Rescuing since 1990

 Our History

The Cat People, an all-volunteer organization, was founded in October of 1990, in Bakersfield, California, by two friends outraged at the treatment of abandoned helpless felines. They soon gathered a group of compassionate individuals who wanted to help these animals. The mission statement grew to encompass the plight of homeless felines city-wide. Out of this grass-roots effort grew a non profit organization with a Board of Directors and a solid administrative base. The mission of The Cat People is to reduce the cat overpopulation through spay/neuter programs and compassionately manage feral cat colonies.

Today, our efforts include a variety of programs that are 100% run by volunteers. 

Our programs include the following:


MKNK-Make Kern No Kill

The Cat People is proudly part of the MKNK-Make Kern No Kill coalition made up of 501(c)3 non profits and local shelters working together to educate pet owners and reduce the euthanasia rate in our community. Spay/neuter, adoption and educational events are part of an ongoing effort to promote more responsible pet ownership.

Hart Park Program

Since 1990, teams of trained volunteers monitor and care for over 150 abandoned and feral cats living in this large park. Cats are fed daily, trapped and returned if feral and brought into our sanctuary or foster care for eventual adoption if friendly. While we have a contract with the county to care for the felines, The Cat People receives no government help of any kind. This very expensive but necessary program costs over $50,000 yearly for veterinary support and food. Thus far, the organization has spent over $900,000 and rescued over 1500 once-abandoned cats and kittens.

Spay Today Voucher Program

This low-income spay/neuter voucher program provides a partial payment toward the cost of altering the family cat. Applicants must show proof of income, and vouchers can be picked up on Saturdays or at various out-reach events.

Food Assistance Program

Up to 150 severely low income recipients can get a limited amount of food and litter  on a monthly basis for their own pets depending on the amount of donations received. Please call into our office to inquire about being put on the Food Assistance list.  

Foster Care Program

Nursing moms and bottle babies including cats under 6  weeks, are placed in foster care when available. All supplies are provided to the foster families. Once the kittens are 7-8 weeks they come to the kitten room at our sanctuary. Potential foster care volunteers can fill out the Foster Care Volunteer Application online. A minimum of a 3 week commitment is required.


 Every kitten or cat coming into our system has been thoroughly examined by our supportive veterinarians. This includes combo testing, vaccinations, de-fleaing and de-worming , altering if over 3 months (vouchers given if under 3 months), and any other necessary veterinary treatment.  Applicants must fill out a Pre-Adoption Questionnaire in order to find the best match for our felines and adopters. Available cats and kittens can be viewed on Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, Facebook, and of course, at the sanctuary. If for any reason, the owner can no longer care for the adopted cat, it can be surrendered back to the organization.

Saving one animal won’t make a difference in the world, but it will make a world of difference to that one animal.

Trap, Neuter  and Return Trap Free Rental Program

Colony care-givers and individuals willing to help roaming community  and feral cats can borrow a trap from us for a refundable $75.00 deposit. Our TNR volunteer can train any cat lover in trapping strategies, and traps can be loaned up to two weeks allowing the caregiver time to trap and return the altered cat/kitten back to its original area.

Sanctuary-Pawistively Cats

Our 20 -year dream was finally realized in  July, 2016, when, thanks to our faithful members and a compassionate benefactor, we were able to purchase our dream property. For the last two years it has been a roller coaster of dealing with the bureaucracy of county permits and some much needed repairs, but now over 70 once-abandoned felines live on the property in a home-like setting. Caring volunteers , ages 18-91, help clean and care for our cats. Future plans include a beneficiary program and our own version of a cat café. Meanwhile, the cats and kittens enjoy bright colorful rooms, ramps everywhere and safe outdoor "catios". It truly is a one-of-a kind-wonderland for cats and, as the volunteers tell us, cat lovers.


Memberships are $25.00 yearly and all programs and activities are directly funded through tax-deductible donations and memberships. Potential volunteers , 18 and over, are encouraged to contact us through email, phone or online applications.


Board Members:

Barb Hays (President), Brenda Bynum ( Vice President/Adoption Chair/Colonies Assistance), Pamela Ames (Treasurer), Stacey Auguston (Secretary), Shelley Ash (Membership Chair), Marleen Ray (Food Assistance Program), Barbara Kitchen (Auburn Liaison), Carol Lair (Park Coordinator), Courtney Clerico (Web Chair/PR Chair/Volunteer Coordinator Chair), Ranae Harrer (Correspondence/Special Events), Ann Lariviere (Adoption Promotions), Linda Wright (Founder)


Get involved. Fill out our volunteer application today!