A small dog found thrashing on a Mecca roadside amid searing daytime temperatures was rescued by a Riverside County animal control officer and treated by veterinary staff for extreme heat exposure, but it couldn’t be saved, officials said Thursday.
The three-year-old female pug was spotted on Avenue 70, near Windward Drive, at 3 p.m. Wednesday, just as the thermometer hit 116 degrees, according to the Department of Animal Services. Mecca is a small town at the eastern edge of the Coachella Valley about 35 miles from Palm Springs.
Spokesman John Welsh said Officer Noah Marquez was in a training session with a new employee, and the pair came across the little dog having a seizure, its body twisting in all directions, behaving as though it had been struck by a car.
They retrieved the pug and rushed it to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms, where veterinary technicians registered its body temperature at 109.4 degrees.
Welsh said intravenous fluids and ice packs were administered to try to bring the dog’s temperature down at least nine degrees, but her condition did not change.
The pug was humanely euthanized. There were no identification tags on the canine.
Officials said the episode highlights the need for pet owners to be extra cautious about shielding dogs and cats from the baking temperatures associated with the ongoing heat wave.
County Chief Veterinarian Dr. Sara Strongin said brachycephalic dog breeds — those with short noses and flat faces — are particularly prone to suffer in high temperatures because of how they breath.
“These include pugs and bulldogs, boxers and Boston terriers,” Strongin said. “Owners of these types of breeds should practice caution when we’re faced with heat warnings.”
Additional information on caring for pets on hot days is available at rcdas.org/index.php/services/pet-education/tips-for-hot-days.