By Janet McAfee

Many hearts broke when a precious little dog named Amy was killed last year in her own backyard by coyotes.  This tragedy occurred at 11:00 a.m. in the morning, in a home where precautions were already in place to protect beloved pets from predators.

Amy already had an amazing story of tragedy to triumph.  A mix of Mini Blue Merle Australian Shepherd and Chinese Crested Powder Puff, Amy was rescued by Loving All Animals from the San Bernardino County Shelter at Devore in 2015.  She was one of over 100 beautiful dogs left without food or water in an abandoned Lucerne Valley puppy mill.  Responding to an anonymous tip, animal control officers discovered the run-down property at the end of a dirt road.  The dogs were crammed into cages, forced to live in their own waste and with the dead bodies of their companions.  Older purebreds were weak and malnourished from overbreeding, many were sick, and some were blind.

Folks respond to help animals when there is a crisis, and the plight of these dogs made national news.  Loving All Animals joined the crowded pack of rescue groups and individual adopters vying for these beautiful but very frightened dogs.  The organization “won” seven of the animals in a lottery drawing.  They brought the dogs back to the Coachella Valley for socializing, vetting, training, and eventual adoption.

DeAnn Lubell tells the story of how she met, adopted, and fell in love with Amy.  “On March 4, 2015, Lindi Biggi invited a few friends to play golf……On the way back she invited us to join her at her home for refreshments.  She warned us she was acting as a ‘way-station’ for recently acquired puppy mill rescues, and that we would be around about seven skittish little dogs.  The last thing I needed or wanted was to foster or adopt a new pet.  Most certainly, not an untrained and frightened puppy mill dog. …….However, while sitting at the patio table that fateful day in Lindi’s back yard, the funniest looking four-legged fur-ball, about nine to twelve months old, came running by….She had ears the size of a rabbit’s, a funny pink and black nose, and a teddy bear face.  It was love at first sight and I had to have her.  I agreed to foster to adopt.  At first, she wouldn’t let anyone near her.  She showed all the signs of being a mistreated puppy mill off-spring as she was terrified of people, strange environments, and noises.  She was wild and timid.”

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DeAnn took the little dog home, agreeing to attend five to six weeks of special training classes at Lindi’s for the other LAA puppy mill rescues with their foster parents.  Amazing dog trainer Sandy Miller conducted the classes designed to help dogs never before touched by a loving human hand, let alone walked on a leash.

Amy’s journey continues, “It is 2016, and Amy is a well-loved, happy little girl.  She adores her canine brothers and sister.  She tolerates the cat.  She is a natural born guard dog, who likes to hang out at the front glass door sounding the alarm of arrivals.  She is intentionally funny, over the top smart, sweet, loving, and alert…..This one time starving and abused puppy mill puppy – who didn’t have a clue how to love, play, respond, or interact – learned how to merrily run the household.  I firmly believe it was Amy who rescued me instead of the other way around.  She had a magical, intuitive way of bringing a smile to a sad face and laughter to dry tears by her perfectly timed comical antics……..She was my heart and I loved her beyond words.”

Today DeAnn Lubell is on a mission, “I was blessed to have had Amy in my life for almost five years until three coyotes killed her in the blink of an eye on December 22, 2019.  I am trying to turn this tragedy into something positive by creating an education coyote/predator awareness program called Amy’s Purpose…..Amy’s Purpose mission cannot be postponed any longer.  Friends and strangers are losing pets to coyotes weekly.  I have the ideas and information, but not the web technology, nor money right now.  Any suggestions or help would be most appreciated during this “down” time (from the pandemic).”

Coyotes can attack dogs being walked on leashes, coyotes can attack big dogs, and coyotes can jump over high walls.  They have been known to attack small dogs held in their owner’s arms.  Alone or in packs, they may enter suburban and even urban areas.  A recent episode of the Dr. Oz television show concerning the increase in suburban wild animal attacks told of a coyote’s attempt to abduct a small child by his sweatshirt.  The child’s father had to fight for his own life to protect his son in the ensuing struggle with the coyote.

