NewsCovering Kern County


Kern County wakes up to missing pets, fireworks debris following 4th of July celebrations

Kern County Animal Services, Bakersfield (FILE)
Fireworks Debris in Bakersfield
Kern County Animal Services, Bakersfield (FILE)
Kern County Animal Services, Bakersfield (FILE)
Kern County Animal Services, Bakersfield (FILE)
Posted at 3:58 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 20:08:56-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Now that the Independence Day celebrations are over the aftermath is leaving the Bakersfield community with some concerns.

The Park at River Walk where the city held its firework show is clean, but other parts of the community look different. But firework debris isn't the only issue: air quality and lost pets also remain a concern.

Nick Cullen, Kern County Animal Services, Bakersfield
Nick Cullen, director of the Kern County Animal Services in Bakersfield, Calif.

From our furry companions to firework trash some parts of the Bakersfield community are feeling the effects of the Fourth of July holiday. Nick Cullen, the director of Kern County Animal Services says it's still too early to tell if there’s an increase or decrease in animals coming into the shelter.

“We took in a total of 49 animals since Saturday. We usually start keeping track of the 4th of July intake a couple of days before the 4th and a couple of days after,” said Cullen. “We usually see a peak in animals coming to the shelter the day after. Anywhere from one day after to three days after the 4th of July is when we typically see that peak.”

Kern County Animal Services, Bakersfield (FILE)
A dog awaiting adoption at the Kern County Animal Services in Bakersfield, Calif.

Cullen says to take action as soon as possible if your animal is gone.

“My recommendation is going to be the same whether it’s the Fourth of July or the 4th of June or the 4th of December. It's always the same. The moment you realize your pet is missing, go visit the animal shelters.”

Cullen also says don’t just visit your local animal shelter. Check every shelter in town even if it isn’t in your jurisdiction because you never know how far your animal can travel. He also says don’t just rely on social media go to the centers in person to look for your pet.

Fireworks Debris in Bakersfield
Fireworks debris litters a street in Bakersfield, Calif.

When it comes to firework clean-up an area in East Bakersfield near Haley and Jefferson streets is filled with debris. Meanwhile, the Park at River Walk looks much different after the city’s big independence day celebration on Monday.

23ABC reached out to the county about clean-up efforts locally and they said, “our county cleans up Kern County parks, which is managed by various Kern County parks crews, and the city manages their own properties.”

23ABC has not heard back from the city in regards to its clean-up efforts.

When it comes to air quality just before midnight Bakersfield saw an AQI over 301 which is in the hazardous range and then stayed very unhealthy through most of the night.