Save-A-Pet Slates First Fundraiser

Tennis tournament will shed exposure, raise funds for non-kill shelter

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Save-A-Pet, the animal shelter and welfare organization founded in Desert Hot Springs 30 years ago, has finally planned its first fundraiser: a tennis tournament and auction April 7 at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage.

“There’s a big problem with abandoned and neglected dogs in the Coachella Valley, and we hope to continue being a part of the solution,” said Judy McAbee, Save-A-Pet’s community development director.

Since 1984, the nonprofit organization — which rescues dogs and cats and cares for them in a no-kill shelter and also operates a low-cost veterinary clinic — has long been the pet project of Mary Sydnes, whose generosity spared Save-A-Pet from time-consuming fundraising.

When Sydnes died two years ago, she left a void in financial resources.

Now McAbee and Ann Woods are partnering with animal lovers, the media, and even celebrities to bring awareness to Save-A-Pet, which currently cares for more than 70 dogs and 50 cats. The facility also helps Riverside County accommodate dogs rescued from the condemned Duroville mobile home park near Thermal.

“We need influential people on our board to help us raise money and awareness to fulfill our mission,” McAbee says, noting that KMIR-TV 6 taped public service announcements with Lindsay Wagner broadcasting between now and the tennis tournament.

Kevin Connolly, director of tennis at Rancho Las Palmas and an animal lover, will run the tournament from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by an awards luncheon and auction.

For more information about Save-A-Pet, the tennis tournament, and the luncheon and auction, visit the Save-A-Pet website or contact Judy McAbee at (760) 699-8225 or e-mail

Click on the video to view the PSA with Lindsay Wagner and KMIR-TV 6 anchor Gino Lamont.


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