PETS AND THE COACHELLA VALLEY PRESERVE
Man’s best friend is often your best friend, and he has faithfully been performing that role for more than 10,000 years. However, he is not the best friend of wildlife in the Preserve. Your furry companion, large or small, is still a predator at heart, and though he may be well behaved at home or on a leash, his natural instincts will be elevated in the wilderness.
Dogs, like their cousins the wolf, coyote and fox, exert pressure on prey animals by acting aggressively and marking their “territory” with scent. This type of behavior causes additional stress in prey animals that must now expend precious energy preparing a defensive action. Because scent remains for a very long time, the stress on the animals continues long after you and your pet have gone home.
Even though your pet is in good health and has had all his shots, it is still possible for him to be a carrier of certain diseases. Wild animals are highly susceptible to these diseases. Exposure to such diseases, unnecessary stress and an additional expenditure of energy can contribute to an early death for the Preserve animals.
Because of this very natural animal instinct and activity (not to mention that dogs often love to chase and catch things that move), dogs are not allowed anywhere on the Preserve. The Preserve was set aside as a wildlife refuge, not as a recreation area. We hope, by explaining why this policy exists, it will help you understand the reasons we must ask you for your compliance.
It is against the law to present your pet as a service animal. Service animals provide vital services for people who need them. While we appreciate that your animal provides comfort to you, this does not fall under the Federal Guidelines for Service animals. Please respect those folks who really need them and leave your dog at home.
Also please remember: it gets very hot here in the sun, even during the winter months. This can be fatal to your pet. Please do not leave animals in your car. You may walk your pet in the parking lot, but even better leave your dog at home.
PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED
- This includes therapy or comfort animals.
- Please, no pet birds, cats, dogs, lizards, snakes or any other kind of pet.
- Take your pet dog to one of the many dog parks or pet friendly trails around the valley. Try looking here for some suggestions.
SERVICE DOGS ARE WELCOME
- Therapy and comfort dogs are not Service Dogs.
- We would appreciate it if you would let us know you are here with a Service Animal. Stop by our Visitors’ Center.
- Please keep your animal close to you at all times. Do not allow it to chase anything, dig, bother other visitors, or bark. Bring your own clean-up bags as we do not provide them. Please respect that this is a wildlife area and not a park.