Female Dog Found Thrashing in Coachella Valley During Heat Wave

MECCA — A 3-year-old pug, discovered thrashing about on the roadside in Mecca during the heat wave on Wednesday, has died.

An animal control officer discovered the pug about 3 p.m. in the Coachella Valley on Wednesday, June 16. The pug was clearly suffering from the region’s high temperatures, according to John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. The temperature in Mecca at that time of day was approximately 116 degrees.

Officer Jose Fernandez retrieved the pug from a location on Avenue 70 in Mecca, near Windward Drive mid-afternoon. Fernandez was providing a training ride for a new animal control officer – Noah Marquez – and it was Marquez who discovered the dog on the side of the road thrashing about, as if it was possibly was by a car.

The duo rushed the dog to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms and his veterinary colleagues quickly worked to save the dog, a black, female, 3-year-old.

The pug’s temperature registered 109.4 degrees upon intake – a temperature reading that could cause grave neurological disorders or death. A normal temperature is 100 degrees to 102.5 degrees.

Death of Pug Illustrates Danger of Heat Wave

Animal control officers placed the pug on ice packs to stabilize her.

Registered veterinary technicians Ivan Herrera and Carla Hernandez used an IV to get fluids into the dog and placed her on ice packs to stabilize her. Unfortunately, the dog’s condition did not improve and staff conducted humane euthanasia.

“This is a tragic but avoidable outcome,” Animal Services Director Julie Bank said. “It is a grave reminder to be extra cautious with our pets when weather conditions become extreme. I commend my team for doing all they could to safe this poor, little dog.”

Brachycephalic breeds – or short-nosed breeds (often described as “flat faced” breeds) – are highly susceptible to high temperatures, said Riverside County Chief Veterinarian Dr. Sara Strongin. “These include pugs and bulldogs, boxers and Boston terriers, and owners of these types of breeds should practice caution when we’re faced with heat warnings.”

The pug did not have any identification tags, nor a microchip.

For helpful tips, visit Riverside County Animal Services’ website: by clicking here.  

Image Sources

  • Overheated pug: RivCo Animal Services