Kern County, CA has leased property from the city of Bakersfield for its pound since the 1970s but the relationship has been a contentious one, at least lately. Both the city and the county have complaints but as far as the animals are concerned, the Kern Co pound is killing more animals now than it has in many years. Unable to negotiate an agreement, the city is evicting the county from the property on September 30, with an offer of a December 1 extension if the county needs more time to relocate.
The city manager said it’s vital for the city to take control, citing animal rights groups’ complaints against the level of care the shelter has been providing.
At issue now is the fate of nearly 900 animals at the Kern Co pound:
According to county officials, there are three options.
“One of which is to move the animals. One of which is to release them, and in releasing them we can use some of the rescue agencies, that sort of thing. Or third, those animals would have to be destroyed,” [County administrative officer John] Nilon continued.
The Kern Co pound director seems to have a plan in mind but given the county’s stated intention to decline the extension on the eviction, I’m not sure how realistic that plan may be:
“When we get to the day that we have to move, we literally have to take every animal in the facility, which includes dogs, cats, horses, pigs, everything we have so we leave an empty facility behind,” said Kern County Animal Control Director Jen Woodard.
If the Kern Co pound staff can move nearly 900 animals by September 30, that’s great. But if their plan is to simply continue killing at the current horrifying rate or possibly even worse in order to reduce the population needing to be relocated, I hope they’ll reconsider. If there is to be a positive outcome from this awful situation, I suspect it will fall to the so-called irresponsible public to do the heavy lifting, as usual.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)