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Shelter pets are looking for love and a ‘FUR-st Date’ on Valentine's Day

February 9, 2024

Love is in the air, everywhere, even in animal shelters in Riverside County. For anyone searching for that new and exciting feeling of falling in love, Riverside County Department of Animal Services is inviting all residents to find their shelter pet love match with the FUR-st Date program on Feb. 14. 

“Our staff is fortunate in that we get to see so many love stories ignite before our eyes. You see it happen when an adopter connects with a dog wriggling with excitement to see them, or when a cat’s motor starts purring when you give a friendly scratch,” said Erin Gettis, director, Riverside County Department of Animal Services. “The FUR-st Date program allows you to take that next step and get to know an animal better in the home and outside of the shelter.”

The program gives a shelter pet – specifically large dogs and puppies older than six months – and a potential adopter the opportunity to get to know each other with no pressure, cost or commitment. Identification is required.

Potential adopters are urged to pursue activities that they would normally enjoy, like walks in the park, a trip to the beach and then just see how it goes with the shelter pet. If it’s a love match, let the staff know and they will complete the adoption.  No sparks?  No problem. Come back and try again.

The date typically lasts a day or two, and is initiated with the assistance of staff at the following shelter locations:


  • Coachella Valley Animal Campus, 72-050 Pet Land Place, Thousand Palms
  • San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus, 581 S. Grand Ave., San Jacinto
  • Western Riverside County Shelter, 6851 Van Buren Blvd., Jurupa Valley


The good news is FUR-st Dates are always available to potential adopters throughout the year. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday - Saturday. 

Gettis added: “Our shelters are bursting with pets looking for a new home. And we know there are many people out there looking for the love and companionship of a forever friend. So, we want to help make that perfect match.” 

Visit for a list of adoptable pets.