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The Husky factor: Breeders keep making dog doomed to land in shelter

KBAK/KBFX photo

Bakersfield animal shelters are packed, and part of the problem is one particular breed keeps coming back to the shelter.

Huskies are beautiful dogs. But cute as they may be, finding good homes and enough homes for those dogs isn't easy.

"We call it the husky factor," said Julie Johnson, director of the Bakersfield Animal Care Center.

Huskies of all ages, colors and sizes are found stray or are surrendered to the shelter. The dogs are being brought in faster than they are being adopted out.

"Many times when we do get them adopted out, they end up back here, because they're running away," said Johnson.

The huskies are running away, because that's what they are born to do. But they aren't born to do it here, where it gets hot.

Even when temperatures are mild, they regularly need to cool off in a kiddie pool.

So how many huskies are at this one shelter right now?

"We have about 14 huskies in the shelter," said Johnson. "That's typical. We get more each day."

The husky factor has grown so much the shelter is now actively trying to adopt the dogs out to places like Washington or Oregon, where the climate is better for the dogs.

Even as they send huskies out, more come in, because people in Bakersfield are breeding the dog, not caring that many of them are ending up abandoned.

"We don't need people breeding these dogs," said Johnson. "We have plenty here at the shelter. On any given day at any shelter in Kern County, you can get a husky."

According to Johnson, knowing how available huskies are is the key to ending the overpopulation problem, and she's asking people to adopt, not shop.

However, even adopting may not be the best idea if you don't have the appropriate set-up for the high-energy dog. So, Johnson urges you do your research.

If you still decide you want a husky, they'll only cost you $50 at the shelter.

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