By Janet McAfee

Calling all Coachella Valley dog lovers! Let’s work together to save this handsome 2-yr-old Siberian Husky boy now waiting at our crowded county shelter! On September 13, 2023, he was picked up as a stray dog in Coachella by a patrolling Riverside County animal control officer and transported to their Coachella Valley Animal Campus shelter in Thousand Palms. Unneutered male dogs with their keen sense of smell can detect a female dog in heat miles away and thus are prone to escaping from their homes and yards. It was a familiar but sad story. The animal had no collar, no ID tag, no microchip, he was not neutered, and no owner arrived to claim him. He is dog ID number A1760139.

The shelter staff named him Allen and he is the longest resident at our Riverside County shelter, the Coachella Valley Animal Campus (CVAC). He is now URGENT in this overcrowded facility as the flow of stray dogs continues. Beautiful Huskies and German Shepherds now populate the rows of kennels in this and many other public shelters.

Siberian Huskies are magnificent dogs with striking facial masks and piercing blue or multi-colored eyes, incredibly intelligent in addition to being beautiful. They are smart and easy to train. It is heartbreaking to learn how many don’t make it out alive from some public shelters. In 2023, these beautiful dogs enter our public shelters in greater numbers due in part to lack of veterinary services to spay and neuter them.


The athletic and independent Huskies can be a challenge for first time dog owners. Some Huskies are “Houdini’s,” escaping from fenced in yards. They should not be left alone in a back yard when their humans are away. Sometimes owners decide not to retrieve them at shelters after several escape episodes. They are strong active dogs requiring exercise and mental stimulation. People adopting them as cute puppies may not always want them when they grow up to be large dogs.

Shanna Roberts, founder and director of Luna Siberian Huskie Rescue, shed some light on why so many Huskies end up in shelters. Shanna cites the television program, Game of Thrones, as one reason for the increase. The program’s Dire wolves are awesome animals that are super-loyal, read the minds of their human companions, and fiercely protect loved ones. “Thronies” purchased Huskies on impulse from pet stores and breeders without understanding the special needs of this breed and the work and commitment they require. They are active high energy dogs and need a home with a yard where they can enjoy exercising.

Shana cites the proliferation of illegal back yard Coachella Valley breeding operations as contributors to the overpopulation of Huskies. Shanna states, “These back yard breeders provide very little care for the dogs, and they sometimes send out sick dogs to anyone who pays. There is often no vet care. Animal control does not have the resources to police these illegal operations. You can adopt a beautiful Huskie now at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus shelter.” There is no reason to go to a breeder and spend thousands of dollars when you can adopt a rescue dog of any age and of any breed.

CVAC has some innovative programs to help active dogs like Huskies who struggle with kennel confinement. Allen is a Super Star in their outdoor big dog play yard where he can run happily with other big dogs. You can foster Allen for several days by contacting their foster director at 951-743-1899. Check out their website at

Allen is clearly a staff favorite because he is so loving, engaging, and smart. They asked me to network this longest shelter resident. They posted a video of him playing happily in the big dog park. He has been kenneled with other dogs and got along great with all of them. We don’t have any information about his past, but he never met a human he doesn’t love.

Come to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus and visit with this happy boy. CVAC is located at 72-050 Pet Land Place in Thousand Palms, off the Bob Hope exit from the 10 freeway. They are open from 10am to 4pm Monday through Saturday. They are short staffed, but someone will be happy to bring him to one of their outside or indoor visiting rooms so you can get to experience his wonderful personality. CVAC has reduced adoption fees for long term shelter residents including Allen. Call 951-358-7387 for more information about Allen but please go visit and let this special pup convince you.

You can email me at if you adopt this magnificent boy and want complimentary assistance from an outstanding dog trainer. I can arrange for a complimentary agility class where you can have fun exercising with your new best friend Allen. Allen dreams of being Home for the Holidays and he will surely brighten yours!