Anderson Children's Foundation

Animal Samaritans

Animal Samaritans

Summer Critter Camp (2019-2020, 2018-2019)

Held during the summer school break, Critter Camp is a fun and informative day camp which provides children with hands on experience with animals, animal-related activities, and animal-related arts & crafts.

This summer, thanks to your support, we have expanded our Summer Critter Camp Program by adding a 5th camp. We are now able to reach out to 100 children this summer through this service. Our camps will be provided in Desert Hot Springs, Thermal, and Mecca; areas where we have seen a higher absence of pet responsibility. As much as we educate adults, it is children who will make a difference in the future. It is our goal to teach them pet responsibility and help them practice kindness in order to see the positive change we want to see. Animal Samaritans believes that in order to learn a skill, you must practice the skill. “We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle

Live Animal Presentations: This summer we will have 3 different live animal presentations. We believe that children need to interact with different animals to understand them and respect them. They do get to pet them which helps them practice kindness hands-on.

Arts & Crafts: Our camp art is always related to an animal the children will meet during camp. Our campers show their love for animals through their art work and cherish it as if it were the actual animal. It also give them a sense of accomplishment when they see their art project completed.

Animal-Themed Games: Camp is not camp without fun games. Every summer we open camp by playing Hot Potato but with a stuffed animal, a guinea pig. Our campers pretend the stuffed animal is real. Although our campers want to go fast so they can win, they must be gentle when giving the pet to the next person. This game helps our campers practice patience and how to be careful with pets. If time permits, we also play Animal Charades. This game has our campers act out an animal. Besides being fun, they get to become an animal, get in their shoes.

Camp Lesson: Each summer we do a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation regarding animals and how to be kind to them. This year we are focusing on the lesson called “No More Bullying!” Bullies hurt animals and people, therefore, we must end bullying by practicing important skills.

Humane Education Program (2016-2017, 2015-2016)

Animal Samaritans, the Coachella Valley’s largest most-comprehensive animal welfare organization, is a 501 (c) non-profit organization founded in 1978 and dedicated to improving the lives of animals and people. We achieve this mission by offering all pet owners low-cost high quality veterinary care, which includes financial assistance for qualifying seniors and low-income pet owners. We provide humane education to local students from five area school districts and summer Critter Camps for youngsters. We also provide animal rescue for adoptable at-risk dogs and cats, and Animal Assisted Therapy to hospital patients, disabled children and adults, youngsters at Juvenile Hall, and residents of assisted living and nursing homes—all free of charge. At our no-kill animal shelter, we commit to our dogs and cats for life while working to adopt them into forever homes. More information is available by calling 760-601-3756 and by visiting

Critter Camp (2014-2015)

In addition to providing quality, low-cost veterinary care to struggling pet owners, free pet therapy, animal rescuing, sheltering and adoptions, Animal Samaritans has been educating youngsters about responsible pet ownership, pet safety, the importance of spaying and neutering our pets, and respect for all living creatures. During the school year, we instruct more than 20,000 school children, and during the summer we provide our affordable Critter Camps for children ages 5 through 11.

In just three years, we have doubled our camp program; we previously offered one week-long camp and one half-week-long camp, and we now offer two week-long camps in Thousand Palms, one half-week camp in Mecca, and one half-week camp in Thermal. Additionally, we provide our half-week camps at no cost in targeted low-income communities.

During these camps, we teach children to respect all living creatures through educational slide shows, animal themed arts and crafts, games, and visits from live animals. Campers also enjoy a hands-on Reptile Show provided by Zoo for You. We introduce campers to our pet therapy dogs, police dogs, rodents, and birds. We provide our children from Mecca and Thermal free lunches and snacks. We use prizes to motivate our campers to participate in all activities, and even give them an opportunity to win a backpack full with school supplies. Thanks to the Anderson Children Foundation grant, we were able to operate our fourth camp in Thermal for children who were relocated from the substandard and demolished trailer park known as Duroville. Our goal for next year is to open a fifth free camp in Desert Hot Springs, but this can only happen with our community’s support.