As many of you already know, CAPS has been helping to save at-risk dogs from Kern County Animal Services in Bakersfield, California. Since mid-February of 2022, we have saved close to 140 dogs, some of them hours away from being killed for space. We have saved these unwanted dogs, all found on the streets of Kern County, through social media outreach, creating and maintaining a Petfinder page, coordinating shelter-to-shelter transfers, and reaching out to rescue organizations. We have a team of volunteers and a paid social media specialist just for this project.
CAPS also produced Spanish and English language TV and radio PSAs on the importance of spay/neuter, which are airing in California and other states and U.S. territories.
But these efforts are not enough. Conditions at many of California’s municipal shelters are deplorable. No animal should have to live in substandard confinement, especially in an affluent, progressive state like California. There are too many animals going to shelters post-Covid, but the situation is especially dire in Southern California and in towns all the way up the Central Valley. Too many dogs and cats are losing their lives.
Employees, volunteers, rescues, adopters, and fosters, please fill out the CAPS California Municipal Shelter complaint form. A current relationship with a shelter is not required, but information should be no more than two years old. You can remain anonymous. The report goes into a database.
CAPS will be using this information to make a documentary about California’s municipal shelter system, which we plan to distribute to the media and state legislature. We want the California Legislature to pass a law that requires state licensing, inspection, and regulation of municipal shelters. This law would follow the Association of Shelter Veterinarian Guidelines and would be modeled after the recently enacted New York law.
California municipal shelters would have three years to come into compliance and be provided funding and training that is tied to this compliance. While California for All Animals, the $50 million funding program for shelters has good intentions, participation is not mandatory, and funding is only through grants, which are not tied to specific regulations.
CAPS is looking for interview subjects for our documentary if you are willing to come forward. Northern California municipal shelter information, photos, and videos are especially needed.
Please fill out the complaint form here. We thank everyone for their cooperation in helping to bring critical change to California’s municipal shelter system.