Animal Services ramps up enforcement of illegal dog-breeding

An increase of huskies at Kern County Animal Services in Bakersfield, Calif., has led officials to think there may be a spike in unlicensed breeders. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Kern County Animal Services has observed a spike in huskies turned into the shelter in the last year.

Director Nick Cullen argued the issue likely derives from an increase in husky breeders.

"It's an issue that's on so many different fronts complicating," Cullen said. "If you decide to breed animals, to buy animals, to sell animals, there's permitting that needs to happen. We do that for a reason, so we know who is breeding what in Kern County."

Cullen said many animal sellers in the county have not taken the steps to legally breed dogs for profit.

"It's not that easy as to get yourself a couple of high-dog breeds and and start breeding 'em in your backyard," Cullen said. "It's important to realize that before you do that, there's a high chance that not all those animals that you breed, all those puppies you adopt out, are going to stay in those homes forever. A lot of them end up in our shelter."

Any person who has bred more than one liter of pups, even accidentally, must:

  • Contact Animal Services at (661) 868-7100
  • Request a site visit
  • Fill out an application
  • Allow services to conduct property research to determine how many animals can be cared for on site
  • Pay necessary fees
  • Allow for annual inspections

If breeders are caught violating the county animal breeding ordinance, officials will administer a misdemeanor violation that could carry a fine.

"It's pretty cut and dry," he said. "I mean, if you're breeding and there's proof that you're breeding, you're in violation. As soon as it's determined that you're in violation, you do not have a permit, you're guilty."

Anyone looking to adopt at Animal Services can visit its page for a list of animal adoption fees. Also feel free to check out the Bakersfield Animal Care Center, Bakersfield SPCA or Marley's Mutts to find a pet in need of a loving home.

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