By Janet McAfee
Lindi Biggi is a tireless, eloquent advocate for homeless animals in the Coachella Valley. The organization she founded in 2009, Loving All Animals, has become a major player in the world of animal welfare. The organization’s goal is to bring together local and national animal welfare groups to work together for the benefit of domestic animals, and turn the Coachella Valley into a “No Kill” community.
BG Gardens, the home Lindi shares with her husband Gino is a desert gem, created as a haven for animals and the humans who love them. The renovated property was inspired by the tropical rainforests of Peru and the savannahs of Africa. Thatched huts house over 50 exotic feathered creatures, many of them rescued birds that were abandoned or disabled. A focal point in the spacious back yard is the flamingo lagoon with two new baby birds. Lindi describes her love of these feathered creatures, “I love all animals, but especially the birds because they are funny, loyal, smart and easy to live with. I qualify as a bird-aholic with no hope for a cure!”
Lindi supports many charities in the Coachella Valley including some of her favorites, The Stroke Center, Angel View and the Josyln Center. She previously served on the board of directors of many organizations including Petsmart Charities and Animal Samaritans, and has been honored by many of these groups for her philanthropy and tireless dedication.
Lindi’s personality is bigger than life, effervescent and full of fun. With a quick wit and a sense of repartee, she is determined to bring this same positive spirit to the world of animal rescue. She is pictured here dressed as a scarecrow, getting ready for the Wizard of Oz themed Super Pet Adoption Festival that is now a signature event in the desert. Lindi is holding Cassidy, a lovely Spaniel mix with three legs she rescued from the old Indio shelter just before the dog was to be euthanized.
Stylish and social, Lindi emphasizes that homeless animals need to be shown as the beautiful creatures they really are. No venue is off limits when it comes to showcasing adoptable rescue animals. Lindi recently modeled at the Angel View fashion show, took two rescue dogs down the runway, and both were adopted by people in the audience.
Lindi recognized that shelter dogs do not show well when they are packed into dark kennels, dirty and matted. Loving All Animals’ dogs, rescued from kill shelters, are groomed and shown in a beautiful bonding booth where prospective adopters can get to know how fabulous they are. Loving All Animals received a donated limousine, and now this doggie decorated vehicle is a moving billboard advancing the cause of rescue and taking people on shelter tours to adopt animals.
When others say something can’t be done, Lindi has a vision and makes it happen. I first met Lindi when we both served on the East Valley Task Force, created to address the abundance of stray dogs in our East valley. When the topic of a free spay and neuter clinic came up, other members of the task force proclaimed, “You will never get a vet around here to donate their time for free.” Lindi proved them wrong, and in 2009 organized a free spay and neuter clinic inside the church at the Duroville migrant trailer park with seven local veterinarians donating their time. When others see a problem, Lindi sees an opportunity and comes up with creative solutions.
What motivates her love for animals? Lindi explains, “I am genetically programmed to dedicate my life to animals. It’s all my mother’s fault. I was raised on various farms, spending several years on a 2,300 acre farm property in Oregon….Not far from where we lived was a slaughterhouse, and not far from that was a livestock auction house where live auctions were held. Often the animals were too old, too sick, or too injured to be able to respond to the prodding methods used to force them into the ring, and were sent to the slaughterhouse. Well, my mom had a better idea, she agreed to take them, regardless of their condition or whether it was a chicken, a duck, a goat, a calf, a horse, and once we even got a bison who became the pack leader. Week after week, the trucks were loaded up with sick animals and brought down our dirt road. That was the start of what was called Flemings Funny Farm as Fleming was my mother’s maiden name. My passion for animals is in my genes, and today I am living my passion surrounded by like-minded people.”
Lindi is quick to give credit back to the many volunteers and the board members that support her organization. But this week we honor the woman whose genius, creativity, contagious enthusiasm, and caring has created one of the most innovative animal welfare groups in the country.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW FOR THE SUPER PET ADOPTION FESTIVAL ON NOVEMBER 23 & 24. Loving All Animals is hosting their 5th annual Super Pet Adoption Festival at Whitewater Park in Rancho Mirage, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Over 500 animals will be the stars of the day, hoping for a home. This Wizard of Oz themed event is aptly called “There’s No Place Like a Home”. A highlight will be the blessing of the animals ceremony at 12:45 pm on Sunday.
To learn more about Loving All Animals, go to www.lovingallanimals.org or call them at (760) 834-7000.