By Lois Henry
Sometimes in researching a column, I come across good info but don't have room to include it.
Such was the case with my column on Bakersfield's new low-cost spay/neuter clinic, Critters Without Litters.
New Kern County Animal Control Director Jen Woodard will be Lois Henry's guest today on Californian Radio. Henry's show is every Wednesday on KERN 1180 AM from 9 to 10 a.m. You can get your two cents in by calling 842-KERN.
The Cat People
Assists low-income, seniors and those caring for cat colonies with cost of spay/neuter.
1930 18TH St. Thurs-Sat. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Critters Without Litters
Low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Open to all income levels. Appointments required.
4300 STINE ROAD, SUITE 720
KC Animal Control:
Voucher program for low-income (proof required) Kern residents. Cost $20 each, covers entire cost of spay/neuter. Specified vets and clinics only. Max. 4 per household. Limited number available each month. Can be purchased in person one Saturday per month throughout the county, usually at vaccination/licensing clinics. Call Ellie for more info.
* For dogs: Accuracy of dog's weight is essential when purchasing voucher.
201 SO. MT. VERNON AVE.
Mobile spay/neuter unit that is in Bakersfield frequently. Works with all voucher and grant programs. Fee includes microchip. Vaccinations available, $10 each.
26873 SIERRA HIGHWAY, SUITE 147
SANTA CLARITA, 91321
Kern Humane Society:
Worth $10 to $15 to help with spay/neuter cost for cats, $20 for dogs. Available in person on the first Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. only. Max. 2 per address. Can be used at Mountain Communities SPCA, any AngelDogs clinic, Critters Without Litters, or local vet. Call for info in outlying areas. Can be combined with other organizations' vouchers.
2111 BRUNDAGE LANE
Shop Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation:
Limited number available each month for $40 to offset cost of spay/neuter. Limit 2 per household per calendar year. No income requirements. Send name, mailing address and number requested to email@example.com. If the month's allotment has been reached you will be put on a waiting list. Can be used at any AngelDogs clinic, Critters Without Litters and combined with other vouchers.
PO BOX 11494, 93389
Happy Kern Cats:
Two-year project (beginning fall 2011) of semi-monthly clinics to alter feral cats from the 93306 ZIP code.
Alpha Canine Sanctuary:
Has been funding periodic free or low-cost clinics at various locations. May be restarting vouchers for low income. Call for current details.
P.O. BOX 5517
Periodic low cost s/n clinics for cats in town at specified locations.
3000 GIBSON ST.
Tehachapi Humane Society:
Free vouchers for varying amounts for residents of Tehachapi, Keene, Hart Flat, Caliente, Mojave, California City, Rosamond, Boron and North Edwards areas. Can be combined with Friends vouchers and used at most vets in Kern. Call first to confirm. Also fund $30 to $50 for feral cats.
21600 GOLDEN STAR, UNIT #3
661-823-0699 ext 1 for vouchers; ext 2 for feral cat program
Mountain Communities SPCA:
Cats: Transport cats to Valley Vet Non Profit Spay & Neuter Clinic in Simi Valley every two weeks for residents of 93222, 93225, & 93243 ZIP codes. Cost $47.50; vaccinations and testing also available for $10 each. Kern Humane and Friends vouchers accepted. Contact Becky at MCSPCA.
Dogs: Free vouchers for varying amounts based on income, for residents of 93222, 93225, & 93243 ZIP codes. Used with AngelDogs. First schedule with AngelDogs, then call MCSPCA for the voucher.
PO BOX N
PINE MOUNTAIN CLUB, 93222
As I spoke with people about how huge it is for us to finally have such a clinic, I learned about a number of other good programs just now getting underway.
So here they are:
Be on the look out for free microchipping for your dog through a number of venues.
The City of Bakersfield has already begun a pilot program offering free microchipping at its monthly vacination/licensing events. They bought 500 chips and have already given out half at two events, said Asst. City Manager Steve Teglia. The microchipping is free to anyone who can show proof of a license or $10 to those without license information.
The county has also begun a microchip program at its shelter on Mount Vernon Avenue, said new Animal Control Director Jen Woodard. They are free to anyone regardless of license status.
That may not seem like a big deal, but it's a giant step by both agencies in a more proactive effort to keep animals out of the shelter in the first place.
"Our hope is when an animal control officer comes in contact with a chipped animal, they can scan them in the field, get the licensing information and return the animal to its owner so they never even come to the shelter," Teglia said.
And if they do come to the shelter, a microchip will get them home much faster, Woodard said.
Considering problems the shelter has had controling disease and the fact that more than 20,000 animals were euthanized last year, anything that can stem the tide of animal intake is a worthy goal.
Also to that end, both city and county are using ongoing neighborhood canvassing by animal control officers to educate people about resources they can use to help with their animal issues.
Such as helping find rescues or adoption groups if their dog just had an "oopsie" litter of pups and then where to go to get that dog spayed and how to do it for the lowest cost possible.
The county's officers will still be working on licensing compliance, Woodard said.
"But if they're going door-to-door speaking with people, we want to use those teams to help people solve problems," she said. She's working on booklets to hand out that will give people contact and how-to information.
Such proactive ideas are regular topics of conversation at the new Metropolitan Bakersfield Animal Control Committee meetings. The committe was formed following the city and county's animal agencies' near divorce earlier this year.
The city agreed to pay the county more money to shelter its animals but insisted on more input. This joint committee is one avenue for that input.
It is open to the public (see details in box) so feel free to sit in and get the low-down on the all the latest, greatest animal control ideas.
And don't be afraid to offer a few of your own.
Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lois Henry, not The Bakersfield Californian. Her column appears Wednesdays and Sundays. Comment at http://www.bakersfield.com, call her at 395-7373 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org