Living Free Wildlife Sanctuary Pop-up in Westfield Palm Desert Mall
The Living Free Animal Sanctuary at Mountain Center is diversifying and opening a pop-up store in the Westfield Mall in Palm Desert, where the association hopes to raise awareness not only of the organization, but also of other rescue shelters in the valley.
“We hope this helps people get to the center” and see the animals available for adoption, said Jennie Rayner, Palm Desert resident and Living Free board member overseeing the new showcase.
Living Free Desert Outlet, on the lower level next to Macy’s, opens at 11 a.m. on Saturdays.
The grand opening will include a kitten welcome program. From noon to 2 p.m., people can stop by, meet kittens in need of foster homes, and learn what it takes to care for orphaned young felines and prepare them for adoption.
âIt’s kitten season, and we’ve got a lot of them,â Rayner said.
After this weekend, the store will be open on Fridays and Saturdays.
While Living Free sometimes plans to have adoptable pets in the store, probably once a month, Rayner said the main purpose of the pop-up is to educate the public through various programs and people who feel free to s ‘stop and talk about pets and pet adoptions. .
Other companion animal programs include vaccination clinics and training courses – for animals and humans who want to learn more about the care and general care of pets.
âWe really wanted to have a space that would be a community space,â Rayner said. âThis opportunity arose where we could occupy this space for a yearâ and it was difficult to pass up.
Arranged as a living room, with chairs, coffee tables and a sofa, it also has a “creation space” where children and adults can go and make pet-related works of art or make toys for rescue animals. A small store has clothes and other items with Living Free logos for purchase.
The living room setup is as much for animals as it is for humans, Rayner said. It helps dogs, in particular, to feel comfortable with settings like at home. When rescue animals are used to being at home, they are adopted more quickly, she said.
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Dianne Barrow was in the mall Thursday and stopped at the Desert Outlet and looked inside the closed door.
The Palm Desert resident recently lost her 13-year-old cat, a rescue, and is ready to adopt another, saying her home feels empty since her cat’s death.
âI’m looking for another around 2 years old,â Barrow said. âI’m too old to have a kitten,â she said with a chuckle.
She looked around, visited some of the shelters and wanted to learn more about Living Free and Desert Outlet and chatted a bit with Rayner.
âI went to Living Free and it’s a beautiful facility,â Barrow said.
Save animals at risk of being euthanized
The Living Free Sanctuary is home to adoptable rescues – dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, horses and other critters – on 155 acres at 54250 Keen Camp Road, off of Highway 74, in Mountain Center.
It is a deathless refuge for dogs, cats, horses and other animals of all ages.
Living Free rescues come from other shelters where they are on the verge of being euthanized, often because the facility lacks the capacity to care for them, Rayner said.
All rescues new to the sanctuary receive full medical examinations, are microchipped, and sterilized or sterilized, if necessary.
There are currently 30 dogs and 120 cats – many of them kittens – at the Mountain Center sanctuary, Rayner said.
âWe’ve had an explosion of kittens born at all of the shelters,â Rayner said.
People can visit the shrine website, live-libre.org, to view photos of the animals available for adoption and in the car, or to make an appointment for an in-person visit to the Mountain Center Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is associated with various refuges.
âWe have wonderful rescue partners,â said Rayner.
The plan is to also invite some of these partners to Living Free Desert Outlet to participate in the programming and promote their organizations.
âWe’re still working on whatever this place can be,â Rayner said.
She also wants to start collecting food donations, not only for animal shelters, but also for food banks like FIND to distribute to those who have food issues, but also have animals to feed.
âSo this space is also about how Living Free can help our community,â Rayner said.
The organization is still working on its vision for the best uses of the Desert Outlet space, she said.
Living Free is a good addition for the mall, said Franchesca Forrer, Westfield Palm Desert marketing director and Living Free board member.
âI like that we can do that. I think it will have an impact, âsaid Forrer.
Desert Sun reporter Sherry Barkas covers the towns of La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TDSsherryBarkas