The Coachella Valley Animal Campus is an island

by Publisher CoachellaValley | August 23, 2023 8:55 pm

242 dogs, cats (and a bird) stay and wait to be adopted.

In the wake of Tropical Storm Hilary. Riverside County is working with Cathedral City to reopen flooded and mud-covered roadways blocking the shelter, according to Animal Services Chief Jackie Schart. For now, she said the 242 animals housed inside the campus are stuck on an island in a lake of water. “The desert is a total swamp.”

The Riverside County Animal Campus of Coachella Valley is inaccessible to the public. The website shows all of the animals in their care and there is still a way to adopt them. (Photo: Courtesy Caoachella Valley Animal Campus)

Tropical Storm Hilary stormed through the desert campus Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, leaving over 3.5 inches of rain[1] in its wake, according to the National Weather Service.

“There’s a football field-sized lake in the desert, and the road is covered in standing water and mud,” Schart said. “There’s no delineation of what is what.”

UPDATE: Access to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus continues to be restricted due to flooding from #TropicalStormHilary.

Because of this, we plan to remain closed to the public through Saturday (Aug. 26). At that time, we will re-assess the date of our re-opening.

The animals are safe and being cared for by staff. Even when the power went out, a skeleton crew kept the lights on, and the medicine refrigerated with the help of electric generators on.

Because some have asked, and if you would like to lighten the load by adopting or fostering a shelter pet, we can make arrangements to do so off-site. Please email us at to inquire.

Among the animals that waited out the storm at the shelter were 161 dogs, 78 cats, and one ring-necked dove who’s lived there since his owner passed away.

The ring-necked dove who has lived there since her owner died with no Will Intestate (CVAC courtesy photo credit: Jackie Schart)

As for when the road will be cleared, that is under the purview of Riverside County Emergency Management Department, Transporation and Land Management Agency, Cathedral City, Thousand Palms, and surrounding communities.

For those looking to adopt or foster a pet from the Coachella Valley Animal Campus, all are encouraged to view the adoptable pets[2] on the website and then inquire about the pet by emailing[3]. Be sure to include the pet’s ID number.

Those who cannot bring a shelter pet home but wish to donate to support the animals trapped at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus can do so by visiting[4].

They apologized for any inconvenience and want to share their gratitude Thank you for your support! #rivconow

  1. leaving over 3.5 inches of rain:
  2. adoptable pets:

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