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By Pat Doody 

Marley's Mutts to get a new home


This huge 40' x 90' barn will eventually contain kennels for rescue dogs on one side and board and care dogs on the other.

At the Aug. 2 Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council meeting, Zack Skow of Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue announced that the organization has purchased a 20 acre ranch in Cummings Valley with the hopes of turning it into a base for his rescue operations. The next step is for Skow to secure a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the Kern County Planning Commission. Once that is done, he is ready to roll and he hopes to be operational in about six months.

To manage the ranch, he has hired Robbie Miller from the Free to Live Animal Sanctuary in Edmund, Ok., the largest no-kill sanctuary in the state. Robbie had the responsibility of over 150 dogs and cats there for the last year and a half.

The new ranch property has a 40 by 90 foot barn once used for raising chinchillas. It is planned that the barn will be divided in half with indoor/outdoor pens. Rescues will be on one side and board and care dogs on the other. The ranch has a 3800 sq. ft. home and offices which can house all the Marley's Mutts programs including Miracle Mutts therapy dogs, the rescue-rehab-adoption center, spay and neuter clinics, and the Pawsitive Change prison program currently operating at Cal City, Wasco, North Kern and Corcoran. The Tehachapi CCI will be joining the program soon.

The Canine Community Center will be far more than a way-station for rescues. Skow plans to offer board and care, dog training, therapy dogs and a Canine Good Citizen program. Miracle Mutts Therapy Dogs is the only program of its kind in the US and has so far provided 25 therapy dogs. The Pawsitive Change program has included 38 dogs since its inception and the spay and neuter clinics service 1600 to 1700 dogs a year. Skow is also sponsoring a program with Kern County Animal Services to make Kern County No Kill by 2020.

Marley's Mutts rescues dogs from every state and 78 countries including Iran, Thailand and China's Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Skow explained that the Chinese believe that dog meat has properties that promote health and virility.

The ranch is a huge project and will require the work of many volunteers. According to Miller, one of the most pressing needs is for someone with a brush hog to help them clear the nearly 20 acres of sagebrush. Zack said that there will be a grand opening so watch for it in the news and on social media.

To donate or learn more about volunteer possibilities, check on the Marley's Mutts website or their Facebook page.


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