By Janet McAfee

On August 3, Molly’s Miracle pulled up on the spacious 9-acre grounds of the Humane Society of the Coachella Valley (HSOCV) in North Palm Springs.  Molly, a mobile spay and neuter vehicle owned by Society’s Outkast Animal Rescue (S.O.A.R), sponsored the all-day clinic.  The Coachella Animal Network (C.A.N) raised the funds to pay for the clinic.  The amazing Dr. Hermann and staff from the Animal Action League spayed and neutered 28 dogs and cats that day.  The HSOCV networks with many other organizations to ensure happy endings for our pets and our people during this time of great need.

This wonderful private nonprofit is dedicated to giving homeless dogs, puppies, cats and kittens a second chance.  The animals they rescue are prepared for new homes with excellent veterinary care, socialization, and training. They continue to look for new ways to better serve animals and people.

The Disabled Veterans of America recently approved a new program at HSOCV.  Beginning in October, Veterans will engage with the dogs, exercise them, socialize, train, and help them overcome their fears.   Kim Hardee, President of the Board of Directors, explains, “For Veterans experiencing increased stress at this time, working with animals is a win-win.  Our dogs love the extra attention, and the Vets in our community benefit from their companionship.”  Dogs have a way of calming us and bringing us great happiness.  And rescue dogs show us that life will get better, and miracles can happen for those who keep the faith.


Always seeking facility improvements, the shelter just opened a lovely new dog park with nice benches for the people.  Misters keep everyone cool during the summer months.  After walking the dogs, volunteers bring them to the park for socialization and play time with other canines.

The HSOCV recently conducted a massive pet food drive, donating much of the pet food to Food Now, a large food bank in Desert Hot Springs.  They understand that people in need will sometimes go without food in order to feed their animals.  Including pet food upon request at food banks ensures that people and pets get appropriate and nutritious food.

A lovely building on the grounds houses 43 cats and kittens available for adoption.  There are no confining kennels here.  The felines happily play in various rooms nicely appointed with cat trees and a large wheel for them to spin on.  In a separate room, adorable kittens bounce with joy chasing each other and playing with toys.  In another indoor area, small dogs greet arriving guests hoping someone will soon select one of them.

HSOCV is the largest private shelter in our region that recues lots of big dogs.  They fill a huge need in our desert.  Large rescue dogs are particularly in need of homes here, as many of our senior residents seek small dogs. Wading pools and misters keep their 70 big dogs cool and content in their large outdoor enclosures during the summer.  This is the place to go if you are looking to adopt a large dog!

Jon Nimitz, Facility Manager at HSOCV, explains how the organization successfully operates during the pandemic.  “Instead of home visits to ensure successful adoptions, we now do videos.  Because our facility is so large and mostly outdoors, it is easy to do socially distanced adoption appointments.  We always give people a trial adoption period to ensure things go well, and the time can be flexible especially for one of our project dogs.”  Jon is pictured here receiving a grateful hug from a dog he recently rescued from a county shelter.

Dog trainer Don Van Tassel is often on site providing obedience and other training needs.  Don reports, “I train dogs here because it makes them more sociable for their future homes.   A well trained dog has more freedom.  They can travel with their owners, going to outdoor cafes and dog parks.  A dog that’s trained can quickly learn to get along with other pets in the home, all the family members and their visitors.”  Don is skilled at handling large and small dogs, and can be contacted at (760) 567-1182.

Please adopt, volunteer, or donate to this deserving organization.  Call them at (760) 329-0203 to make an appointment to meet & adopt one of their animals.  Check out their website  LIKE their Facebook page where you will see many happy adoption photos and other updates.  Once things return to “Normal” pay a visit to the HSOCV and you will be amazed at the wonderful things happening.  It’s all about the animals!            

Here is a list of the 501(c)3 nonprofit charities mentioned in this article.  They are working very hard right now, but working together helping pets & people.  LIKE their Facebook pages.  All of these groups need volunteers and qualify for tax deductible donations.

HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE COACHELLA VALLEY – 17825 N. Indian Canyon, Palm Springs, 92258.  Shelter closed to walk-ins.  Call (760) 329-0203 for information or to adopt a dog or cat.

SOCIETY’S OUTKASTS ANIMAL RESCUE – Call (760) 832-0617 for more information.  Nonprofit focusing on low cost spay/neuter clinics with their mobile unit, Molly.

ANIMAL ACTION LEAGUE – 62762 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, 92252.  Call (760) 366-1100 for appointments.  Nonprofit with traveling mobile units and vet staff providing low cost spay/neuter/vaccine clinics to cities throughout our community.

COACHELLA ANIMAL NETWORK – Call (760) 848-4284 for appointment in their low cost spay/neuter/vaccine clinic.  Nonprofit focusing on funding and arranging venues for 3-day monthly mobile clinics.

FOOD NOW – 14080 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, 92240.  Call (760) 329-4100 for information.  Nonprofit agency including food bank for people (and pets) in need.