There is a warmth of goodwill and caring that touches your soul when you visit Living Free. I've been involved for over three years and I tell everyone who visits, Living Free is my serenity. We save lives each and every day for animals that need sanctuary. It is a joy when we know we make a difference in pets lives and I truly feel that they know it and appreciate us. Each year the number of volunteers who give their valuable time and hearts grows and the hours they give increases. We have 135 volunteers who gave over 12,000 volunteer hours in 2017. As one volunteer recently commented, "When I started as a volunteer I thought I would give occasional hours once a month and because I enjoy Living Free and what we do here so much I'm here several times a week."
I went up to Living Free to visit a Friend from High School I had not seen in 40 years who volunteered up there. Little did I know how my heart would be changed with this visit. She gave us a tour and I was so amazed how well cared for all the animals were. Not to mention the stunning beauty of the Living Free. Moving fast forward I am now a volunteer for special events. The Staff and volunteers at Living Free are the finest with such love and compassion for the animals. The dogs have runs outside to play in and heat in the winter and misters in the summer. I encourage my friends to and go visit Living Free for the Day it is beautiful and will touch your heart like it did mine.
My husband and I were going to Idyllwild for a getaway weekend 4 years ago and drove by the sign just before the turn off on 74 to 243 that said Living Free and wondered what it was. When we got to Idyllwild we inquired, and as soon as we found out what it was, we immediately turned around and visited and took the tour. We were hooked and have been ever since, joining the ranks of volunteers. This is an amazing Sanctuary, located in Mountain Center, California on acres and acres providing a safe environment for those dogs and cats that have been pulled from the high kill shelters in Riverside County, CA - evaluated and vetted and worked with to become adoptable. The more that are adopted - and the adoption rates have increased more and more over the years, the more can be saved. And, if the dogs and cats are not adopted, they live the rest of their lives in wonderful accommodations - dogs have their own bedrooms, patios, and dog runs - never in cages - and the cats have an amazing house to live in but can stay in or go outside in the most fabulous CATIO you can imagine! This amazing Sanctuary is run by just a handful of the most dedicated staff, and complimented by much needed volunteers - we joined those ranks immediately 4 years ago. Please spread the word about Living Free, who has now expanded their mission to include wild horses, burros and will be implementing equine therapy for Veterans. If you cannot volunteer, or adopt - please consider donating to help the Sanctuary continue with their very special and important work! Plan a visit to this wonderful place in the very near future - and you will be hooked too!
I visited living free 2 years ago and was so impressed on how well the animals where cared for. None of the animals are in cages. The dogs have huge runs with things to climb or sleep on, in or under. In the summer they have misters that come on to mist the dogs down when out in the runs. At night they are in doors where they have fans for the summer and a heater for the winter months. The runs and indoor sleeping areas are extremely clean. The cattery is very impressive as well. The cats have access to indoor and outdoors via an enclosed patio with places to climb and just be a cat. Again all areas of Living Free are extremely clean. When I retired last May, I became a volunteer and love it.
Living Free pulls animals from high kill shelters. They then work with them until their forever homes are found...whether that be a day, a month, a year or however long it takes. Living Free does not give up on the dogs and cats in need.
Friends drove 3.5 hours one way to see Living Free and "maybe" adopt a dog. They adopted two! These dogs each came to Living Free from different sources and left as best friends. During this adoption, Living Free mentioned they could use some collars...so another great non profit helping animals answered the call. See video. Good people all the way around.
My family and I discovered Living Free Animal Sanctuary a few years ago when we attended their Annual Howl & Yowl Music Festival. We were completely blown away! The level of thoughtful kindness extended to the public was overshadowed only by the attention shown to the animals who are fortunate enough to call this their (temporary) home. The grounds and facilities are impeccably maintained, nestled within a breath-taking mountainous landscape. Living Free sets the gold standard for no-kill shelters, providing a world where the wildest of spirits are encouraged to roam free. -Tracy, Dan & Zoe Gruber
I first discovered Living Free Animal Sanctuary a few years back and was immediately taken with the place. The animals are well cared for and the volunteers are fully engaged and committed to these very lucky animals. There's nothing better than watching the exchange between them. I'll be visiting again when the time comes to adopt a new pet.
