Pet Food Safety Net


Kern County, like most other areas in the nation, is currently facing some serious financial uncertainty. Unemployment, underemployment, unexpected childcare costs and a general uneasiness about our own ability to provide for our families is affecting our friends, family, neighbors, and certainly our own households. Kern County Animal Services recognizes the stress that these uncertainties are placing on pet owners. We love our pets here in Kern County, and we want to keep and care for them, because we know how important our pets are to our overall well-being.

Initially, the Pet Food Safety Net program was started in 2020 in response to the hardships many pet owners faced during the Covid pandemic. It was made possible thanks to a generous grant received from Maddie’s Fund, coupled with an incredible donation of pet food from the folks at Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Now, in the aftermath of the pandemic, the program has transitioned into a service that is voluntarily supported by the members of our community through their donations of dog and cat food to KCAS. Donations can be dropped off at our Bakersfield shelter at 3951 Fruitvale Avenue during regular business hours.

If you are facing financial difficulties, or find yourself in a position where you aren’t sure how you'll be able to feed your pets, the Pet Food Safety Net program may be able to help.

The program is available to unincorporated Kern County residents at the KCAS Bakersfield shelter on the last Sunday of every month, between the hours of 8am and 12 noon. Program restrictions are as follows:

  • A state-issued identification must be shown at time of pickup.
  • A new application and/or request must be made each time you are in need of assistance. 
  • Only one application per household will be permitted. 
  • Assistance can be provided for up to 4 animals.
  • Assistance can be provided up to six times, with at least 14 days in between each time of assistance.
  • Assistance will only be given on the designated Sundays between the hours of 8am and 12 noon.
  • You cannot add any animals to your household while utilizing assistance.
  • You may be required to demonstrate financial need for pet food assistance. 
  • Eligibility to receive pet food through the Safety Net program will be determined at the sole discretion of Kern County Animal Services.

Please understand that we can only offer this program while supplies and support last, which is completely based on voluntary donations from the public. Although it is our goal to help every pet owner in need, there may be times when we cannot.

Additional support - Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry