By Janet McAfee

Calling all Coachella Valley animal lovers! Mark your calendars now for this weekend, November 15 and 16, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, when the most spectacular mega animal adoption event takes place at the Rancho Mirage Community Park. Last week’s Pet Place column described how you will travel down the yellow brick road at this Wizard of Oz themed festival to meet over 500 charming adoptable rescue dogs, cats, birds and horses. Loving All Animals’ 6th annual adoption event, “There’s No Place Like A Home”, promises to be the best yet.

All “petless” humans are encouraged to attend. Chances are good you will find a fabulous new best “fur friend”. This is a great place to adopt a second dog, as you can bring your Benxi along to ensure a “mutt match” as well as choosing the best dog to match your own lifestyle. Never have so many Coachella Valley animal experts gathered in one place, so you will have lots of advice and assistance in making this important decision.

If you already have a full house of animals, you still should plan on a trip to the magical land of Oz this weekend. The lineup of musical performances, animal acts, educational forums, and therapy dogs, will entertain you and warm your heart.

The adoption festival opens Saturday morning at 10:00 am with a patriotic moment as Boy Scout Troop 262 raises the colors accompanied by local entertainer, Lola Rossi, singing the National Anthem. Then Reverend Joe Hooper from the Center for Spiritual Living conducts a ceremony, a Blessing of the Animals, for all pet parents who want to celebrate the loving bond they have with their pets.

Lisa’s Morgan’s column in this magazine provides more information about the great musical acts and bands heading to the Emerald City weekend. The amazing lineups are nominees and winners from Coachella Valley Weekly’s 2014 Music Awards. Come listen to the bluesy down-home sound of The Hive Minds, the 80’s favorite Long Duk Dong, and the Valley’s favorite jazz performer John Stanley King. Wrap it up on Sunday with Mark Gregg, the Mighty Delta Tones, and our local country favorite, R Buckle Road.

Educational presentations will entertain and motivate your children. Mark Ciarlante, dressed up as his alter ego Tigerman, has a dynamic presentation to help prevent bullying, drawing upon his own childhood experiences. Dr. Lori Friesen presents her wonderful program demonstrating “How Your Dog Can Help Your Child Read, Lead & Succeed” which is being implemented in the Palm Springs Unified School District. Meet the winners in the Dorothy and Toto contest.

Pet services abound. The No Kill Coachella Valley Coalition (NKCV) will have an area that provides microchipping, low cost vaccines, and information about how you can become an animal advocate. Animal Samaritans and various VCA clinics will provide microchips for $10 and vaccines for $10. What a bargain for your pet! Riverside County Department of Animal Services will be on hand to help you license your newly adopted and other pets.

When you adopt a pet, Country Club Animal Clinic from Palm Desert will provide a complimentary healthy pet check of that animal. Several VCA clinics will also provide free vet checks. Gift bags will be available for all adopters.

Enjoy a great meal as you stroll through the enchanted forest. La Donna Cucina Italian, DaKine Island Style Greek, Cousins Maine Lobster (Saturday only) provide delicious selections, including vegetarian items. You can end your visit to the Land of Oz with a glass of wine when Yappy Hour arrives.

There is “No Place Like a Home”, and no home is complete without the loving companionship of a special dog, cat or bird. The festival is located at the Rancho Mirage Community Park, 71560 San Jacinto, Rancho Mirage (directly behind and North of The River shopping center). General admission is $5 and children are free. For more information, call Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000, follow them on Facebook, or check their website See you there!