BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Carol Lair has been volunteering with the organization The Cat People for nine years. She spends most of her time at Hart Park.
"The biggest problem we have at Hart Park is, for decades, people in Kern County have seen Hart Park as a dumping place for cats they don’t want. And that’s the biggest problem we have in trying to control the population out there," she said.
Carol and her fellow volunteers feed the cats abandoned at the park. They take in friendly cats for adoption and spay and neuter the feral cats.
“The cats are frightened. They’re in a place they’ve never been before. They don’t know where to find food or shelter and there’s predators at the park," said Carol.
She said volunteers take in sick or injured cats who are also oftentimes abandoned.
“People take their sick and injured cats to the park. 'Oh kitty gets sick? Well I don’t think I want to take it to the vet, or I can't afford it, so I'll just take it out to the park,'" said Carol.
If someone can no longer care for their cat, Carol said there are other options.
“So I really want to emphasize that there are better solutions than dumping the cats at the park," she said. "Talk to your families, talk to your friends, [put] out some feelers, see if you can find a home for that cat. Take it to a shelter."
Or the Pawsitively Cats Sanctuary which was created by The Cat People about five years ago. Carol said there are around 100 cats at the sanctuary right now and caring for each one is rewarding.
“I like it a lot. It’s become my passion. I wish I had discovered animal rescue work years and years ago," said Carol.
And she’s not the only one.
“We have some feeders that have been feeding the cats out there for twenty years, right from the beginning," said Carol.
The organization also partners with the Simi Valley Spay Neuter Clinic. So far, they’ve fixed over 1,100 cats for free in Kern County.
The Cat People and its sanctuary rely on donations, which they welcome in the form of money or blankets, food or litter, and they are in need of fosters.
They also have food assistance program for cat owners.
To volunteer or donate, click here.
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