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?


Anonymous said...

Well, I can't speak for others, but what my parents and I have personally done is get 8 feral females and 4 feral males fixed and vaccinated out of our own pocketbooks within the past year. We also took advantage of the SPCA feral program last October to get another 4 females and 2 males done. So we're acting locally to reduce the number of breeding ferals, which really contributes to the overpopulation of cats in this area.

As for the city level, the city already has around 100k in grant money to start spay/neuter programs, they just aren't spending it. Maybe that should be an issue people bring up strongly at the next meeting.

I personally worry about what sort of paperwork a mandatory spay/neuter law will impose upon veterinarians. Many of the feral kittens we've rescued require months of medication before one can even think about fixing them, so there's no way they could be fixed at 4 months. If a veterinarian has to fill out exemption paperwork for each one of those cases, that could place an undue burden on them. 4 months is too young for any animal that faced hardship in its early days.

Paw Print City said...

My thanks to you for taking the time to reach out to the ferals in your area and having them altered and vaccinated. TNR (trap, neuter and release) has been shown to be a very effective policy to control the feral cat population.

I understand your concerns about the paperwork involved in veterinary exceptions. I think of all the issues raised by the spay/neuter debate, this will be one of the easiest to address, as I'm confident that a form can be created where a veterinarian can check the appropriate box(es) and sign for the exemption.

If you find yourself in doing a little more on behalf of the pet overpopulation issue, let me know. I'd love to have a few other folks to help get the ball rolling.

Anonymous said...

Paw Print City, I fully agree with your call for animal lovers to step up. I would like to plead, beg, ask nicely, and cajole everyone to show up at the AC Commission meeting on Wednesday, March 19th. I have it on good sources that allot will be going on there, and everyone is needed!


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