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On Wednesday, April 19, the Kern County Animal Services Commission are considering a proposed ordinance that seeks to institute mandatory spay/neuter in Kern County. If advanced, the proposal would go to the Kern County Board of Supervisors for review and possible passage into law.

County residents are strongly encouraged to contact both the commission and the Kern County Supervisors to express your opposition to this proposal.  Scroll down for contact info.


Kern County Draft Ordinance of Animal Control Regulations

Status: Hearing to be held on Wednesday, April 19 at 6:00 PM

The Kern County Animal Services Commission is set to hear a proposal to animal control regulations that would institute mandatory spay/neuter in Kern County. Mandatory spay/neuter laws have not proven an effective solution to animal control concerns and punish responsible owners and breeders, and those who choose to keep intact dogs for a variety of reasons including conformation, field trials, hunting, and other similar activities.

As currently drafted, there appear to be exemptions for breeders registered with the state of California (defined in state code as those who sell, transfer or give away all or part of 3 or more litters, or at least 20 dogs during the previous 12 months that were bred and raised on the person’s premises).  Exemptions are also included for female dogs over 10 years old and male dogs over 12 years old.  Those who own dogs meeting these exemptions would still be required to purchase an intact animal permit, which is already instituted in the county.  It also does include a vague exemption for the health of the dog, but only if you have a statement in writing from a veterinarian (and the statement must include whether the dog could be safely sterilized at a later date).

The proposal is confusingly drafted and seems to include mandatory spay/neuter for many Kern County residents with intact dogs – even those who may currently possess a county intact dog license.  AKC has significant concerns with the way the proposal is currently constructed.

In your community outreach, some talking points to mention:

  • Mandatory spay/neuter laws have not proven an effective solution to animal control given prevalence of stray dogs ending up in shelters (this proposal does not address stray population).
  • A better solution to encourage spay/neutering is to fully fund low-cost spay/neutering programs and to make sure the public knows about the service.
  • Mandatory spay/neuter laws often result in significant increases in costs to local communities. the county should instead focus on better enforcement of existing animal control laws to reduce the number of strays and unintended litters, expand low-cost spay/neuter programs, and provide resources for public education programs to promote responsible dog ownership.

Visit the Mandatory Spay/Neuter Key Issue page in the AKC Legislative Action Center for more talking points and information.

What You Can Do:

Attend the Animal Service Commission Meeting and express your opposition: The proposal is scheduled to discussed at the Kern County Animal Services Commission’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting:
Wednesday, April 19 at 6:00 PM
County Administrative Office, Third Floor Multi-Purpose Room
1115 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, California.

Contact the commission and express your opposition:
(661) 868-7100 or

Contact the Kern County Board of Supervisors and let them know you oppose the Animal Service Commission’s proposal:

AKC Government Relations continues to monitor bills in California impacting dog owners and will provide updates.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at