When it comes to pets here in Kern County, common sense ain't that common. There are a lot of dummies. So here's a list to pass along to that dumb dog owner you know. And if it comes across as condescending, oh well!
1. Give your pet fresh food & water every day. DUH!
2. Provide shelter. From the heat, from the cold, from the rain, from the wind. DUH!
3. Secure your yard. Make sure there aren't any holes in (or under) your fence and make sure your gate locks securely and properly. Re-check your fencing and gates often. This is the #1 reason pets get lost!
4. When walking your dog, keep it on a leash at all times. And if it's hot outside, don't walk your dog. Wait until it's cools down. When it's hot outside, the pavement, and especially asphalt, can be as hot as an oven. Walking your dog on it is cruelty and neglect.
5. Never leave your pet alone in a car. Especially when it's hot outside. Pets DIE like this all the time.
6. Play with your pet every day and show them lots of love and attention.
7. Keep your pet up to date on immunizations. Cross-contamination happens constantly. Even if your pet spends most its time indoors, it can still be at risk.
8. Fix. Your. Pet. A pet that is spayed or neutered, means a happier, healthier, and safer pet. It benefits you, your pet, your community, and other pets at local shelters and animal rescues. Spay/Neuter is the only way Kern can become a no-kill County.
9. Make sure your pet has identification. Make sure it has an ID tag (on its collar of course) and a microchip. Unfortunately collars and tags sometimes can come off. That's why having your pet microchipped is so important. It's permanent ID. Just make sure you update your pet's microchip information if you move or get a new phone number.
10. If for some reason your aren't able to keep your pet, contact a local rescue organization or the appropriate animal shelter for your area. Never let your pet loose. Never abandon your pet. Never leave your pet alone in the middle of nowhere.
If you are following these 10 simple steps, you are a responsible pet owner! And you are the saving lives of other pets who don't have an awesome owner like you!
*Here's a bonus "Fun Fact" - If you have a dog that is not fixed, and not licensed, and it winds-up at the county animal shelter, you will have to pay approximately $210 to get your dog out. (BTW - It's an additional $20 per day after that.) 90% of the dogs at the county shelter fall into this category.
Additional resources -
If you lose or find a pet: https://krab.iheart.com/featured/danny-spanks/content/2017-09-22-lost-pet-found-pet-what-to-do/