What We Do

Kern County Animal Services (KCAS) provides professional and compassionate animal services to the people and pets of Kern County. KCAS promotes and facilitates responsible pet ownership through in-house programs and resources, as well as supporting animal related community resources. KCAS seeks to prevent, disrupt, and end animal cruelty in Kern County. KCAS is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy shelter environment for lost, stray, abandoned, neglected, and abused animals in our community. KCAS also provides public protection from dangerous domesticated animals, and to protect the public from diseases such as rabies that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Services & Functions

The primary function of KCAS is the Rabies Control Program. 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 at various locations throughout the county. Animal Services staff is present so participating owners can also license their dog(s).

The California state law defining the "Rabies Control Program" also includes requirements for animal bite reporting, animal quarantine, stray animal services, and a shelter system.

Other services provided to the public by KCAS include low-cost spay/neuter services, pet identification such as tags and microchips, investigation of animal cruelty, deceased animal removal and disposal, and public education.

Animal Control

KCAS Animal Control Officers are in the field responding to reports of stray and abandoned animals, nuisance barking complaints, suspected abuse or neglect, and other domesticated animal complaints Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. After hours, on Saturdays and Sundays, and most holidays, officers will respond to reports of severely injured or ill animals and unrestrained dangerous animals. Residents are asked to contact the Sheriff's Department non-emergency line for these calls. Animals that are determined to have no known owner, or an owner that can't be reached, are impounded and taken to one of the Kern County Animal Shelters.

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 rabies is suspected based on the animal's behavior at the time of the bite report or during the quarantine period.

Related Ordinances


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 field services, licensing services, and shelter services to the cities of Arvin and Tehachapi through contractual agreements. 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.

Other Local Jurisdictions

Shelter Locations

KCAS oversees two animal shelters. The largest shelter is located at 3951 Fruitvale Avenue in Bakersfield. The Bakersfield shelter is able to house and care for dogs and cats. Occasionally, larger domestic animals enter the Bakersfield shelter such as horses, goats, sheep and pigs as well as more exotic pets such as birds, lizards, and rabbits. A second satellite shelter in Lake Isabella is operated by a contractor, but owned by Kern County. 

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


Kern County Animal Services is a department organization under the jurisdiction of the County of Kern. KCAS 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 any Kern County animal shelters, and oversees the Lake Isabella shelter that is operated by a contractor. Staff at the shelters includes Senior Animal Care Workers, Animal Care Workers, and office staff. 

Statistics / Monthly Reports

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