Philanthropist Lindi Biggi lives surrounded by all manner of furred, feathered, and finned creatures, many rescued from abuse and neglect.
A semi-retired escrow officer, Biggi founded the nonprofit Loving All Animals in 2008 “to bring together local, regional, and national animal welfare organizations to collaborate for the greater benefit of animals,” including finding forever homes for homeless pets and making the community a “No Kill Coachella Valley.”
How did you become a “birdaholic”?
"My first experience with exotic birds was a couple of small birds my daughter gave me as a gift. Not knowing how to care for them, they died. The shame spurred me to buy books on birds and bird care, of which I now have hundreds. In the early 1980s, a friend needed help taking care of either her teenagers or her exotic bird collection. I picked the birds. My first big bird, a cockatoo, came from her collection."
Tell us about your animals.
"I have about 50 birds from everywhere in the world, all living in peace on 2 acres. On that same 2 acres are fish, ducks, turtles, frogs, cranes, flamingos, and anywhere from three to eight dogs (sometimes more). One moment you will see a dog stealing some of the bird food [or] a bird eating out of the dog dish. It adds to the fun, and nobody seems to mind. My dog Cassidy was [saved] by a shelter volunteer when she saw his name on the kill list for that day. After surgery to remove a seriously damaged leg and six months of trying to find him a new home, I became a “foster failure.” He is now a certified therapy dog. My pug BabyLove came to Indio for a free spay/neuter/zeuter clinic with both eyes terribly infected. I agreed to get the dog medical care and return it to the owners. [After she was spayed and had her eyes removed], they didn’t want her back. She will join her brother as a therapy dog."
Describe your funniest moment with an animal.
"I was fostering a very large boxer–mastiff mix dog, and we got up at 4 a.m. to go show him on the morning news. On the way home, it was still dark. I pulled in to the quickie mart get some milk as the dog slept in the car. Coming out of the store [a potential thief approached my car]. When the car door opened, my wannabe thief found himself nose to nose with the dog. His head was twice the size of my uninvited guest’s. The guy took off running so fast that he tripped over his own feet. Had he looked back, he would have seen the dog doing to me what he would have done to him — given him a good face licking."