Over a year ago I read an article about Living Free in a local magazine and it touched my heart. I soon discovered first hand what a beautiful, serene, loving, therapeutic space it is for both animals and humans. I spend as much time as I can volunteering at Living Free. The facility is wonderful and the people involved are truly amazing. It is a very special place.
I started volunteering at Living Free 4 years ago when I decided I had the time to do something for my community and for the animals. I had heard of Living Free before and had visited there once and realized that this was the place to be because of their no-kill philosophy and because they rescue as many dogs and cats as they can that are on the euthanasia list at some of the local kill shelters. Not only are the dogs and cats not in cages and given great veterinary care, but the staff members know each animal individually and have the ability to match the right animal with the right adopter. And being in the beautiful surroundings is so peaceful that it really nourishes the soul. It's a wonderful place to visit, adopt your fur baby, or volunteer.
This Sanctuary has been around since the 1980s and yet it’s only been in the last few years that it has come into full bloom.
They are rescuing and finding homes for more dogs and cats than ever before. They are starting an amazing new program on the property called War Horse Creek: Equine-Assisted Therapy for Veterans. And Living Free is now carrying out the vision that its founder, Emily Jo Beard, had in mind — to create a safe haven where abused, neglected and abandoned animals could go to find their forever homes or live out their lives in peace and dignity.
Thanks to the incredible staff, the intrepid volunteers and the new leadership, it’s a magical place.
I have been associated with Living Free Animal Sanctuary for 10 years. I cannot say enough about the tremendous staff and volunteers that make this sanctuary a second chance for the dogs and cats that are rescued. Their great care, love and devotion to these animals is what makes this sanctuary a great success. It is an honor to be a part of Living Free Animal Sanctuary.
I visited Living Free six years ago and fell in love. Although it is a three-hour round trip drive for me, I make the trek twice a week. I have tried other animal rescues closer to home, but although they may do a terrific job (thank you all), they can't compare to the atmosphere at Living Free. It's on 154 acres in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains, and the animals are not caged. These animals are rescued from shelter euthanasia, and if they don't get adopted, they live with us forever. What's not to love? From walking dogs, helping feed, cleaning, petting kitties, working the visitor center, giving tours, helping groom, doing maintenance work, working fundraisers and adoption events, and helping out at the low-cost public spay/neuter clinic, I have loved every minute.
We also have horses and burros on the property as we have launched War Horse Creek, an equine-assisted therapy program for veterans with PTSD. We are very excited about the program and can't wait for it to get fully underway.
We have a very small staff, so with 154 acres and 200 animals, we need all the help we can get! The staff is remarkable. The cattery staff knows the name and personality of every one of the 120 cats. The kennel staff (including our resident dog whisperer) works wonders with our 45-50 dogs, many who come to us with emotional issues. Staff and volunteers work with them until they overcome their issues and become highly adoptable. Our equine manager is a bona fide cowboy! I have also made amazing friends, both staff and volunteers, who all have a shared love for animals.
Although I have fallen in love with hundreds of animals, one little dog in particular stole my heart. Stills was born at Living Free (along with his brothers Crosby and Nash) and was adopted. But at a very young age, he developed diabetes and his adopters returned him. I adopted him three years ago and cannot even imagine my life without him. He has had many, many health issues, but he has overcome them all. He is loved by staff, volunteers, friends, vets, and vet techs. He is my world.
No matter where you live in Southern California, we encourage people to visit living free to soak in the beautiful scenery and give some lovin' to our precious dogs and cats and visit the horses and donkeys. Then take the 10-minute drive to beautiful Idyllwild for lunch and shopping. Make a day of it!
Volunteering at Living Free feeds my soul. I encourage you to check us out!