- Video shows several animals within our local shelters, organizations working to address animal overpopulation, and stray animals.
- In response to the illicit breeding and careless pet owners, the Animal Services Commission is recommending stricter regulations when it comes to spay and neuter.
- Local residents are speaking out about the dangers they're concerned about when it comes to illicit breeding and stray animals.
It’s become a common sight throughout Kern County: overcrowded shelters and stray animals roaming the streets. Kelly Romero sees it in her neighborhood in Oildale, one of the major areas for animal control calls.
“It’s overwhelming. I see dead dogs on the side of the road weekly, stray dogs daily,” Romero said. “It only takes that one time where there’s a dog that wants to come after my dog, myself, my daughter.”
Romero’s concerns for the overpopulation of animals in her community stems from fear for the safety of herself, her family, and her pets. She’s not the only one.
“I’m coming to speak on the same situation as my family, we’re all really frustrated, we just had an incident today again,” said one Delano resident at the the Animal Service’s Commission hearing on Oct. 18.
The resident and their family speaking out regarding a group of dogs in their neighborhood.
“I have a 7 and a 10 year old. My 7-year-old has a coop of chickens. They were trying to eat the chickens. I’m afraid to let them go out an play in the yard because I’m afraid they’ll be out there,” he said.
In response to the illicit breeding and careless pet owners, the Animal Services Commission is recommending stricter regulations when it comes to spay and neuter.
“Sometimes animal owners exhibit bad behavior so when we see a pattern, we’re going to force them to get their animals fixed,” said Commissioner Gary Blackburn. “It’s a big pattern that has gotten worse and worse the last five years.”
The proposed ordinance would require pet owners to either spay.. neuter.. or license their pets.. or face hefty fines..
“Simply an attempt to require that somebody, a pet owner who is found to be in violations of a county code that involves animals, could potentially be required to spay/neuter their pet,” said Kern County Animal Services Director Nick Cullen.
Even though there has been some opposition to the proposed ordinance changes officials say the regulation has several exemptions that apply. They say the focus is on addressing the negative impacts of so-called “backyard breeders” and overpopulation.
Cost for spay and neuter is also a concern for many, but KCAS and rescue organizations point to the amount of low-cost resources available.
While it’s unclear when this ordinance could be taken up by the board, until that time, residents like Romero say they’ll be on-guard.
“We go for walks or have my daughter with me and sometimes they’re feral, sometimes they’re friendly, you just never know,” she said.
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