Founded in 1980, Living Free was among the first privately funded, no-kill animal sanctuaries rescuing cats and dogs from imminent shelter euthanasia. We carry on that mission today, and are working to increase public awareness so that soon all shelters can become no-kill. We believe every animal has a right to live with compassion and dignity, and we provide hope until they find their forever home.


Emily Jo Beard created a sanctuary where animals would be safely housed without being caged. It was designed to co-exist in harmony with the natural world surrounding it. Her compassion still inspires us, and each life saved is a tribute to her legacy.  READ MORE


The Cahuilla Indians first settled on our site, as evidenced by the many morteros and a ceremonial petroglyph.  Since then, it has been a cattle ranch, a logging camp, a stagecoach stop, a mountain retreat and film location for the 1920's Hollywood elite.  READ MORE


We rescue, rehabilitate and find permanent homes for healthy cats and dogs that were scheduled for shelter euthanasia.   We're also developing education, outreach and awareness initiatives to help end the needless suffering once and for all.  READ MORE  


The heart of Living Free.  Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly to rescue animals that would otherwise not survive, sometimes only being acknowledged with a quiet purr or a lick on the cheek.  And sometimes, that's enough. MEET THE TEAM


When you adopt from us, you’re saving two lives – the one you take home, and the one that can now fill the space your compassion created.

We rescue dogs and cats whose time has run out at local kill shelters. Once transported to the sanctuary, they’re quarantined, given a complete veterinarian exam, vaccinated, and then spayed or neutered, if needed. No animal is caged here. Our cats live in open catteries with protected outdoor play areas where they can enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Our dogs live in unique kennels-in-the-round with open play yards.

We get to know each animal so we can anticipate how they’ll respond to various people, situations, and other pets. Our goal is to find every animal a loving home, but if they are not adopted, they’re free to live out their lives here with us. For more information, email the kennel@living-free.org or the cattery@living-free.org.



We see Living Free as a diamond in the rough, with great potential to end even more needless suffering. With each act of kindness, you help bring us closer to making this dream a reality.




Our Cattery Supervisor Matt Worthington says, “Most people believe they adopt a cat or dog from Living Free to become part of their family. The way I see it, our animals adopt them and they become part of the Living Free family.”



In the wise words of Albert Schweitzer; “I have always held firmly to the belief that each of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.” We do what we can each day to bring love and joy to each animal.



The single most valuable thing you can bring to this job is your love for the animals. But we must warn you in advance – you may be required to sit in rocking chairs with grateful cats and kittens, or romp gleefully in the park with dogs and pups



Our initiatives are the expression of hope and optimism for a better future and an even better Sanctuary. We strive to build awareness in the rescue community and beyond. It’s why we welcome your ideas, contributions and support.




24000000 Number of families that will acquire a new pet this year
7500000 Number of cats and dogs that will enter a public shelter this year
4000000 Number of healthy, adoptable animals that will be needlessly euthanized in shelters
20000000 Number of homes available for rescued animals if new owners did not buy from pet stores, backyard breeders, online dealers, or mills


  • “My little old dog – a heartbeat at my feet.”

    Edith Wharton

  • “By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world. By practicing reverence for life, we become good, deep, and alive.”

    Albert Schweitzer

  • “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its invisible soul.”

    Jean Cocteau

  • “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

    Mahatma Gandhi

  • A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

    ~ Chinese Proverb ~

  • "My idea of absolute happiness is to be in bed on a rainy day with my blankie, my cat and my dog."

    Anne Lamott

  • "The dog is a gentleman. I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s."

    Mark Twain


54250 Keen Camp Road, PO Box 5, Mountain Center, California 92561

We're off Highway 74 in the San Jacinto Mountains, 10 minutes from Idyllwild, 45 minutes from the Desert Cities, 2 hours from San Diego and 2.5 hours from Los Angeles.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. 11am - 4pm, every day except Wednesday.

(951) 659-4687

54250 Keen Camp Road, Mountain Center, California 92561
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