Meet Fritz. This 8-year-old schnauzer landed in animal control, and his people never came and got him. Luckily for Fritz, the good folks at Animal Samaritans took him in.
Fritz is just one of thousands of pets who've benefited since the day in 1978 when a group of desert-area citizens, horrified by conditions at the county shelter in Indio, decided to do something about it. Bake sales, car washes and more helped them launch a spay/neuter service and a humane education program, and, when they received a property donation in 1980, they built a clinic.
Fast-forward to today, when Animal Samaritans, a 501 (c) (3) organization with full-service veterinary clinics in Thousand Palms and Indio, and a no-kill shelter in Thousand Palms, serves as the desert region's largest animal-welfare organization, with a broad range of community support garnered by decades of good work. The Rancho Las Palmas Omni hotel hosts a happy hour benefiting Animal Samaritans; and the Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa installs a cute, adoptable young dog in a puppy pen in its lobby, resulting in one adoption per week on average.
Besides pulling hundreds of dogs and cats each year from the Riverside County shelter, Animal Samaritans provides grant-supported veterinary services, including care for the pets of senior citizens; its pet therapy program currently has 80 active volunteers, and its Critter Camps for kids offer both humane education and lots of fun. Find out more about their work here.
Photo: Fritz, Animal Samaritans