Couch's Corner: Kern County Animal Services reaches no-kill status
Last updated 10/20/2020 at 8:36pm | View PDF
As Fourth District supervisor, I work with Kern County Animal Services on efforts to reduce the euthanasia rates in our county.
Recently, KCAS announced for the first time on record, that the shelters operated by the department reached no kill status. No-kill shelters prevent the killing of animals based on arbitrary criteria such as color, age or breed. Furthermore no-kill shelters find a placement for 90% of their population.
Reaching this important community achievement took unified leadership and was a personal goal of mine when you elected me to the Board of Supervisors. So while I am very pleased that we have achieved this I am especially grateful to Nick Cullen and his department who have worked so hard to get to this point. Let’s reflect on the successful measures our community enacted to reach this point.
In November of 2015, the board approved my referral to KCAS, requesting a report on a plan to convert the county’s shelter into a no-kill shelter. One month later, Director Nick Cullen responded to the board and provided a presentation on attaining the goal of becoming a no-kill shelter within a five-year time frame. To witness the progress Kern County continues to make treating our animals humanely is truly remarkable.
In September of 2020, KCAS euthanized only 40 animals. In other words, 94% of the animals are alive or found new homes last month. The 94% save rate presents a significant improvement from 2011, when they euthanized over 18,000 animals. Eleven programs administered by KCAS assisted the community with achieving the goal set by the board and Director Nick Cullen five years ago. The following programs include:
• KCAS Trap Neuter Return program
• KCAS Volunteer program
• KCAS Adoption program
• KCAS Rescue program
• KCAS Public Relations program
• KCAS Proactive Redemption program
• KCAS Foster program
• KCAS Pet Retention program
• KCAS Spray/Neuter program
• KCAS Rehabilitation program
• KCAS Leadership program
The KCAS Foster program allows members of the community to care for animals that do not receive adoption immediately upon arrival to the shelter because they are too young, ill or injured. After completing an application, folks from the community take in these animals with a time commitment ranging from a weekend to several months. In most cases the temporary stay turns into an adoption. In 2017, the program helped 1,148 animals and continues to surge in 2020.
During this difficult year of isolation and uncertainty, I admire our friends and neighbors of this county for supporting our Animal Services by providing safety and care to our most vulnerable animals through the adoption and foster program. Also, thanks to the community for collaborating with our local rescue organizations to save pets off the street and for their assistance with reducing the number of stray animals in our shelter. In October, let’s continue maintaining our county’s no-kill status by working together as a community to advance this progress.
If you have any questions about this or any other matter, feel free to contact us at [email protected] or at 661-868-3680.