Pet overpopulation is a problem that affects Kern County and our local shelters.
But, a local non-profit is hoping to change that, by asking pet owners to "beat the heat."
Critters Without Litters says last year, nearly 8,300 cats were euthanized in local shelters because they didn't have homes.
"We have a lot of animals that come in the shelter every day," said Maggie Kalar, Kern County Animal Control. "An average is 50 to 100 animals can be brought in through either Animal Control officers or the public."
The shelter currently houses 132 cats. Of those, 87 are up for adoption.
"We do see a high amount of cats coming into the shelter," said Kalar. "Unfortunately, cats are a lot harder to place, so we do have a harder time trying to find them homes."
Critters Without Litters, a local non-profit, is hoping to reduce that number with its "Beat the Heat" program.
"We believe the best way to help bring those numbers down is to proactively spay and neuter, so that fewer cats are entering the shelter system to start with," said Executive Director Vicky Thrasher.
During the entire month of February, Critters Without Litters will spay female cats for a special rate of $20.
The non-profit was given the PetSmart Charities grant, which will allow the first 200 cats to be spayed.
"For pet owners who might not be considering doing this or in the past have found it economically difficult to do it, programs like this are a great way to take advantage of recourses here in the community," said Thrasher.
She says by spaying your cat in advance of her heat cycle, you will prevent unwanted litters and help with the county's pet overpopulation problem.
"The best way to help keep cats from going into the shelters is to have the adults spayed prior to them having the opportunity to get pregnant," she continued.
For more information on the program, you can visit www.critterswithoutlitters.org
You can also call 831-6000 to make an appointment.