PARLIER – Any resident who travels east on Manning Avenue from Highway 99 can verify that there is no shortage of deceased dogs along the route, signifying a stray-dog problem in Parlier.
At its regularly scheduled meeting on July 20, the Parlier City Council is expected to vote on a bid from a contractor to get a new kennel built in the city. This is meant to assist Parlier’s animal control department in dealing with the burgeoning population of feral dogs in the city.
Parlier chief of police David Cerda said the kennel, which would double the city’s current capacity to hold stray dogs if approved, is only part of the solution. Cerda added that controlling stray dogs is also only part of the solution.
“We need to make dog owners aware of their responsibility,” Cerda said.
If passed, the resolution would greenlight the construction of a new kennel. This new kennel would double the city’s capacity to hold stray dogs from five to 10. According to Cerda, this capacity depends upon the temperament of the dogs; meaning, aggressive dogs must be isolated but friendlier dogs may be housed together.
City Manager Sonia Hall said the new kennel will afford the city greater opportunity to place stray dogs with no-kill shelters.
“The goal is to place the dogs with these shelters and make them available for adoption,” Hall said.
According to what was reported by the Washington Post in January 2022, roughly one in five households adopted a pet during the height of the COVID pandemic.
However, these households have thankfully not abandoned their pets now that the pandemic is in its wane. According to a 2021 report from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 90% of households that adopted pets during COVID have kept them.
Cerda says his department does not have precise statistics on the number of stray dogs roaming Parlier’s streets.
“We know it’s high,” Cerda said.
According to the ASPCA, 390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats are euthanized each year in the U.S. Over four million animals are adopted each year. Over 800,000 animals that enter animal shelters as strays are returned to their owners.