My daughter, Isabella loves animals. So far, she has not seen a cat, dog, horse or fish she didn't like. In fact, she can spend all day playing with our neighborhood dogs and cats. So when I told her recently we will have a chance to tour the Animal Samaritans SPCA operations on Ramon Road in Thousand Palms (a place where she could see animals, specifically cats and dogs) she was super-excited. As a member of the Animal Samaritans’ Planned Giving Advisory Council I also wanted to experience the organization from the “front-line trenches.”
We didn't plan to stay as long as we did, but we left with so much appreciation for the people who run the place, the veterinarians and support staff who care for animals that are brought in for check-ups, surgery or vaccinations, and the volunteers who help out this wonderful organization.
As a parent and animal lover, I felt it was important for my daughter to see that there are so many animals in need of shelter. And that these wonderful pets are as lovely and sweet as our own dog at home. My mom adopted a pet from here, and I am pretty sure that our next pet will come from this place as well.
As we strolled to look at the clinic, one of our guides Richard Martin, the Director of Operations, shared with us that on average the clinic provides more than 8,500 surgeries each year, which is one the highest number of surgeries compared to other similar organizations in California. And in late September construction workers poured the first layers of cement for the new Animal Samaritans' vet clinic.
Mr. Martin said, "We are very excited about the new clinic being built as we will be able to better serve our community with affordable vet care and realize our mission to assist in the elimination of animal homelessness." The new facilities will be state of the art.
He continued on by saying, "Our facility is so busy and we are grateful for our staff, volunteers and everyone who helps our organization." The organization also has a great amount of events.
Each animal at the shelter has their own story. There was a beautiful gray cat "Pretty", a survivor of hurricane Katrina, there was Samba, a cat so beautiful and mysterious that we wanted to take her home (Pretty has already been adopted—YEAH!). In a separate room we met the "tub kittens"—15 kittens who were left in front of the Animal Samaritans building one early morning in September in a medium-sized tub sealed shut with packing tape. Luckily, they all survived and are now lively, playful kittens hopping and jumping around. We met a super sweet dog, Isabella (yes the same name as our daughter), who was so excited to see visitors.
"Our volunteers and foster parents are here to take care of animals and provide so much needed love and care, before our pets are adopted. Donations and financial contributions are much needed but if those are not an option for you, volunteering and foster parenting are great ways to get involved" said Sandra Viden-Martins, Director of Development at Animal Samaritans SPCA.
"Our Animal Assisted Therapy volunteers bring their own temperament tested animals to various communities, from senior centers to children with disability, and what they do for others is truly amazing," continued Sandra
Besides volunteering, there are other ways to help this organization, such as providing for the Animal Samaritans SPCA in your estate planning documents, such as a will or trust. Planned giving provides funds for community-wide services of Animal Samaritans SPCA. Just remember to include the name of the charity in Thousand Palms in your estate planning documents to avoid confusion with other charities in other areas that may have a similar name.
I know that many pet lovers can attest to the fact that their pets improve their well being, significantly reduce their stress, and provide companionship. You might want to visit the lovely animals there and see what they can do for your well-being. I know, I will be back there with my family soon.
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