Taft is getting ready to take major steps to alleviate the problem of unwanted pets in and around the city with a $50,000 grant from Petsmart Charities.
The city can use the money for spay and neuter programs and also use a portion for related expenses.
But its the spay and neuter program that the city is interested in.
The money can be used to sterilize a minimum of 620 animals, and many more if the city works in conjunction with a local animal rescue group and Kern County. The grant is only for the city for for use by any pet in the 93268 area code, which covers Taft, South Taft, Taft Heights and Ford City.
City Councilman Ron Waldrop asked about getting Unity Thrift Animal Rescue involved in the program.That group uses donations and money raised through yard sales and other activities to spay and neuter animals.
City Manager Craig Jones said that's exactly what city staff is planning to do.
Even though some of the money could be used to transport animals to vets for the spay and neuter, Jones said the city would like to spend the money locally. He said the city would like to work with Unity Thrift to bring in a mobile spay and neuter clinic and cut the cost of the sterilizations in half.
“We could stretch that out, double that,” Jones said.