Local News

Wednesday, Sep 18 2013 02:15 PM

'First Look': SPCA training a beginning to a new life for homeless center clients

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Cathy Orn works with Binx in the cattery as part of her training at the SPCA.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    After giving Frenchie a fresh blanket, Brenda Gade takes an extra minute for petting the small dog. The SPCA is training homeless people in kennel work.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Animals are cared for at the SPCA.

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    Californian columnist Lois Henry, left, talks with Bakersfield SPCA director Julie Johnson and Jacob Carrasco and Cathy Orn about their work at the SPCA on "First Look with Scott Cox."

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They go to work every day and clean kennels with pride in their hearts and smiles on their faces.

Bakersfield Homeless Center clients talked about their experience and training at the Bakersfield SPCA on Wednesday on "First Look with Scott Cox."

"It feels like I'm making a positive difference in the community and I've always been an animal person so if I could get any career in animal care, I'd be a happy camper," said Jacob Carrasco, who is living with his family at the homeless center.

Carrasco and the other clients are learning how to implant microchips, give shots and work with the public.

Bakersfield SPCA Director Julie Johnson said her staff gets attached to the animals and that helps them find the animals a forever home.

"When someone comes with an interest to adopt, these guys get to know the people interested and they try and find the perfect animal for them," Johnson said.

On the simulcast was Lucy, a 1-year-old poodle who held tightly to Cathy Orn, the crew leader who helps manage the homeless center warehouse and is also training with SPCA.

Orn said Lucy was infested with flees and ticks when she arrived at the SPCA. But they took care of her and she's now cleaned up and ready for adoption.

"I'm pretty attached to her. I take her in my arms when she's nervous to calm her down," Orn said as she cradled Lucy.

The homeless center staff will grow to nine people in the next few months, Johnson said. She is very satisfied with the partnership and says there is never a dull moment at the SPCA.

"They are dedicated and these individuals make everyone smile because they are so energetic all around," Johnson said.

The partnership between the homeless center and the SPCA was Californian columnist Lois Henry's topic on Sunday.

Also on the show, Henry talked about her column about the death of Glenda Crosley.

Crosley, who was serving a 15-year-to-life sentence for killing her husband outside a pizza parlor on Ming Avenue in 1986, died July 13, a little more than a month after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Henry said.

Crosley had become an advocate for victims of domestic violence after she was convicted.

"Her daughter Stacey told me her mother didn't have to admit any wrongdoing, all she had to do was apologize to her kids because that's where the damage had been done," Henry said.

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