Local News

Tuesday, May 03 2011 11:00 AM

Why are dead animals not removed on the weekends?

By The Bakersfield Californian

Q: I realize budget cuts have caused a cutback in services, especially at Kern County Animal Control. But for there to be no removal of dead animals on the weekend is a shame.

A beautiful orange cat was apparently hit during the night in front of my home on a busy street. Cars were swerving into the next lane to avoid hitting it. I dialed animal control, where I was switched over to the Sheriff's Office, which switched me to the CHP. A CHP officer responded promptly -- and simply tossed the dead cat into the gutter, right where my family members park their cars.

Really? Is that what we pay taxes for? I realize CHP is not animal control, but why is there no one responsible for the removal of dead animals on the weekend?

What am I supposed to do with this cat, leave it there for someone to not see and park on top of it? Throw it in my trash can?

My 5-year-old grandson will be home in a few hours -- is he going to have to see this? This policy needs to be changed immediately.

-- Karen Pierce

A: Kern County Animal Control officials responded:

Unfortunately, due to budget cuts over the years, Kern County Animal Control has had to limit the types of calls responded to after hours and on the weekends to priority calls only. There are a limited number of officers on duty during these times and they spend the majority of their time running priority calls.

These officers must be available to respond to emergencies such as animals that have life-threatening injuries or illness, or vicious animals which pose an immediate threat to public safety.

If a member of the public finds a stray deceased animal after normal business hours, Kern County Animal Control staff asks the public to use their online complaint form, at www.co.kern.ca.us/acd, which is emailed to the call-taker staff and received and dispatched to an animal control officer at the first available opportunity during normal business hours.

An owner whose pet has passed away after normal business hours has several options including disposing of the animal on his or her own property or contacting an after-hours veterinary hospital for options regarding disposal services.

Kern County Animal Control can be reached at 321-3000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergencies are dispatched through the Kern County Sheriff's Department via the non-emergency number, which is 861-3110.

We understand that seeing deceased animals is very difficult for anyone, especially a child. We can empathize with the reader's position. We ourselves consider animals our family members and wish we could do more.

Q: Why isn't the city of Bakersfield still exploring options to build a new minor league baseball stadium? A modern facility would increase interest, revenue and larger crowds -- which would create more employment opportunity. If Bakersfield can field a minor league hockey team with success, surely we can pack crowds into a new baseball stadium. Sam Lynn just doesn't appeal to the masses like it once did.

A new stadium would also become an attractive bargaining chip for affiliation with a major league club (such as the Dodgers, who left in 1994 because of the aging facilities at Sam Lynn).

-- Joel Sanders

A: Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy fielded this one (pun intended):

The goals of the City Council mention needed and desirable community improvements such as a cultural arts center and a multi-purpose stadium among others. Unfortunately the economy is not good and cutbacks have come both from the state and federal governments.

Local revenues during the recession have also fallen, resulting in staffing reductions and, in some cases, slower response times for city services.

Under the present economic circumstances, some desirable community needs will have to continue to wait for a better time when core services have been restored and more financial support is available.

Q: I attended Bakersfield College in 1954 and played baseball on the school team. I would like anything newsworthy that you might have as it pertains to Hal Donathan for the year 1954.

-- Hal Donathan

Q: Do you have obits for the year of 1945? I am looking for death of a great aunt.

-- Victor OReilly

A: We ask and answer these kinds of questions in Ask The Californian frequently but people keep asking so we'll keep answering. Here's a refresher:

The cheapest way to find articles is to search the microfiche of past newspapers at Beale Library downtown.

If you want us to do the searching and you have the exact date the articles you're interested in ran, the charge is $3 per page, with a minimum $5 charge. If you don't have an exact date, the charge for a search is $60 an hour plus $3 per page with a $5 minimum.

To request a search, call 395-7351.

Ask The Californian appears on Mondays. Submit questions to asktbc@bakersfield. com or to The Bakersfield Californian, c/o Christine Bedell, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302.

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