Serving the community since 1970

Shafter shelter resumes rescue operations

One group of the population that has been hit hard with the current pandemic is the animal residents of the county, with its shelters limiting their services, including suspending all adoptions and rescues.

In March, all adoptions and rescues were suspended. Last week, however, Shafter's shelter reopened to the public, with all services in operation, including adoptions. There are guidelines to follow: All business is by appointment only, and face coverings are required to enter the shelter building.

During the past three months, the Animal Control Department has been hard at work, responding to calls of stray or injured animals, as well as emergency calls. "We were not allowing any adoptions but we were kept busy maintaining the facility, caring for the animals, and making sure that everything would be ready once it was safe to reopen," said Nick Riddick, animal control officer for the city of Shafter.

Since the reopening, the shelter has enjoyed a brisk business with several adoptions and a number of rescues.

"Since we reopened, within the last week and a half, we have had over 100 animals rescued and sent with our different rescue partners, giving so many animals a chance at a great home." Among those finding a new home is Roxie. Roxie was adopted by Luis and Alma Aguirre. Aguirre said that their little girls picked out Roxie and they recently took her home after her spaying surgery. "Nick and the staff were great and we are so happy with our Roxie. Our girls love her and we now have a great new addition to our family!"

Riddick said they are still encouraging residents to call and take care of business that can be handled over the phone, or that can be resolved with the department responding to a call rather than the resident having to come to the shelter. "We don't want to have to have people waiting outside, especially in the heat, when something can be taken care of with a phone call," he said.

With the issue of illegal fireworks in the news, Riddick said it is especially a challenging time for the pet population. "With an increase in the use of illegal fireworks, it poses not only a threat to personal injury and safety, it also puts our four-legged friends in deep distress. Dogs are sensitive to sound, and when frightened by the loud booms, they sometimes flee from their safe home environments into the public streets."

While loose, according to Riddick, they are a danger to themselves and others, particularly when hit by cars causing their injury.

"This makes it even more important for people to report those people who are lighting those fireworks. Reporting violators can keep all of our members of the community safe, even the little furry ones."

For more information on the operations and guidelines of the Shafter Animal Control Department, please call 661-746-2140.


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