BY RACHEL COOK Californian staff writer email@example.com
The Kern County Animal Services Department will have fewer pets to move to its new location Sunday thanks to a collaborative effort that dispatched dozens of cats and dogs to Canada on Saturday.
Before dawn broke, 53 cats and 15 dogs bound for Cat's Cradle Animal Rescue in British Columbia were loaded into a white cargo van. The animals were either currently in the Mount Vernon Avenue shelter or had been previously pulled from the shelter. Kern County Animal Services has scrambled to find homes for as many of its animals as possible since Aug. 21 when the city of Bakersfield told the county to be out of the shelter by Sept. 30.
With nearly 70 critters on the road, 298 animals remain at the shelter to be moved to the county's newly leased location on Fruitvale Avenue.
"It's a wonderful feeling to know that you've made a difference in the life of the animal," said Linda Hodges, president of Unity Thrift Outreach and Rescue, a Taft nonprofit that aids animals.
The animals' move was executed by a partnership between Hodges' group, the animal services department and the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation, which donated $800 toward the effort.
Retired school teacher Dale Newlove ferried the animals to Yreka, near the Oregon-California border, where the leader of the Canadian rescue group picked them up, Hodges said. She estimated the transportation operation would cost $1,200 or more.
The cats will be placed in foster homes and the dogs will be sent two canine rescues in British Columbia, said Joan Douglas, adoption coordinator for Cat's Cradle Animal Rescue.
In the wake of the city-county split, Hodges said she hopes the community can come together to focus on promoting spay and neutering.
"Everybody needs to not bicker at each other," she said.