Kern County Animal Control changes course on feral cats

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Kern County Animal Control started its mobile spay and neuter clinics in February last year. The goal: decrease the number of dogs and cats breeding at such rapid rates and in turn decrease the animal population over time.

Kern County Animal Control director Jen Woodard says that as of July, the facility will no longer be accepting the average 1,200 feral cats brought into the shelter in traps each year. The plan is to trap, neuter and release them back into their environment.

"Sometimes it seems like the easiest solution to trap them, bring them in here, but unfortunately there's nowhere for them to go," Woodard says. "The idea is that this is going to provide us long-term success, not to mention that we won't have to kill 1,200 cats a year, which is what we currently do when those cats come in."

Animal Control officials hope to eventually operate a no-kill facility, however that goal is still a long way off. The two main ways to work toward it, according the Woodard, are spaying and neutering animals and adding foster homes.

Currently, the facility has about 100 foster homes but needs many more.