Proposal would provide low-cost procedures through Critters Without Litters

Kern County Supervisor David Couch's office is leading a new effort to get more animals spayed and neutered.
Couch is seeking support from cities to help reduce the cost of a discount spay or neuter even further.
He presented the idea to the Maricopa chamber of commerce a week ago and discussed it Tuesday night with the Taft City council.

Working in conjunction with Critters Without Litters, a nonprofit clinic in Bakersfield that handles spay and neuters only, Couch is proposing a fund match from cities in the Fourth District like Taft, Maricopa and Wasco to further cut the cost of getting pets fixed to starting putting a dent in the animal control problems that lead to too many unwanted and feral animals in communities.

He wants to make it available to everyone, whether they live in the city or the county.

"The stray animals don't know the boundaries between the city and county," Couch told the council.

Critters Without Litters offers spay and neuters for $80 and that includes an overnight stay at the clinic, an extra step so the pets conditions can be monitored.

Couch wants to cut that cost for the owners in half or even more with the matching funds being put up by local governments.

Preliminary discussions between Couch's staff and Critters Without Litters are looking at setting goals of $40 per dog and $20 per cat for spay or neuter.

The county may come up with a $5,000 fund to start and seeks contributions from other cities and communities in the district to get the program going.

He said its just a pilot program to start, "a very small scale."

"Let's just see if we can make a dent in the animal population," he said.