By Janet McAfee

On November 15 and 16 animal lovers from all over Southern California will flock to the Rancho Mirage Community Park when it transforms into a magical Wizard of Oz themed animal adoption festival aptly called “There is No Place Like A Home”.

Loving All Animals’ Super Pet Adoption Festival, now in its 6th year, is a landmark event that Coachella Valley residents look forward to every November. Over 500 rescue animals, dogs, cats, birds, and horses, from 45 shelters and private rescues will travel to Rancho Mirage with the hope of finding their “furever” homes.

This is the perfect place to find a new companion animal. Whether you seek a new pet, want to learn more about your own pets, or simply looking for something fun to do that weekend, this event offers something for everyone.

In addition to the large areas showcasing the adoptable animals, there are lots of other surprises in store. When you take a trip “Down the Yellow Brick Road” you will meet the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and Dorothy holding her dog Toto. Glenda the good witch will direct you to the various venues. At 10:15 on opening day, Father Joe of the Center for Spiritual Living will conduct a “blessing of the animals”

The true stars of the weekend are the beautiful rescue animals available for adoption. Our Riverside County shelter in Thousand Palms, the Coachella Valley Animal Campus, will bring a large variety of dogs and offer special adoption rates in the Emerald Forest. Some animal welfare groups are breed specific such as California Maltese Rescue, Forget-Me-Not Pekinese Rescue, Border Collie Rescue, and Dachshund Rescue San Diego. Feline fanciers will have plenty of adorable cats and kittens to choose from ForEverMeow, Pretty Good Cat, and others. On Sunday, the Coachella Valley Horse Rescue will showcase their wonderful horses.

What if you already have a dog and a cat? Grab a “petless” friend and bring your own dog along to enjoy the fun. The Land of Oz promises both you and your dog will have an enchanting time in Emerald City. Drop by the Spoiled Dog Designs booth where Patt will ensure your pet gets a stylish new outfit for the upcoming social season. Other vendors feature gorgeous clothes, hand bags, and jewelry for humans. At the Capturing Memories photo booth you can take an instant photo of you with your new pet or your current pet. You never know, your Benji might select a new brother or sister pup.

Several food trucks will provide a variety of delicious food items, including vegetarian selections. The park is an idyllic setting to enjoy an outdoors lunch while listening to the live music provided by local musicians. Once the clock tilts towards Yappy Hour time, the wine and beer pavilion might be the perfect spot to relax at the end of your trip to Oz.

Mark your calendar now for Saturday, November 15, and Sunday, November 16. The festivities begin at 10:00 am and conclude at 4:00 pm at the Rancho Mirage Community Park (formerly known as Whitewater Park). The park is located at 71560 San Jacinto Drive, Rancho Mirage, directly West of and behind The River Shopping Center. General admission is $5 per person and children are free. For more information, check Loving All Animals’ website, or call their Palm Desert office at (760) 834-7000. There is “No Place Like A Home”, and no home is complete without that special dog, cat or bird!