BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield Animal Care Center is celebrating a record-shattering milestone.

The center has saved 1,000 dog lives this year and it’s all thanks to the hard work of shelter staff and the generosity of the community.

This is a huge milestone as this is the quickest its ever saved 1,000 dogs since it opened up.

“There’s lots of rescues, vet clinics, and shelters that don’t save 1,000 dogs a year and we did it in three months,” Joshua Proctor the animal behaviorist for the Bakersfield Animal Care Center said.

“We’ve never reached a thousand dogs this early in the year,” Matthew Buck the director of the Bakersfield Animal Care Center said. “We’re normally April or May when we’re hitting that 1,000 dog mark and we hit it in mid-March so we’re doing super great this year.”

However, this isn’t the final goal by a long shot. The animal shelter aims to save 5,000 dogs by the end of the year.

“Even though this is the hardest time of the year to send dogs up to rescue we’ve overcome these obstacles and reached a thousand dogs and I think we’re going to bust our 5,000 goal this year,” Buck said.

“We have to hit that goal. Lives are literally in the balance here,” Proctor said.

The data for the 1,022 dogs saved comes from rescues, adoptions and dogs who’ve been returned to their owners. However, the animal shelter has seen a major increase in its intake numbers as well but even with the setback, the shelter’s on track to reach its big goal.

The staff now taking a step back and a needed moment to bask in their big accomplishment.

“We took a moment to celebrate because we don’t get that chance to breathe. This basically made us shut down stop and appreciate what we are doing,” Proctor said.

Now while the Bakersfield Animal Care Center is celebrating its big success it doesn’t mean people should stop adopting.

Thousands of dogs are still needing to be adopted to reach that 5,000 goal by the end of the year and it’s going to take a village to get that done.