Local News

Monday, Sep 09 2013 01:01 PM

'First Look': Animal control, hydraulic fracking top discussion with Scrivner

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    Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner talks about animal control and other issues on "First Look with Scott Cox."

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    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    The city of Bakersfield has given the Kern County Animal Control Department until Sept. 30 to move out of the shelter.

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    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    In this file photo, a domestic shorthair sits in its cage at what used to be the Kern County Animal Shelter. The city now operates the facility.

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    By Autumn Parry / The Californian

    Mario Robledo tries to relax his nephew's pit bull, Miclo, 7 months, before handing Miclo over to the Kern County Animal Control shelter one recent Tuesday. Robledo's nephew moved into a new apartment and could no longer keep Miclo. The county has long battled high shelter-intake numbers, which are in large part fueled by irresponsible pet ownership. Far more shelter animals are turned in by the public than picked up on the streets by officers.

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The Kern County Animal Control Department faces moving hundreds of animals.

Kern County Second District supervisor Zack Scrivner talked Monday on "First Look with Scott Cox" about the next steps before the county must vacate the current shelter on South Mt. Vernon Avenue.

With less than 30 days left to move, the county has reduced its prices for animal adoptions. Adoption fees are usually $40 to $50 for cats and $75 to $85 for dogs, but Animal Control has dropped the fees to $5 for cats and $15 for dogs.

"Several hundred animals have been adopted by our community, which is great, but we have hundreds of animals coming in every week," Scrivner said.

People can also foster an animal while the county finds a permanent new location, he said.

Simulcast host Scott Cox asked how the county planned to spread the message of the importance of spaying and neutering pets. Scrivner said that is the new focus as the county works to reduce the number of animals the shelter sees each year.

Providing low-cost spay-neuter services is important, Scrivner said. Currently, there are mobile neutering services in the Tehachapi and Mojave areas. Some of Kern's outlying communities don't have a veterinarian, so the vets are brought there, Scrivner said.

Another effort to bring animal shelter numbers down is a collaboration between school districts and the county.

Fliers with information on why it's important to get animals fixed are distrubuted in classrooms. This allows kids to ask their parents whether their pets have been fixed and if not, encourage them to do so.

Moving hundreds of animals to a new location isn't going to be easy or inexpensive, Scrivner said. The county is looking at different locations and wants to find a permanent site that's good for the long-term, the supervisor said.


Environmentalist groups in Sacramento are still concerned about the technique called fracking used to extract oil from hard-to-reach areas; the county supervisor also talked about that on "First Look."

Scrivner said the county and oil industries have agreed to hold public meetings for the community to voice opinions.

According to Scrivner, 14,000 local jobs depend on the oil industry and 80 percent of the state's oil and natural gas is produced locally.

Some people are concerned that there are opportunities for oil production but they're in areas where farming takes place, such as near Wasco and Shafter.

"The plan is to create an agreement that helps both industries coexist," Scrivner said.

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