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Kern County Animal Services Director discusses reaching no-kill status milestone

Kern County Animal Services
Posted at 11:26 AM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 11:33:42-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Kern County Animal Services Director Nick Cullen joined 23ABC this morning to discuss the milestone of reaching a no-kill status.

The organization announced Thursday they finished the month of September with a save rate of 94%, reaching no-kill status.

Kern County Animal Services received a total of 732 animals in the month of September. That includes 326 dogs and 406 cats that entered County shelters. Add that total to the number of animals that were already in care at County shelters of 268, and that works out to an even 1,000 animals cared for at County shelters in September.

As of October 1, the count of animals being cared for in County shelters was 317. All that math shows is that a total of 683 animals found final outcomes in County shelters in the month of September.

The reason why County staff is celebrating Thursday is that of those 683 animals finding their final outcomes, 643 of those animals found them very much alive.

For the month of September 2020, Kern County can proudly say that its sheltering system reached “no-kill”, as commonly defined, by producing live outcomes for over 94% of shelter pets.

In the field of animal sheltering, a “no-kill” animal shelter is commonly defined as a shelter that finds placement for at least 90% of their population.

It wasn’t very long ago that Kern County was notorious for its high rates of animal shelter deaths, with annual numbers well over 20,000. For many years, an average month at the Kern County Animal Shelter included over 1,700 dogs and cats being euthanized at the hands of County staff.

Last month, that number was 36.

With all that 2020 has brought to our community and beyond, Kern County residents have accomplished something special that was not in the realm of possibility just 8 years ago.

“I’ve never seen the support for shelter animals like I have in these past 7 months. The pandemic that we all face, the things going on in our society, it all has a way of distorting our ability to recognize the good that still exists in people. We just wanted to take a minute out of everyone’s day, and celebrate progress for a community in an area that it has struggled in for so long” said Nick Cullen, Director of Kern County Animal Services.