Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sprinkler day!

It's beautiful day here today, one of those perfect spring days you wish would last for the rest of the year. The knowledge that it won't makes you appreciate it all the more.

We ran the sprinkler in the backyard today and Darby got his first chance of the year to take a little dash through the droplets, barking as though this were truly the most exciting invention ever. Well, except for maybe something that would give him total access to the refrigerator.

When it was over, we were left with a face that only his doting parents could love.Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Looks like a little HOPE might be coming our way

It appears that thanks to the efforts of Susan Madigan, the newest member of the Animal Control Commission, HOPE (Halt Overpopulation with Prevention and Education) may be finding its way back to Bakersfield.

HOPE, although imperfect, is currently the only real low cost spay/neuter option the folks in the Bakersfield area currently have available to them on a semi-regular basis. Susan has done a stellar job of gathering together a few interested volunteers to offer assistance, as well as getting a temporary commitment from Kern Humane Society to help with funding costs until a more permanent arrangement can be made with Kern County Animal Control. Hopefully these efforts will provide a more positive outcome for the program this time around.

I'll keep you posted as I find out more.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Folks fighting the good fight

In my world, there are few things more noble than those who work on behalf of the homeless and unwanted pets in our area. To that end, I've begun assembling links for those groups dedicated to pet adoption and reducing the pet population through spay/neuter.

You'll find those links on the right side of the page. I'm sure it is by no means a complete list, so if I left someone out worthy of inclusion, drop me a line and I'll get them on board.

Remember these groups when you find yourself interested in doing a good deed --- they can use all the support they can get.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Crystal clarity

Well, let’s be clear about one thing: there were no kumbaya moments during last night’s ACC meeting. Not even close, so we’ll just be putting that fantasy safely back on the shelf, right next to the one where I’m accepting Pulitzer Prize for writing about critters.

In fact, before I even got to the meeting there was a little drama in store for me. One of the folks I’ve met through this and the blogs began emailing me, asking about my commitment to the cause of mandatory spay and neuter, even going so far as to intimate that I may be secretly working for other side, against the ordinance. My family and friends got a huge giggle out of that, so thanks for the dose of levity.

For the record, lest any of the other twelve or so of you reading this find yourself confused, here’s where I stand, on any number of things:

· I believe that mandatory spay/neuter is the only viable solution to the pet overpopulation problem we have in Kern County. We’re long past the point where lesser measures will have an impact.

· I believe that we are months, maybe years from mandatory spay/neuter being a reality, and in the meantime, we have an obligation to provide as many low cost resources for spay/neuter as we can, working together with whomever will work with us.

· I believe that since breeders are exempt from any ordinance I’ve seen proposed, they should support licensing breeders so that we can weed out the “irresponsible” ones they are always pointing fingers at.

· I believe any and all advertisements for companion animals for sale should have to display the license/permit number, in the same manner that day care centers and contractors are currently required to do.

· I believe that if breed clubs are sincerely concerned about pet overpopulation, as they state, they should put their money where their mouths are and fund a low cost spay/neuter event. C’mon, show us you mean it.

· I believe that it should be possible for people who have diverse opinions to be respectful of the fact that we are all people. If there are areas where we can work together, we should. If we cannot find common ground, then we should respectfully agree to disagree on issues without resorting to mean-spirited, personal attacks. They do nothing to further my goals, they make the people who engage in them seem petty and small, and they take attention away from the very real issues at hand.

I feel as though I can now refract sunlight into prisms of rainbows :o)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Animal Control Commission meeting

Wouldn't it be amazing to see something positive come out of tonight's Animal Control Commission meeting? Wouldn't it be fabulous to see a pair of people, one a respected breeder and one involved in rescue stand together and say, "We represent the small, but growing, group of people on both sides of the issue who wish to see something done about the unacceptable number of pets being euthanized in Kern County, and we're willing to work together to make it happen"?

I asked, on a blog post on why breeders are so opposed to obtaining a license. I won't reiterate my message here (you can head over to the blogs should you wish to read it). I received no real response. I was a bit surprised, as I was asking an honest question and was hoping for a sincere reply or two, since to me it seems like an area where both sides could find some common ground.

Oh well. I'm sure I'll see plenty of representation tonight. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Positive solutions to pet overpopulation in Bakersfield

Funny how the debate has shaken out since reading the article in last week's Californian regarding pet euthanasia in Kern County. There seem to be many people who want to do something positive to reduce the overall number of unwanted pets being put down, but I've seen virtually no response to my request for folks interested in helping make a difference.

We can make that difference, if we want to. Currently, it takes about $5,000 to host a feline low cost spay/neuter event at the Bakersfield SPCA. I'm sure that an event for dogs would cost more, but with the help of a few kindred spirits, we can raise these funds. It just takes a little organization and effort.

We can also work towards getting more people to license their dog(s). The current percentage of licensed dogs in the county is laughable. Those funds are needed by the county in order to carry out some of the larger pet overpopulation issues.

My point is that I've read an awful lot of people's comments on the blogs who profess a desire to do something. So where are you?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bakersfield pet overpopulation

There's no way of getting around it. Bakersfield (well, all of Kern County if I were to be truthful) is doing a simply dismal job of dealing with the overabundance of unwanted pets.

The Bakersfield Californian published an article recently decrying the absolute lack of progress on the part of local government to make any meaningful changes regarding the problem.

The County Board of Supervisors has ordered a study be done by the Kern County Animal Control Commission, due to the BOS by June 10.

But let's be real, here. The Animal Control Commission has had two years to come up with something, yet they haven't. The BOS has known about the problem for years, yet only seem to push when they feel the glare of angry pet lovers, upset because their Sunday morning was ruined by another front page where dead dogs are the main attraction.

Can anything actually get done?

Maybe, if the folks I've seen on the Californian blogs of late actually decide to get together and do something. So I'm asking, as nicely as I know how...if you are interested in doing something to be a part of the solution, let's hear from you. Let's get together and actually fight the good fight. It's been great to see that this time, unlike so many other times when the issue of pet overpopulation has been raised, there seem to be some folks out there willing to challenge the status quo.

I have ideas on how things might be able to change, but I honestly don't think I can do it alone. So if you're out there, and you're serious, let me know.

Blog Design By Sour Apple Studio © All Rights Reserved.