The Riverside County Animal Shelter and Animal Samaritans are temporarily closed in Thousand Palms because of flooding from Tropical Storm Hilary.
“The main road, which is Rio del Sol is completely flooded and closed. So we have zero access to the clinic at this time," said Justine Ziembo, Veterinary Practice Manager for Animal Samaritans. "We had to transfer everything over to this hospital and manage the five to six doctors that work out of Thousand Palms here and move them here.”
With the Thousand Palms clinic closed, Animal Samaritans has been taking in more pets and extended their hours so they can be there for you and your pets.
Even though flooding blocks the road, it hasn’t gotten in the way of their commitment to animals in need. Animal Samaritans says it’s their top priority to keep taking care of animals.
Veterinary Manager Marie Dunton tells us urgent care hours were extended until 10pm (from the usual 5pm) to help accommodate more pets throughout the Valley.
“We're kind of busting at the seams here. We're really full, but we're making it work," Dunton said. It means more animals, we can help taking care of the community making sure everyone is healthy, happy, healthy.”
By keeping their location open, they’re helping pet owners like Mary Chapa, who traveled all the way from Desert Hot Springs. She wasn't able to go to her usual Thousand Palms clinic.
“I checked them out this morning, but there was no way I could get in there," said Chapa. "So I went home, and then I decided to go ahead and call this number that I have here from them. You know, and that's when they got me over here. And I was so grateful for that.”
She brought her her cat in for some medication and is grateful the Indio location could take him in.
“He's my baby... all we knew we know how to do ourselves at home is feed them. Take care of them, you know," she explained. "I'm so grateful for people like them. You know, if it wasn't for them, you know, what would we do without them?”
There’s no timeline yet on when the Thousand Palms clinic will reopen.
The shelter is back up and running with many animals looking for their forever home.