Climbing temps bring annual warning of dangers for humans, animals

With high temperatures in the triple digits likely here until October, city officials and residents alike are trying to get the word out about the dangers of excessive heat.

Among the warnings issued Thursday, Palm Springs Police and others reminded the community that animals are especially vulnerable in hot temperatures.

“Summer temperatures can get unbearably hot in the Coachella Valley, but they can get downright deadly for pets left in a vehicle, even just for a few minutes – and it’s also illegal,” Police Chief Bryan Reyes wrote in a social media post. “It is unlawful to leave your dog or cat unattended in an enclosed vehicle, and any animal found left unattended will be removed immediately by an animal control officer and taken to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.

“In addition, the owner may be fined and liable for any impound fees and costs. This is a serious offense and we ask that citizens take the well being of their pets responsibly.”

Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting. In California it is legal to break a car window to save the life of a dog or animal in distress due to heat, but authorities recommended trying to first report any animals left in cars to Animal Control using the non-emergency number of the police department (760-323-8116).

In the desert, hot cars are not the only danger to animals. Pavement can often burn paws, even if it seems fine to the human touch. At 87 degrees, asphalt can reach temperatures approaching 150 degrees; concrete at 95 degrees can feel like 125 degrees; and even grass, at 95 degrees, can feel like 105 degrees in the full sun. Experts advise walking pets as early in the morning as possible during summer months.

“Even if you walk them when the sun goes down, the asphalt could still be hot,” warned Phoenix Lopez Harman on Nextdoor. “(I)t’s near 90 degrees at night during the summer, so your dogs still run the risk of heat exhaustion. Our pets are voiceless and defenseless. We owe it to them to protect them.”

The city is also doing its part to help keep humans cool. On Thursday, officials announced the opening of three cooling centers that will remain open through October. Locations include:

  • James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 W. Tramview Road, Monday-Friday from 9AM – 5:30PM
  • Palm Springs Public Library, 300 S. Sunrise Way, Monday-Thursday from 10AM – 6 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5PM (Pets on leashes are  welcome. Cats must be in a carrier); and
  • Well in the Desert, 441 S. Calle Encilia, seven days a week from 7:30AM until 6PM

The cooling centers operate at no co cost to the public, in partnership with the  Community Action Partnership of Riverside County.

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Baby ducks recently rescued from a city storm drain are seen in this image from the Palm Springs Wildlife Advocates Facebook page.

BIRD RESCUES: Palm Springs Wildlife Advocates is celebrating the recent rescues of multiple baby birds in the city, all now reported to be recovering at the Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center in Indio. Among the rescues were a “cute and cranky” baby barn owl that fell 40 feet from a palm tree at Tahquitz Creek Golf Course on May 28, and sibling ducklings pulled from a storm drain in the city during a rescue that took more than five hours to complete with the help of neighbors and, “lots of ingenuity.” For advice or guidance on helping wildlife, city residents are always welcome to call PS Wildlife Advocates at 760-833-5003.

PARKLET DISCUSSION: City staff is expected to recommend that parklets — public seating platforms and other designs that convert curbside parking spaces into usable community spaces (covered in The Post here last month) — be allowed in Downtown Palm Springs for at least another year when the City Council holds its next meeting on Thursday June 10. The recommendation won’t come without stipulations, however, as a subcommittee to work with staff in developing the design standards is also expected to be suggested. The complete staff report is available here.


  • JAM SESSION: The Mizell Center features live music from Dick Brodie’s Jam Session today at 10:30 AM. Anyone can tune in via Facebook Live, or register to watch in person here.
  • FLEA MARKET: A flea market and food fest is held today through Sunday at 675 Crossley Rd. The venue will be open from 5PM-10PM all weekend and continue those hours every Friday and Saturday through September. Information can be found here.
  • GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY: The Palm Springs Genealogical Society holds its regular meeting Saturday at 9:30 AM via Zoom. The topic this month is, “Read The Instructions: Details In The U.S. Census You May Be Missing” with guest speaker Christine Cohen. More information about joining the meeting is available by emailing Sondra Lucas at
  • BRUNCH: Multiple venues offer drag brunch, champagne brunch, and more on weekends. View a complete list here.
  • LIVE MUSIC: Many live music events are posted on this Facebook page, maintained by two Palm Springs residents since 2015.


  • LISTENING SESSIONS: Residents are invited to participate in a series of four neighborhood community listening sessions June 15-28. Conducted in English and Spanish, the goal of the sessions is obtaining input related to the future of Palm Springs. To find out where and how to participate, turn here.


Want to know about city and other municipal events? Road construction in your neighborhood? Building activity? Have something to report? The following links should help:

City of Palm Springs calendar of events

Police reports | Submit a police report

Code compliance reports | Report a code violation

Current road projects and closures

Currently active development projects

ONE-PS calendar of meetings

Desert Water Agency calendar

Mizell Center calendar of events

FIND Food Bank mobile market schedule


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