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Thursday, 25 May 2017 12:54

Series of Adoption Events Start Saturday

Proceeds Benefit Combat Vets, Shelter Pets

WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 2017 – A series of adoption events specifically benefiting programs that assist combat veterans and shelter animals kicks off Saturday (May 27) at Riverside County’s three largest shelters.

The first-ever Homeless Pets & Combat Vets adoption series will run on five specified Saturdays between Memorial Day weekend and just after the Fourth-of-July holiday weekend. The special events will feature some special offerings by hosts that include four county supervisorial districts and the county’s executive office.

Adoption fees have been lowered to $49. Of that special rate, $20 of each adoption will benefit an organization selected by the Riverside County Department of Veterans’ Services: Reaching New Heights Foundation, a nonprofit, charitable organization that assists veterans transitioning from active duty and homelessness.

Another $20 of the adoption fee will benefit the Animal Solutions Konnection (ASK) Foundation, an organization that works closely with Riverside County Animal Services with programs that benefit homeless pets and programs that assist needy pet owners.

The remaining $9 of the adoption fee will offset some of the shelter costs associated with caring for the pet.

The Reaching New Heights Foundation strives to encourage others to give back to help those veterans that need some assistance. Visit the Reaching New Heights Foundation website to learn more.

The ASK Foundation sponsors a food pantry for needy dog and cat owners each month and has also supplied every Riverside Fire Department station with pet oxygen masks. ASK is also providing the funding for additional horse corrals at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus. Visit The Ask Foundation website to learn more.

Animal Services Director Robert Miller initiated the Homeless Pets & Combat Vets event series as a way to honor those veterans who have served in war zones, something he said that he is as passionate about as getting homeless pets adopted.

“We know that many of our military personnel serving in combat situations come back home with a lot of physical and mental scars,” Miller said. “In some respects, a homeless pet shares some similarities with combat veterans. The dog or cat enters an unknown shelter that can be very stressful for that pet. It’s nothing compared to a war, of course, but our pets are sometimes forced to endure days and weeks in this unfamiliar surrounding before getting re-homed.”

The partnership between the two county departments is a great one, said Grant Gautsche, director of the Riverside County Department of Veterans’ Services. 

“Combining two important causes – getting homeless pets adopted and assisting combat veterans at the same time – what a wonderful concept,” Gautsche said. “I love pets and I love our vets and so I am very happy to be a part of this. What a wonderful gesture to assist our combat veterans when they return home.”

The adoption series kicks off officially at 11 a.m. at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley (6851 Van Buren Blvd.) with some special giveaways, vendors and food for sale (with some of the proceeds donated to the cause by the vendors). The kickoff event is hosted by the county’s Executive Office.

It should be noted, though, that the $49 adoption special is also valid at the county’s Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms and the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus in San Jacinto. Hours of operation for shelter and addresses can be found here.

The adoption series will run on these Saturdays: May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17 and July 8. Special offerings on some of the dates will help liven up the shelters will include a petting zoo, food giveaways, vendors, and much more. To learn of the special offerings, please check out www.rcdas.org and our Facebook page for regular updates.

The June 3 event is hosted by the Fourth Supervisorial District at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus and adoption fees have been waived for the first 25 animals, thanks to sponsorship by SOAR (Society’s OutKasts Animal Rescue). The second 25 pets will be offered at a discounted rate ($24.50), courtesy of the Palm Springs Kennel Club.

Two out-of-shelter events are also part of the series: A Pints for Pets fund-raising event is scheduled for Friday, June 16, at Mason Jar Brewery in Menifee, and an adoption outreach event is scheduled for the March Field Air Museum on June 17.

More information about each specific event will be sent out each week during the series. 

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