Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Even Cats and Dogs can't escape the rain

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010, 1:30 p.m.

Director Orders Banning Animal Shelter Evacuation

Animal Services Director Robert Miller ordered the evacuation of all animals at the Banning Animal Shelter.

Miller directed a team of animal control officers and animal care technicians to immediately evacuate the shelter due to the oncoming storms.

“The Banning Animal Shelter’s drainage capacity is not adequate to provide a safe or healthy environment in light of the onslaught of heavy rains expected,” Miller said.

More than 100 animals will be transferred from Banning, including seven horses and three goats.

All dogs and cats will be shipped safely to the county’s desert facility, the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms (72-050 Pet Land Place, Thousand Palms, 92276). The Coachella Valley Animal Campus is north of Varner and just east of Rio Del Sol Road. The number for the Thousand Palms shelter is 760-343-3644.

A handful of animals were sent to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus on Tuesday after heavy rains flooded some of the kennel runs. Usually the kennels can be cleaned up and dried out in short order, but since so much rain is expected today and in coming days, Miller said he didn’t want to put the animals or his employees in any jeopardy.

“Everyone is reporting that these will be some of the most severe storms in quite some time,” Miller said. “It’s our job to make sure we care for our stray and homeless pets the best we can. That’s why we needed to make this unusual decision.”

Residents seeking stray pets from the contract cities of Banning, Beaumont or Calimesa should not go to the Banning Animal Shelter until further notice. As always, photos of stray animals should be available on the Department of Animal Services’ Web site – and the animals transferred to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus will reflect their new, temporary home.

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