About Us

"The Humane Society of the Desert began with a simple concept; help those who cannot help themselves. For thousands of neglected, abandoned, and abused animals, this concept evolved - it became their second chance in life. Presently, the Humane Society of the Desert is Southern California's largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Its humble beginnings are far removed from its present status -- Southern California's largest no-kill animal sanctuary.

In 1961, The Humane Society of the Desert was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Sixteen kennels were home to less than 20 dogs, and no cats. With barely 2 acres, growth seemed impossible. In 1967, a small trailer was donated and The Humane Society of the Desert began rescuing orphaned and abandoned cats. Marked growth occurred in 1975 when an additional 6 acres was generously donated. In 2005, Mrs. Anne Barry donated the Barry Cat Rescue Center. This 1,400 square foot building offers accommodations to more than 50 cats. As the needs of abused, neglected and abandoned animals grew, so did The Humane Society of the Desert.

Sharing the dream and dedication of the founders of The Humane Society of the Desert, Malinda Bustos was elected President of the Board of Directors in 2004. While Bustos continued the rescue mission, she saw the importance of quality of life for each animal and the need for facility modernization. Strong winds and high temperatures had taken its toll. Renovations began in Fall 2004. To date, the most notable accomplishments include: a complete facility renovation; new kennels with misting systems; landscaping and walking paths; a Puppy Park; four large play pens; and, a Vet Mobile. In addition to physical improvements, the past three years have given focus to dog training. A dedicated staff works with the dogs to leash and obedience train and prepares them for their new, loving homes. Guided by Bustos and an eight-member Board of Directors, staffed by eighteen full and part time employees, The Humane Society of the Desert has grown from a small rescue facility with a dream, to become Southern California's largest no-kill animal sanctuary.

Pet Overpopulation

Each year, more than 8 million dogs and cats are euthanized. County run shelters cannot maintain a large animal population, thus healthy dogs and cats are euthanized. Spay and neuter programs are key to controlling the unwanted pet population, and current legislation aims to reduce over-breeding. A no-kill facility offers a home to healthy, abandoned pets. No clock ticks to count down the days remaining in a dog's life. Rather, an animal that comes to The Humane Society of the Desert remains here until a loving family is found.

Community Awareness Programs

Each month, The Humane Society of the Desert offers special events and dog shows. 
Schools can take advantage of our education programs by scheduling a field trip or an in-school presentation. Daily, volunteers assist in walking dogs, bathing dogs, socialization programs, feeding, and other endeavors.


Seasonal Business Hours - October thru May
Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Please arrive before 2:00 p.m.

Summer Business Hours - June thru September
Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Please arrive before 1:00 p.m.

Please contact us for appointments at

Closed on all major Holidays.