adopted her precious little dog, Bodhi, from the Coachella Valley Animal Campus during last season’s final shelter tour in May. Ev reports, “I can’t say enough for Loving All Animals and their limousine tours. Had this not been available to us, we would not be the thrilled owners of our rescue dog Bodhi. The tour of the BG Bird Gardens was incredibly interesting and informative, the perfect way to begin our day. At $20 for the tour, lunch, comradery, and the chance to meet so many adoptable animals, it was a bargain.”
Each tour includes a visit to several shelters as time permits. The first stop is the lovely Pet Rescue Center in Coachella where the homelike setting, beautiful grounds, and agility course defy the stereotype of a gloomy animal shelter. The dogs run free in the lovely, home like backyard where visitors can meet them. Next stop is our large Riverside County shelter in Thousand Palms, the Coachella Valley Animal Campus. This modern structure with roomy indoor/outdoor kennels has the largest number of adoptable animals in our Valley. Next door is Animal Samaritans’ state-of-the-art veterinary clinic, and around the corner on Ramon Road there is an opportunity to meet their shelter animals.
If potential adopters are interested in large dogs, the Humane Society of the Desert in North Palm Springs is a good resource. Next stop is the gorgeous new Palm Springs Animal shelter with its inviting artwork, pet boutique, modern surgical suite, and of course more animals!
Loving All Animals recently added something new to the tours. Guests are treated to a tour of the BG Bird Gardens, a bit of paradise in Palm Desert housing 75 exotic birds in the backyard of the African style mansion. Thatched huts, surrounded by cascading water features and tropical landscape, house some of the gorgeous feathered residents. A focal point is the lovely flamingo lagoon. A visit to this desert gem is an exciting addition to your day with the animals.
Our next limousine tour is scheduled for February 22. A nominal donation of $20 includes refreshments and lunch. Join the fun and meet your “purrfect” match. Contact Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000 or www.lovingallanimals.org to make your reservation.