City of Bakersfield will operate its own animal shelter

City made decisions after 100 days of waiting

The City of Bakersfield has decided to operate its own animal shelter.
 
The city released this statement regarding the matter:
 
The City of Bakersfield’s current one-year operational lease agreement with the County of Kern for the sheltering of stray and otherwise unwanted City animals expires on September 30, 2013.
 
On May 3, 2013 the City provided the County with a written draft of a two-year Interim Animal Shelter Agreement. This draft agreement came as a result of the mutually agreed upon direction developed by the City and County through multiple meetings of the Metro Bakersfield Animal Control Committee, the last of which was held on March 13, 2013.
 
As of this date, over 100 days have come and gone, and the City has yet to receive the County’s proposed revisions to the draft agreement, which was provided on May 3, 2013 (over three and a half months ago).
 
The County’s continued lack of responsiveness, cooperation and courtesy, coupled with the City’s misgivings about the level of care and service being provided by the Kern County Animal Shelter (concerns that are continually brought to the City’s attention by local animal welfare advocates), have forced the City to take action.
 
After much thought and reflection, the City of Bakersfield has decided to separate from the County of Kern and operate its own animal care facility to provide appropriate shelter and care for the stray and otherwise unwanted animals from the City of Bakersfield. As such, the City has provided official notice to the County that
their lease and the operational agreement between the City and the County expire on September 30, 2013, thus requiring the County to vacate the current shelter by the close of business on September 30, 2013 (see attached letter).
 
The City understands that the County may desire to continue its operations at the Mt. Vernon shelter past September 30th, and, to accommodate that circumstance, the City has provided the County with an option to remain at the Mt. Vernon location through December 1, 2013, to allow time for the necessary transition of the facility.
 
The City is currently in the process of developing partnerships with the Bakersfield SPCA and Bakersfield Homeless Center to facilitate the City’s new shelter operations.
 
As such, City staff expects to bring forward in September new agreements with the SPCA and Homeless Center for Council approval.
 
While some may view this action as an unfortunate result of the County’s inactions, the City views this as a great opportunity to forge a new model focused on improving the care and ultimate outcome of stray and otherwise unwanted animals in the City of Bakersfield.

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