Kern County Fire Department Website
Welcome to Kern County Animal Services
Kern County Animal Services is a department organization under the jurisdiction of the County of Kern. The primary function of Kern County Animal Services (KCAS) is to ensure public protection from dangerous domesticated animals and from diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. The primary activity of KCAS is the Rabies Control Program. The state law defining the Rabies Control Program includes requirements for the licensing of dogs, rabies vaccination for dogs, animal bite reporting, animal quarantine, stray Animal Services, and a shelter system. Other services provided to the public by KCAS include low-cost vaccination clinics; investigation of animal cruelty; dead animal removal and disposal; promotion of spaying and neutering; and public education.

Kern County Animal Services is managed by the Director, who reports to the Board of Supervisors. Senior Animal Services Officers oversee the services that are provided in the unincorporated areas of Bakersfield and the outlying areas. Animal Services Officers report to the Senior Animal Services Officers.

The Animal Services Shelters are managed by the Shelter Supervisor who supervises employees at the Bakersfield and Mojave shelters. Staff at the shelters includes two Senior Animal Care Workers, Animal Care Workers, and office staff.
Mission Statement

Providing professional and compassionate animal services to the people and pets of Kern County through the promotion of responsible pet ownership and community resources, the prevention of animal cruelty, and the creation of a safe and healthy environment for lost, stray or homeless animals.
Service Area

Kern County is the third largest county in the state of California and covers 8,172 square miles. The incorporated areas of the county cover 400 square miles; while the remaining 7,772 square miles is unincorporated.

KCAS serves the unincorporated areas of the county, which includes the unincorporated municipalities of Frazier Park, Lamont, Mojave, Oildale, and Rosamond. KCAS provides all or partial services and shelter services to the cities of Arvin and Tehachapi through contractual agreements.
Services and Functions

Licensing and Rabies Vaccination
California State law requires that all dogs in California must be licensed by the local agency providing animal control services. In Kern County a dog cannot be licensed until the owner can show proof of a current rabies vaccination for that dog.

In order to encourage the public to vaccinate their dogs, KCAS provides low-cost vaccination clinics. A clinic is held on Saturdays two or three times per month at various locations throughout the county. A licensed veterinarian provides the service for a nominal fee; at the same time, Animal Services staff is present so participating owners can license their dog(s). The license fee structure provides discount incentives when purchasing a multi-year license and/or the dog has been spayed or neutered.

Animal Bites
KCAS responds to all reports of someone being bitten by an animal. An investigation follows and the animal is either quarantined by the owner or impounded at the shelter for a ten day period. An animal will be tested for rabies by the Department of Public Health if, during the quarantine period, the animal has shown signs of having contracted rabies; or, it is determined at the time of the bite report, it is likely the animal may have rabies.

Stray and Abandoned Animals
The predominant activity of KCAS is responding to the reports of stray and abandoned animals. Officers are in the field Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm responding to these reports. Officers will also respond to priority and emergency calls after hours and on Saturdays and Sundays. Residents are asked to contact the Sheriff's Department non-emergency line for these calls. When an officer locates stray animals, every attempt is made to return the animals to the owner. When animals do not have any identification, or the owner can't be reached, the animals are impounded and taken to the shelter.

Shelter System
KCAS manages two animal shelters. The largest shelter is located at 3951 Fruitvale Avenue in Bakersfield. The other shelter is located at 923 Poole Street, at the Mojave Airport, in Mojave. Both shelters are able to house and care for dogs and cats. In addition, both shelters can accommodate other animals; occasionally, larger domestic animals enter the shelter such as horses, goats, sheep and pigs as well as more exotic pets such as birds, lizards, and rabbits.

In order to meet the sheltering needs of the unincorporated area around the City of Ridgecrest and in the Kern River Valley, KCAS has contractual service agreements with the City of Ridgecrest and a private shelter in Lake Isabella.

Spay/Neuter Program
KCAS promotes the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats in order to prevent overpopulation of unwanted animals. Spaying and neutering is promoted by KCAS through education that encourages residents in the unincorporated areas of Kern County to spay or neuter their cats or dogs.

In the United States there is a tremendous overpopulation of unwanted animals, and this is also true in Kern County. Every year thousands of animals are brought to the shelters that are never redeemed by their owners or adopted to new homes. Our program, as most Animal Services service programs, has far more animals coming into the shelters than we can find homes for, and we don't have the space or funds to keep all these animals.

  • Vaccinate Your Pets
  • License your pets.
  • Spay/Neuter your pets.

HELP reduce the animal overpopulation.

HELP reduce the number of animals euthanized each year.

Please click here for information on Kern County Ordinances