Local animal shelters see increase of large dogs across Kern County

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Animal shelters across Bakersfield have seen an increase in adult dogs and are asking the community for help.

The City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center is one of the animal shelters in town that is seeing the increase. The center said they are trying to manage the capacity but need help from the community. Julie Johnson, executive director of Bakersfield Animal Care Center said many of these dogs are brand new and they’ve had to take them in as strays.

“I’ve been calling it ‘COVID whiplash’ and what I mean by that is all our animals were home during COVID,” Johnson said. “People were adopting new pets which was amazing, and now that a lot of these restrictions are lifting, what we’re noticing is there are a lot more animals coming in. And for these large dogs, people are just not reclaiming them.”

Director of Kern County Animal Services Nick Cullen said the Fourth of July season always brings in more dogs.

“Those fireworks start going off and those animals start getting those fight or flight responses,” Cullen said. “Just use precaution[s] and make sure to keep a close eye on your pet during the Fourth of July so that they don’t end up escaping your backyard and end up in an animal shelter.”

If you have to leave your pets at home on the Fourth of July, leave them in your house in a quiet space with food and water. You can also leave a television or radio on to help drown out the noise.

Johnson said if you have lost your dog, you can visit lost.petcolove.org to upload a photo of your furry friend. The website uses facial recognition tracking software to search the animal shelter databases for your lost pet.

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