BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Everyone needs a loving home, including our furry friends.
But during the year of 2021, there was a decrease in adoption and foster rates across the county. Which is now causing Kern County Animal Services to not reach the threshold of being a no-kill shelter.
By definition, a no kill shelter gets at least 90 percent of the animals that enter the shelter alive out of the shelter alive.
While Kern County Animal Services was able to reach this goal in 2020, last year that was not the case.
Nick Cullen, Director of Kern County Animal Services, said in 2021 they didn’t see enough people fostering or adopting pets.
“In June of 2020, we saved somewhere around 94 percent of all the animals that came to us, and then we extrapolated and monitored, and then from June of 2020 to June of 2021, we saved over 90 percent which was the full 12 months, a calendar year and we were super proud of that.”
In 2021 things changed, causing the shelter not to reach the threshold for a no-kill rate.
“But for the calendar 2021, from January 1st through December 31st, we did not save over 90 percent, I think we saved just under 86 percent of the animals that came to us.”
According to the Animal Humane Society, to be considered a no-kill, a shelter must have at least a 90 percent placement rate for the animals in their care.
Cullen explains even 80 percent is an accomplishment for our community.
“There have been years before when we have championed and we are happy that we have received an 80 percent success rate at finding animals a home, I think our community struggles with spayed and neutered.”
In 2020, they only took in about 7,500 animals, where on a normal year they typically take in about 12,000 animals helping them achieve the no-kill rate that year.
“We saw a pretty big decline in the number of animals that are coming to us in 2020, for obvious reason, people are home, they are maybe maintaining their animals a little bit better, plus our shelter wasn’t open for a couple months that year.”
Last year, the somewhat return to normal plus the continuous increase in Distemper and Parvo diseases among the animals didn’t help Kern County Animal Services save all the animals.
“In 2021, we see a return to more animals coming into the facility and just a struggle like we struggle every single year trying to find homes for the animals that come to us.”
Cullen also wants to urge the community to get their pets spayed and neutered. He explained that oftentimes when pets have a litter, those animals end up in their facility.
They are also having a vaccine clinic on Tuesday from 5 to 6:30pm, there you can also get your animal spayed or neutered.
As the need for community involvement elevates at animal shelters in Kern County, here's an in-depth look at national statistics regarding trends associated with the problem.
According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.3 million animals enter U.S. shelters nationwide each year. Next 3.1 million of those animals are dogs and the other 3.2 million are cats.
Sadly, 920,000 of those animals are euthanized on an annual basis, but on the flip side, approximately 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted each year.