CCSPCA won't renew contracts with Fresno County, City
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After more than 30 years, the Central California SPCA is cutting ties with the City and County of Fresno. Now, local groups are coming forward, willing to help out.
The CCSPCA announced its decision Wednesday afternoon, on a radio talk show. Their announcement comes after several months of criticism, including claims - they don't do enough to save animal lives.
Animals are still being cared for at the shelter. But, as of October first, both the City and County of Fresno will have to find another agency to provide Animal Control Services, things like picking up stray animals, and responding to dog attacks. It's a contract worth more than three-million dollars, which is half of the SPCA's operating budget.
Supervisor, Henry Perea, says CCSPCA's decision to dissolve its contract came out of nowhere. "I just think it's a situation blown completely out of control."
Following months of turmoil between local government and the agency over lack of city and county representation behind closed door meetings, Perea met with SPCA officials this past Friday and offered to mediate the situation.
Instead, Henry Perea said, "We hear on a radio show today then get a letter through a fax machine; I think it spells in my mind now, volumes on the leadership at the SPCA."
City council president, Clint Olivier, who has pressured the agency to be more transparent, was just as shocked.
Clint Olivier said, "I didn't think it was a slap in the face, I just thought it was a big surprise."
SPCA officials addressed their decision, but refused to answer any of our questions. Beth Caffrey said, "We have opted to be supportive of the city and county during the six month transition period"
In a more elaborate written explanation on their website, the SPCA's Board of Directors said in part, "Without the support of our community, complete support from the city and county, the duties and obligations in the current contract for animal control services are no longer allowing our organization to achieve our core focus and mission."
City and county officials are working together to find a viable solution. Some local rescue groups, who are celebrating the move, have already stepped up.
Brenda Mitchell with the Animal Compassion Team says combining resources is an option.
Brenda Mitchell said, "Groups are going to come together they're not going to dissolve but there will be efforts from groups."
Another idea being thrown around: is to contract with the city of Clovis, where a new adoption center is being built.
Council member Nathan Magsig says while the five-million dollar center likely won't cater to the entire Fresno County animal population; it's still a possibility.
Nathan Magsig said, "Clearly, we need to sit down with the stakeholders here, the city of Fresno as well as the county to come up with a game plan that would be workable for the city of Clovis, as well as the county and the city of Fresno."
County supervisor Henry Perea did reach out the Clovis' mayor about this issue. The mayor, however says, it's way too early to even consider any sort of contract.
As for how SPCA will survive without half their budget, no one really knows at this point.
Click the links below for the complete back story:
Central California SPCA under fire, again
Animal rescue groups find fault with SPCA
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