DeAnn wants us to understand that coyotes are doing what they need to do to survive.  “My goal with this program is AWARENESS.  To have a website and Facebook site to let people know of sightings, killings, how to safeguard, grief counseling, and a place to share personal stories and advice.  Also, a friend offered a lovely community room to hold periodic gatherings and to feature coyote experts to give talks.  I can’t do this alone and time is ticking.  Tomorrow it might be your pet.  This is not to make people AFRAID – it is to make people AWARE.  We do not want to harm the coyotes – they are only doing what comes naturally.  They don’t know they are killing your precious fur baby.  If you have time, means or suggestions, please notify me via PM on Facebook or my email address at lulubell24@aol.com.  Thank you so much.  Too many of us pet parents, these little beating hearts are our children even though they have fur, they mean the world to us.”

Amy’s purpose is to save other pets from the danger of predators, including birds of prey.  Amy’s purpose is to make us all more vigilant when taking our dogs and cats outdoors.  Amy’s purpose is to educate everyone about the many precautions they can take to protect their animals.  One such deterrent are “coyote vests” with Velcro-attached spikes and spokes to be worn when your pet is outside, available locally at California Paws Rescue.

Amy’s legacy will save other dogs and cats.  Be vigilant, become educated, and join Amy’s Purpose.  Precious Amy lives on in the hearts of the many people who knew and loved her.

Janetmcafee8@gmail.com

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Below is a partial list of shelters and rescues in the Inland Empire with animals for adoption. Most of these shelters remain closed for walk-ins; Call for an appointment. You can view most of their animals online in advance of calling.

COACHELLA VALLEY ANIMAL CAMPUS – This county shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. You can view the animals at all 4 Riverside county shelters at www.rcdas.org, and get the ID number of the animal you want to meet. Email them with the animal’s ID number at shelterinfo@rivco.org and call (760) 343-3644. Located at 72050 Pet Land Place, Thousand Palms. (Public)

PALM SPRINGS ANIMAL SHELTER – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. They schedule appointments Wednesday through Monday, closed on Tuesday. View their animals online at www.psanimalsshelter.org, 4575 E. Mesquite Ave, Palm Springs, (760) 416-5718. (Public)

ANIMAL SAMARITANS – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. View their animals at www.animalsamaritans.org. Email acorrow@animalsamaritans.org to foster. Located at 72307 Ramon Rd, Thousand Palms, (760) 601-3918. (Private)

CALIFORNIA PAWS RESCUE – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Located at 73650 Dinah Shore, Palm Desert. View their animals at www.californiapawsrescue.com, (760) 656-8833. (Private)

HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE COACHELLA VALLEY – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt a dog or cat. View their animals at www.orphanpet.com. Located at 17825 N. Indian Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 329-0203. (Private)

KITTYLAND – The shelter is closed so call for an appointment to adopt a cat. Located at 67600 18th Avenue, Desert Hot Springs, www.kittylandrescue.org, (760) 251-2700. (Private)

FOREVER MEOW – Foster based rescue for cats located in Rancho Mirage. Contact them at www.ForeverMeow.org, call (760) 335-6767. (Private)

PRETTY GOOD CAT – Foster based rescue for cats located in La Quinta. Contact them at www.prettygoodcat.com,call (760) 660-3414 (Private)

LOVING ALL ANIMALS – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Located at 83496 Avenue 51, Coachella, www.lovingallanimals.org, (760) 834-7000. (Private)

MORONGO BASIN HUMANE SOCIETY – Located at 4646 Sun View Rd, Joshua Tree, www.mbhumanesociety.com, call between 11am-4pm for updates (760) 366-3786 (Private)

CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO ANIMAL SHELTER – Shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Hours for adoption 10am – 4pm Tuesday thru Sat. Google “City of San Bernardino Animal Shelter” for website to view animals and get the ID number of the animal you want to meet. Located at 333 Chandler Place, San Bernardino, (909) 384-1304 or (909) 384-7272. (Public)

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER AT DEVORE – Shelter closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Call (909) 386-9280 daily between 9am & 5pm. View animals at www.sbcounty.gov/acc and get the ID number of animal you want to meet. Located at 19777 Shelter Way, San Bernardino (Public).

DREAM TEAM ANGELS RESCUE – Foster based rescue located in Grand Terrace/San Bernardino area. Contact them through website www.DreamTeamangelsrescue.com, (360) 688-8884. (Private)