By Janet McAfee

Calling all Coachella Valley Animal Lovers! This Saturday, August 16, animal lovers around the world hold events to commemorate International Homeless Animals Day. Advancing the Interests of Animals will host our Coachella Valley event at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage at 5:00 pm that day. There is no charge to attend.

Event organizers Lori Kirshner and Peter Spiegel hope that each of us will be inspired to think about what we can do in the upcoming year to help end the senseless killing of dogs and cats in public shelters. You are encouraged to bring a friend or relative who may not be aware of the pet overpopulation problem. You will meet other local animal advocates and learn about the organizations helping our Coachella Valley homeless pets.

International Homeless Animals Day events take place all over the world on the third Saturday in August. From Florida to California, from Switzerland to Mexico, citizens come together to help animals in their communities. Events include candle light vigils, adopt-a-thons, speeches, poetry readings, and workshops.


Our event in Rancho Mirage features two inspiring speakers. Los Angeles city councilman Paul Koretz led the battle to ban the retail sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in his city. Animal rights attorney and former LA city attorney, Bob Ferber (pictured here) implemented the city’s animal protection unit to combat animal abuse.

Our public animal shelters, which have an open admission policy, are overwhelmed with the number of stray and relinquished animals. Every day in America over 9,000 dogs and cats are killed in shelters. It costs the taxpayers an average of $426 for animal control to capture, house and euthanize one animal. It’s heartbreaking for the animals, and costly to taxpayers.

Puppies and kittens under the age of 8 weeks are routinely euthanized, unless a foster home can be located to care for them. Municipal shelters do not have the staff to provide the round-the-clock bottle feeding these young animals require. State law requires all adopted shelter animals be sterilized if adopted, and these tiny ones may be too small to undergo this surgery.

What can you do to help? Attend the event this Saturday. Volunteer at one of the local animal shelters or rescues. Adopt an animal from a shelter….they are the most grateful, loving creatures! Not quite ready to adopt? Fostering may be the right option. Don’t have much time? SHARE photos of adoptable shelter animals on Facebook. Make a donation to a local animal welfare organization.

Educate your friends and relatives about the necessity to spay and neuter their pets. Many people naively believe it’s okay for their cat to have a couple litters of adorable kittens, unaware that 90% of the cats and kittens entering public shelters are euthanized. The litter of kittens your neighbor’s cat produced results in fewer wonderful shelter cats getting adopted.

Visit our large county shelter and meet some of their adoptable animals. The Coachella Valley Animal Campus is located at 72-050 Pet Land Place, Thousand Palms. Call them at (760) 343-3644. They are offering summer adoption specials of $40 for dogs and $15 for cats when you donate a large towel. Their website is

WHAT: International Homeless Animals Day
WHEN: Saturday, August 16, 5:00 pm
WHERE: Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort, 41-000 Bob Hope, Rancho Mirage
HOSTED BY: Advancing the Interests of Animals,
COST: FREE, cash bar available
CONTACT: email for information and to RSVP