Is it any wonder the animal community is driven to despair and disgust? Any Kern County resident who has not recently returned from Jupiter knows the kill rate in Kern County Animal shelters is barbaric.

Kern County is the 15th most economically stressed county in the nation, according to an AP report in 2009.  That’s pretty much up there on the misery index. Even more so for cats and dogs who are doomed to enter the gates at Kern County Animal Shelters

The Shelter has the third highest euthanasia rate in the nation, putting to death more than 40,000 animals annually.

Here’s how the animal control budget is being spent: personal experience from July 2009.

My dying cat bit me while the vet was preparing to euthanize her. The vet stated because of rabies law,  he could not euthanize this suffering animal for ten days. I understand the need to control the spread of rabies. Reports were made. I received a letter telling me an investigation was underway.

On the 11th day after the bite, the suffering animal was allowed to die. On the 12th day after the bite,  Officer Borrega from Kern County Animal Control arrived–a day after the cat was legally euthanized.  I explained neither the dead cat nor I had rabies and showed him the healing bite.

I also asked him why he hadn’t called first to see if I was home.  He admitted he knew it was too late to make the call, but it had been a “pretty ride” from Bakersfield to Pine Mountain, a distance of probably sixty miles.

I understand the need to make a unannounced visit when investigating cases of animal cruelty and hoarding. But a drop in for this?

It still makes me furious to witness how the pitifully inadequate Animal Control Budget is spent.  Officer Borrega could have checked out the many reports of animal cruelty and hoarding the Mountain Communities SPCA has filed while he was enjoying his day in Pine Mountain Club.

It makes me sick to think of all the animals who were put down at the shelter on the day Officer Borrega had a pretty ride up to Pine Mountain Club.

Why doesn’t Animal Control allocate some of its budget to hiring investigators who actually resolve problems like the horrendous rate of euthanasia at the shelters, cock fighting, animal cruelty and hoarding?

I wrote a letter of protest to the entire hierarchy of the Animal Control Department as well as Supervisor Watson and never received an answer.

When was the last case of rabies due to a cat bite in Kern County?  No answer to that either.