​The local celebration of National Volunteer Week culminates Saturday in a volunteer open house​ at Kern County Animal Services.

Visitors are invited to a behind-the-scenes tour offering a look at the inner workings of their county shelter and the many ways volunteers make a difference.

Kern County Animal Services is one of the largest organizations in the Central Valley that rescues, houses and cares for lost and abandoned animals, enforces animal-related laws, and acts to prevent cruelty to animals.

No other county department benefits more from the contributions of volunteers than Animal Services. Volunteers have donated more than 28,000 hours of labor, valued at over $600,000, working to reduce the pet overpopulation problem in Kern County.

“While the compassion and dedication of our employees are the foundation for our success, the contribution of our volunteers is an essential cornerstone,” says Nick Cullen, director of Kern County Animal Services. “Pet overpopulation is a community problem that, if it’s going to be solved, must be solved with the help of the community. Our volunteers complement our efforts of becoming a no-kill shelter by the year 2020. We welcome all those in the community who want to achieve that goal.”

Animal Services volunteer coordinator Jeff George said volunteers assist with a number of tasks including socializing animals, aiding vaccination clinics and promoting public education.

“Volunteers play a significant role in a variety of ways and we want the public to know," he said. "This volunteer recruitment and open house​ is our way of saying, 'Come on in. We could use your help.'”

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Volunteers will be on hand to share their experience and offer tours of the grounds including the kennels, meet-and-greet rooms, play yard and livestock area.

Many of the support arms of the Kern County Animal Services will be on-hand throughout the day.

KRAB Radio will air a live remote broadcast promoting cat and dog adoptions. Representatives of the Foster, Volunteer and Field Services programs will answer questions and help those interested fill out applications. Members of our Pet Detective Team will be on-hand to explain the best way to find your dog if it gets lost. The Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelter Foundation will also be available and will have identification tags for purchase.

The volunteer open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Kern County Animal Services, 3951 Fruitvale Ave.