Animal associations

Pets at Risk of Euthanasia Get a Second Chance at RivCo Animal Sanctuary

The following is a press release from News Channel 3 and the HN and Frances C. Berger Foundation:

PALM DESERT, CA — More animals can find forever homes, thanks to a $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant presented to HN’s Living Free Animal Sanctuary and the Frances C. Berger Foundation. The grant will be used to rescue and care for dogs and cats facing imminent euthanasia at local shelters until they are adopted.

“We are grateful to the Berger Foundation and the News Channel 3 Advisory Board for believing in the value our organization brings to the Coachella Valley,” said Jennie Rayner, Chair of the Board of Living Free. “About 30 of the animals currently living in our sanctuary have been rescued from the valley.”

Living Free was founded in 1980 by Emily Jo Beard as one of the first privately funded no-kill sanctuaries where animals are safely housed without being caged. Every animal that enters the sanctuary receives a full medical examination and all necessary medical care, including vaccinations. They are also microchipped and neutered or neutered. Living Free pets enjoy a safe, cage-free environment and will stay there until they find a forever home. Animals who are not adopted live out their days at Living Free on 155 acres at Mountain Center.

“Living Free Animal Sanctuary’s natural environment is an inspiring concept, providing animals with a comfortable, cage-free home while they wait for a caring companion or family,” said Catharine Reed, vice president of charitable programs for the HN and Frances C Berger Foundation.

The sanctuary is about 38 miles down the valley, off Highway 74. Many rescues come from Riverside County’s Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms and other rescue partners. The nonprofit also operates The Living Free Desert Outpost inside The Shops at Palm Desert (formerly Westfield Mall) on the lower level, next to Macy’s. This location serves as a community space where the public can meet dogs and cats available for adoption and learn more about Living Free, which typically has around 25 dogs and 80 cats socialized and ready for adoption.

“The Desert Outpost is a great extension of Living Free, which demonstrates exemplary compassion for animals,” said Jerry Upham, general manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.

Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the HN and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, Living Free was featured in News Channel 3 programming, public service announcements and on throughout the month of July. For more information about Living Free, visit or call 951-659-4687.