By Janet McAfee

Are you looking for a 2nd or 3rd dog?  I might be the right fellow for you!  My name is Dutton and I hope to meet you at the Humane Society of the Desert in North Palm Springs. I’m 43 pounds of doggie love, just 3 years old.

Jon is in charge at the HSOD and he said I am doing great and would make a great companion dog for a family.  I love the volunteers Cali, Chris, Alexandra and others who take me for daily walks.  My favorite place is the dog park where I get to be off leash and happily play with other dogs.

I once had a family I loved very much.  One of my favorite hobbies is going for car rides, and I was thrilled one day when my people put me in the car.  It was a beautiful warm day at the end of July 2022.  The car stopped at the edge of a Coachella Valley desert, and I popped out for a potty break.  Suddenly my humans got back into the car and drove away.  They must have forgotten I was still outside!  I ran after their car until I could no longer keep up with their speed.  I was exhausted and frantic.


Returning to the area where they left me, I stayed figuring they would soon return.  The days passed, I became hungry and thirsty, but the worst pain was my broken heart.  There were some homes nearby in Cathedral City next to the open desert.  A sign said VERANO.  There was a chain link fence around the homes, but it was open on the south side and there was a broken section on the west side where I could slip through.

I cautiously approached some people outside their house, but they seemed afraid and went indoors. The next person brought bowls of food and water which I gratefully inhaled.  The summer weather was hot and during the day I searched for the few places with shade.  There were more kind people in the neighborhood who put out bowls of food and water in the same locations daily.  I had a variety of different dog food.  At night I dreamed of happily being back in my house watching television with my humans.

I met Scott Nelson who brought his three friendly dogs to run off leash in my desert area.  It was great fun to run and play with them, and they came daily around 7:00 am.  At first I was cautious with Scott as stray dogs develop a sense of flight after awhile particularly if someone rushes at or chases us.  Scott was a special man who loves and understands dogs. As time passed, I approached Scott who stood nearby waiting and talking to me.  He brought me treats.  He petted me under my chin and quickly slipped a collar around my neck.  Scott gave me a belly rub, one of my favorite things. Scott’s mother Patty Nelson was part of the pack.  I am pictured here happily running to Loki.

One day I peered through the fence gap and saw Janet walking her small dogs and they looked back at me.  Soon Janet climbed through the gap with another bowl of food and water, but I waited until she backed away to eat and drink.  It was now Fall, and thankfully cooler for me to run around from one end of the nearby desert to the other.  I explored a nearby residential neighborhood, approaching homes where I could hear another dog.  One day I ran up to Janet to greet the little pups trying to follow them into their house.

I was well fed, full of young dog energy and enjoyed running and meeting new people with dogs.  One day I heard Janet and Scott talking.  They said some of the neighbors were networking me, and some people called “animal control” to get me.  They were worried because they said the county shelter was very crowded and maybe no one would adopt me.  If I could talk I would tell them animal control would have to be very smart to catch me because I run fast and travel to many locations.

On November 21, Scott attached a leash to my collar for me to walk with him .  I felt like part of Scott’s pack and we dogs happily trotted back to his house.  Hanging out at Scott and Patty’s house was one of my happiest memories.  I received lots of petting, treats, and more belly rubs.  They told me I was a good boy because there were no accidents inside the house.

On November 22, I joined Scott, Janet, and Scott’s dog Loki on a car ride.  This photo was taken on the trip.  They were worried I might get sick or be attacked by coyotes if I stayed in the desert. We drove to the Humane Society of the Desert where Jon, the man in charge, met us at the gate.  Jon is calm, kind, and loves helping dogs, so it was understood I was safe, and they would get me a new home.  I had a very large outdoor kennel where there were other big dogs nearby.

It is now April, and I’m ready for Spring hikes and outings with a new family.  I have the grateful heart of a rescue dog, and plenty of love for people and pups of all sizes.  This is the time to add a rescue dog to your family, especially is you are feeling lonely.  If you are a couple, I will bring you closer together with more happiness.  I’m a great medium size for car trips and outings.  If you want to meet me, complete an adoption application online at and call (760) 329-0203 for an appointment to meet me.  Please be patient if I am a bit shy when you first arrive.

I am thankful to The Humane Society of the Desert, a lovely large facility with adoptable rescue dogs of all sizes and cats.  They are located at 17825 N. Indian Canyon, N. Palm Springs.  Donations are greatly needed so they can help more homeless animals like me with veterinary care, food and supplies. You can donate online at or mail a check to P.O. Box 414, N. Palm Springs, CA 92258-0414.  The HSOD needs unopened bags and cans of Nutri Source dog food.  Bags and cans of cat food, cat litter, collars, and clean large dogs beds are most welcome.  Mention my name when you bring donations by or donate online.

Scott said, “Dutton is such a good and gentle dog.  He will make a great companion and loyal friend for someone who treats him well and takes the time to earn his trust!”.   You could be the lucky person who gets to take me home forever!