The future of Bakersfield’s animals is in great hands thanks to the area’s many hardworking animal rescue groups, headlined by the Bakersfield SPCA. Founded in 1949, this independent non-profit is a champion for the general welfare and humane treatment of animals. It offers shelter an adoption program for unwanted pets, plus a number of programs to help tackle pet overpopulation.
There are also several dedicated dog rescue groups that have saved the lives of thousands of dogs in Bakersfield and surrounding areas. Take Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue, for example, which is committed to saving the lives of Kern County's incarcerated canines. This non-profit group rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes dogs from death row, giving those pets a chance to live happy and healthy lives.
ALPHA Canine Sanctuary is another local group helping canines in need. Situated in the hills above Bakersfield, its 20-acre ranch provides full-time care and protection to rescued dogs. A no-kill sanctuary, ALPHA doesn’t receive any government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of dog lovers.
Finally, non-profit dog welfare organization H.A.L.T. Rescue is committed to rescuing homeless dogs and cats, giving them medical care, and then ensuring they find the loving homes they deserve. Based on a belief that all animals deserve love, compassion, and respect, H.A.L.T. is always on the lookout for adopters, donations, and volunteers willing to lend a hand.
Looking for a whole day full of furry, feathery family fun? Look no further than the Kern County Pet Fair, held in October at the Kern County Fair Grounds. A celebration of all things pet, this Fido-friendly event is packed full of fun and games for you and your canine companion. There are doggie demos, a Chihuahua race, raffles, vendors, live music, and a whole lot more! But the biggest highlights of the day are often provided by the pet contests, including Best Trick, Best Costume, and Ugliest Pet. It’s a grrr-eat day in the sun for you and your pet, so get ready to join in the fun.
If you were inspired by the description of the work of H.A.L.T. Rescue higher up this page, check out the Bakersfield rescue group’s annual 5K or 10K Fun Run. Held at Yokuts Park, this event raises much-need funds to benefit the local non-profit and help save the lives of animals in need. Active owners and their pooches are encouraged to come along and get their paws moving for a good cause, with a heap of fun to enjoy once you’ve crossed the finish line! The first dog to finish gets an award and a special photo shoot, while there’s also a vendor fair with plenty of great products and doggy demonstrations.
Each year, the American Kennel Club sponsors AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day, with hundreds of events held around the country. Dog Day at the Park is Bakersfield’s local event, and it’s held in Mill Creek’s Central Park every October. With a goal to educate first-time dog owners about responsible dog ownership, the event features dog-sport demonstrations, low-cost vaccinations and microchipping, pet adoptions, a blessing of the animals, and the always-popular Halloween costume contest! Dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome to attend, but they must be on leashes and their best behaviour.
Want to get some exercise with your dog in a relaxed social setting? Want to raise some money for a paw-sitively wonderful animal welfare group at the same time? Gone to the Dogs is the event for you! Held in Tehachapi during September, this 5K fun run/walk and pet festival is an un-timed event that helps raise funds for Have a Heart Humane Society. The run/walk kicks off at 9:30 am and you and your pet are welcome to take it as fast or slow as you would like. Best of all, once you’ve completed the course, you and Rover can kick back and relax at the pet festival, enjoying pet vendors, meeting dog rescue groups, and indulging in a day full of dog-friendly games!
Take your furry friend for a walk and raise much-needed funds for the Alzheimer's Association at this annual outdoor event. There are more than 600 community walks held around the country each year, and Bakersfield’s takes place at The Park at River Walk. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are welcome, so you and your fur-kid can enjoy some quality time together as you take a stroll. While there’s no registration fee, every walker is asked to make a personal donation and commit to raising funds in the fight against Alzheimer’s