Community aids animal shelter in time of need


Animal Friends of the Valleys (AFV) animal shelter reached capacity last week when the shelter took in more than 150 animals that were displaced due to the Holy fire. The fire erupted in Holy Jim Canyon on Aug. 6, burning more than 22,000 acres of the Cleveland National Forest, including parts of Lake Elsinore.

When the shelter put out a call for help on Facebook, Canyon Lake and the surrounding communities came to its aid and donated thousands of items, including more than 2,000 pounds of food and 500 pounds of cat litter. Other items included dog beds, toys and crates.

“Thank you, animal friends! You all are truly amazing,” said a shelter representative. “The outpouring of support from our community has been truly incredible and we are so blessed to have such wonderful caring people in our valleys.”

Now that local evacuation orders have been lifted, many of the more than 150 pets housed at AFV have gone home. As of Monday, the shelter still housed approximately 20 evacuated pets along with 91 others at Riverside County Animal Services facilities. The shelter is hopeful that all the animals will be returning to their home soon.

Throughout this disaster the shelter still managed to complete 85 adoptions last week, host its Summer Kids Camp, hold its Huey’s Heroes Reading Program and hold a free Dog Behavior Q&A session featuring Glenn Massie of Homeskooling 4 Dogs LLC.

On Aug. 18, AFV will be participating in “Clear the Shelters,” the largest one-day adoption event in the nation. With reduced adoption rates of $5 to $20 and free spay and neuter sponsored by Lucky Chi Dog Rescue, AFV is hoping to end the day with a cleared shelter.

AFV serves the cities of Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Menifee, Murrieta and Temecula. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization is dedicated to preventing the suffering of animals in the cities it serves. AFV relies on donations and funds raised at its fundraising events. For more information about AFV and ways to donate, visit its website at