23ABC Community Connection


Fixing Kern County one pet at a time: Critters Without Litters celebrates another milestone

The nonprofit low-cost spay and neuter provider has performed 100,000 surgeries for housepets, ferals, and strays in Kern County.
Critters Without Litters sign
Posted at 6:39 PM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 00:41:55-04

Critters Without Litters is a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Bakersfield, and just weeks after celebrating their 10th anniversary helping pet parents in Kern County, they’ve hit yet another milestone: 100,000 happy customers.

Bragging rights for being number 100,000 go to Lyndsey Brown and her dog Reggie. The staff at Critters Without Litters say they administer 70 to 80 spay and neuter surgeries a day.

Executive Director Vicky Thrasher says the organization’s main goal is to reduce animal suffering.

“Our mission here was to end the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals in our shelter system by stopping them from ever getting into the shelter system, and we believe the best way to do that is to offer safe, affordable, accessible spay/neuter services for pet owners and people who are caring for feral and free-roaming cats here in Kern County,” Thrasher said.

Thrasher says she’s seen an increase in homeless animals since the pandemic.

“We have far too many homeless pets here in our area, so our way of addressing that is to try and reduce that number through proactively spaying and neutering,” said Thrasher.

Thrasher credits the Critters Without Litters staff for working to make this milestone possible and says CWL will continue working to provide services to the residents of Kern County.

“These folks come in every day. They get spit at, they get scratched at, they get hissed at, they get growled at. There’s always things to clean up, things to do,” said Thrasher. “The fact that they show up every single day with the goal in mind to help make our community a better place through the efforts they are taking on behalf of spay and neuter is something the community should really be aware of and be thankful that you have these folds that are willing to do with job.”

One of those staff members is Deidra Metzler. Every day she examines animals, administers vaccines, and premedicates the pets for surgery.

“I think it’s huge for Kern County overall, considering one, the state of animal care in this area, and two, with the pandemic and the high demand for spay and neuter services and other preventative care that we offer, so just the simple fact that we’ve achieved this in just slightly over a decade for Kern County is monumental,” said Metzler.

While the staff at Critters Without Litters celebrates this moment, Thrasher says their efforts are far from over.

“We had special t-shirts made up for the staff to kind of commemorate the event, since we all play a part in having that done,” said Thrasher. “Other than that, in all honesty, it’s another work day. The appointments don’t stop. The phones don’t stop ringing. People are still in need of our services, so it’s kind of back to work to see how we can build on this and continue to provide services to the residents of Kern County.”

To learn more about Critters Without Litters, to donate money or supplies, or to make an appointment for an animal you care for, visit the Critters Without Litters website.