Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kern County euthanasia rate rises again

James Burger has written yet another compelling story about Kern County's complete failure to reduce the number of homeless pets being euthanized. Despite a 41 percent increase in the number of pets being pulled from the county shelter by rescue groups in 2008, Kern County Animal Control still posted a 5.7 percent increase in euthanasia over 2007.

What I find even more disappointing is that given the economic downturn (to put it mildly), the County Board of Supervisors appears to have all but thrown in the towel.

I have to say that of all of the cultural adjustments I had to make when we moved to Bakersfield, living in a place that seems so completely ambivalent about the pet overpopulation issue is the hardest to come to terms with. Most of the residents don't seem to care, evidenced by how few choose to involve themselves in the issue at all. Fewer than one percent of households are members of the Bakersfield SPCA (or any other pet organization). Even at the height of the Animal Control Commission meetings there were maybe 100 people in attendance, despite the town having a population of over 300,000. And while I understand on some basic level that in a budget-strapped economy there doesn't seem to be any money to provide for much-needed animal services, what is the excuse for not acting when the money was flowing?

And why do so very many people seem not to care?

Read the complete article here.

You become responsible, for ever, for what you have tamed.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, from The Little Prince

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