Humane Education Program (2016-2017, 2015-2016)Animal Samaritans, the Coachella Valley’s largest most-comprehensive animal welfare organization, is a 501 (c) non-profit organization founded in 1978 and dedicated to improving the lives of animals and people. We achieve this mission by offering all pet owners low-cost high quality veterinary care, which includes financial assistance for qualifying seniors and low-income pet owners. We provide humane education to local students from five area school districts and summer Critter Camps for youngsters. We also provide animal rescue for adoptable at-risk dogs and cats, and Animal Assisted Therapy to hospital patients, disabled children and adults, youngsters at Juvenile Hall, and residents of assisted living and nursing homes—all free of charge. At our no-kill animal shelter, we commit to our dogs and cats for life while working to adopt them into forever homes. More information is available by calling 760-601-3756 and by visiting www.animalsamaritans.org
Critter Camp (2014-2015)
In addition to providing quality, low-cost veterinary care to struggling pet owners, free pet therapy, animal rescuing, sheltering and adoptions, Animal Samaritans has been educating youngsters about responsible pet ownership, pet safety, the importance of spaying and neutering our pets, and respect for all living creatures. During the school year, we instruct more than 20,000 school children, and during the summer we provide our affordable Critter Camps for children ages 5 through 11.
In just three years, we have doubled our camp program; we previously offered one week-long camp and one half-week-long camp, and we now offer two week-long camps in Thousand Palms, one half-week camp in Mecca, and one half-week camp in Thermal. Additionally, we provide our half-week camps at no cost in targeted low-income communities.
During these camps, we teach children to respect all living creatures through educational slide shows, animal themed arts and crafts, games, and visits from live animals. Campers also enjoy a hands-on Reptile Show provided by Zoo for You. We introduce campers to our pet therapy dogs, police dogs, rodents, and birds. We provide our children from Mecca and Thermal free lunches and snacks. We use prizes to motivate our campers to participate in all activities, and even give them an opportunity to win a backpack full with school supplies. Thanks to the Anderson Children Foundation grant, we were able to operate our fourth camp in Thermal for children who were relocated from the substandard and demolished trailer park known as Duroville. Our goal for next year is to open a fifth free camp in Desert Hot Springs, but this can only happen with our community’s support.