County animal control moves into new home, gets 'fresh start'

County animal control moves into new home, gets 'fresh start' »Play Video
Kern County Animal Control vehicles line up Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, to move animals to a new facility in northwest Bakersfield. (KBAK/KBFX photo/Lou Enriquez)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - After getting the boot in August from the city of Bakersfield, Kern County Animal Control is now in a new home.

Staff and volunteers spent the better part of Sunday loading and transporting nearly 300 animals from its long standing site at 201 S. Mt. Vernon Ave. in the southeast to its new digs at 3951 Fruitvale Ave. in the northwest.

Most of the animals were dogs and cats.

"We may have a rabbit in there some where," said Nick Cullen, department supervisor.

Staff showed up early, around 7 a.m., to start the process of inventory, loading and transporting the animals across town. Appearing confused at times, the animals seemed to sense something major was going on.

Some dogs were reluctant to leave the shelter on Mt. Vernon Avenue, and once arriving at the new site on Fruitvale, others were reluctant to get out of the trucks and move into the new surroundings.

The new site is larger, and animals are all housed indoors instead of indoors and outdoors as was the case at the previous facility, said animal control interim director Shyanne Schull.

"We're going to have some get-acquainted rooms, meet-and-greet rooms for people to come and sit down with animals, visit with them, have a nice quiet area," said Schull.

People looking to adopt an animal may also bring their own pet from home to get acquainted with a prospective adoptive animal to see if it's a good match for the family, said Schull.

The move comes after a highly public feud between county and city leaders over finances and other issues at the animal shelter.

The county-run shelter at Mt. Vernon Avenue sat on city-owned property. Apparently having enough, the city told the county to vacate the property by Sept. 30. As a result, the city will have to operate its own shelter for city residents.

Last week, the city awarded a contract worth $742,000 to Bakersfield SPCA to manage the facility on Mt. Vernon Avenue.

Kern County's animal control also changed its name. As of Tuesday, it will be known as Kern County Animal Services.

"We have a new name, a new logo, a new facility and a fresh start," said Schull.