Chances are pretty good that if you are reading this column your pets are some of the most fortunate companion animals in Kern County. Not because my writing is that terrific, mind you, but because you care enough about pets to give up several minutes of your day to read up on what’s happening in the world of the four-legged critters in your area. In my experience, that translates as people who try their best to do right by the animals they bring into their lives.
As the holidays creep ever closer more than a few of you will have a little something under the tree for your pet, if the 2009 AP-Petside poll is any indication. When asked, 52 percent of respondents said they planned to purchase gifts for their pets for the holidays, despite the difficult economy.
I’m all for spoiling the fur-footed house inhabitants, but if you have a few extra dollars to spare perhaps during the season of giving we can all do a little something to benefit the pets who are not so lucky as ours.
Kern County Animal Control can really use blanket donations to provide a little warmth and comfort for the dogs out in their kennels during these wet, cold months. They ask that the donations be blankets, not comforters, because comforters can be shredded and the padding inside creates both a huge mess and a potential hazard if swallowed. You can drop blankets off at the shelter at 201 S. Mount Vernon Ave.
Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry can always use cat and dog food donations. Their goal is to help disabled and/or homebound seniors and low-income folks keep their pets by helping provide food to get them through the rough patches. Cat food always seems to run in short supply. You may go to their website to find out where to drop off your donation.
Helping Animals Live Tomorrow (H.A.L.T.) Rescue is selling one-pound boxes of See’s Candy during the holiday season to help raise funds. If you are planning to gift some folks on your holiday list with chocolately goodness, why not get in touch with H.A.L.T. and make your purchase doubly-sweet? Give them a call at (661) 395-3018 for more information about ordering.
Bakersfield Cat Control can use a little holiday love to assist in their mission to Trap-Neuter-Release feral cats and adopt out kitten rescues. They can always use cat litter and cat and kitten food. They are also looking for folks willing to sponsor the cost of humane cat traps, donate towards the cost of transporting cats to be sterilized and donations to help offset the costs of veterinary care for the kittens they rescue. For more information go to their website.
Finally, if your mailbox is anything like mine, you are probably being beset with requests for year-end donations, with many of those requests coming from pet and animal organizations. Please remember to think locally when giving money to help companion animals and donate directly to our local animal shelters, rescues and welfare organizations. Many people don’t realize that when they donate to the big national groups --- the ones who send out calendars, address labels and note pads --- that none of that money comes back to the local community. Help the pets in this area by donating directly to the groups who work to make a difference in the lives of homeless pets right here in Kern County.
Happy holidays to you and your fur-covered friends.