BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The Street Dog Coalition serves dogs who are found on the streets with their unhoused or vulnerably housed caretakers around Kern County.
“Most of this population is incredibly healthy but we will sometimes see skin infections, allergies, paw infections like ingrown toenails, ear infections so most of them its relatively minor care,” said Allyson Hannan.
The event happens every third Thursday at the Church Without Walls. Pastor David Holt shares that a pet sometimes keeps the owner going when on the streets.
“They’re so close to them maybe they’ve lost friends and family right here on the streets, so it is their family so it’s huge to them to be able to get their family taken care of,” said Holt.
Debra Ousley brought her dog after she got it from a homeless couple and says the community needs this type of help.
“There’s a lot of dogs out there that need to be taken care of and this is a good way that they can take care of their animals […] and for people to bring their dogs in that shows they’re trying to do better,” said Ousley.
During the event, those unhoused or vulnerable can get food, resources, and more as they wait for their pets. However, with a limited number of volunteers, the veterinarians can’t see everyone.
“Sometimes it’s overwhelming knowing that we’re trying to help, we’re trying to make a dent, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are, because there is just more than we’re just able to provide for, more pets that need care,” said Hannan.
But Pastor Holt says many people come to the next and return also wanting to help themselves.
“One of the biggest ways here on the streets is if you show love to them by offering love to their pets.” It can start to transform things,” said Holt.
The next event with services like this will be at the Church Without Walls in Oildale on Nov. 16 at 9 a.m. and it helps to arrive early.