Californian analysis: Spay-neuter efforts saving lives at shelters

Adoptable dogs come in all shapes and sizes at the City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center on South Mount Vernon Avenue.

Kern County’s stray and abandoned pets aren’t out of the woods yet.

But a review of 18 months of data shows a glimmer of long-term hope that, after years of failure, this high-kill community might be turning things around.

The question now is, can the progress be sustained?

City of Bakersfield and county of Kern animal shelters euthanized a combined total of 13,948 animals in 2014 and another 6,470 in the first six months of 2015, according to The Californian’s latest look at the numbers, which it has been doing every year for more than a decade.

In this file photo, Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian speaks during a memorial service for Dr. Norman Levan.

BC president's fight with district has deep roots

It’s no secret Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian’s job is on the line. The Californian reported earlier this month that her boss, Kern Community College District Chancellor Sandra Serrano, wasn’t happy with her management style. Essentially, Christian jumped the chain of command to

"The first time I saw the coyote, it startled me," said Romona Dolan, who captured this rare daytime photo of the Oleander coyote. Dolan doesn't want the creature harmed, but she thinks it's best for the neighborhood that the animal be humanely trapped and relocated.

Oleander coyote no figment of neighborhood's imagination

Think Sasquatch. Think Bigfoot. OK, let’s not go crazy. Think the Oleander Coyote. The world is full of mysteries and the picturesque Oleander neighborhood in central Bakersfield has experienced one of its own nocturnal mysteries for more than a year. Sightings of an elusive dog-like creature,



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    • Richard Beene

      BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

      SHELTERS There is not a community anywhere that is not dealing with the problem of stray cats and dogs, but some areas are needier than others. Consider this: a friend who lives in Pasadena told me there is a long “waiting list” just to volunteer at the local shelter, and she shared that the San

    • Olivia Garcia

      OLIVIA GARCIA: MAOF moves into spacious new facility

      The new home of Bakersfield’s Mexican American Opportunity Foundation at 2130 Chester Ave. #200 is much reason to celebrate for its administrator Magda Menendez, who has made a career of helping others. The proof hangs inside the walls of the new facility. Menendez proudly points to the collection

    • Jose Guerra is retiring after 28 years as pastor of Living Hope Baptist Church in east Bakersfield

      Church faithful come out for pastor's last service

      How does one say goodbye to a friend of 28 years? How does a congregation bid farewell to a trusted advisor and spiritual shepherd who has been its leader in faith since 1987? About 200 men, women and children attempted to do just that at Living Hope Baptist Church in east Bakersfield on

    • Funeral services for Aug. 31, 2015

      Services scheduled Julia Belluomini, 94, Buttonwillow, Aug. 28. Funeral service 9 a.m. Sept. 3, St. Francis of Assisi Church. Doughty-Calhoun-O’Meara Funeral Directors. LaVeta “Beth” Morris, 75, Bakersfield, Aug. 23. Graveside service 11 a.m. Aug. 4, Greenlawn Southwest Cemetery. Greenlawn

    • Services for Aug. 30

      Services pending David Michael Chene, 63, Bakersfield, Aug. 29. Greenlawn Funeral Home. Ronald A. Moore, 74, Bakersfield, Aug. 28. Alma Funeral Home & Crematory. Arrow Lee Thorn “Sally,” 97, Bakersfield, Aug. 28. Greenlawn Funeral Home. Ella Mae Wood, 82, Bakersfield, Aug. 28. Peters

    • Three arrested in central Bakersfield following pursuit

      Three suspects, including two juveniles, allegedly led Kern County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a chase Friday night before getting out of their car and running, evading law enforcement for about an hour before being taken into custody. The incident began at 8:27 p.m. when a deputy tried to pull

    • Bakersfield sends firefighters to Rough Fire

      The Bakersfield Fire Department sent two Type 3 fire engines and six firefighters to assist in fighting the Rough Fire in Fresno County late Saturday. The fire, in the Sierra National Forest, began July 31. It has burned 61,316 acres and is about 25 percent contained. As of Saturday, 2,068

    • Coroner: Wasco inmate died in "natural" manner

      A Wasco State Prison inmate who perished Wednesday morning was found to have died in a "natural" manner, the Kern County Coroner's office said Friday in a news release. Todd E. Sortomme was taken to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:05 a.m.

    • A student at  Murray Middle School in Ridgecrest tries a half- court shot on the outside courts at the school. Behind the fence are old quonset huts that have yet to be torn down because they contain asbestos.

      Schools on military bases in desperate need of repair

      RIDGECREST — At Murray Middle School, on the local naval base here, a kids basketball court sits just 7 feet away from locked school buildings containing asbestos. On the first day of school this term, there was a power outage that also set off campus fire alarms, which administrators say

    • The Center for Neuro Skills is celebrating 35 years.

      Centre for Neuro Skills celebrates 35 years of work

      When Mark Ashley’s brother suffered a traumatic brain injury during his service in the Navy, doctors told his parents that treatment options were limited, if not non-existent. Ashley’s mother refused to accept those terms. Instead, the Ashley family rallied around and provided around-the-clock