Local

CCSPCA's decision is a common one

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The city and county of Fresno have six months to figure out who will take over their animal control services. Earlier this week, the Central California SPCA announced its plans to not renew the current contract.

Local SPCA officials claim, they are one of the only humane societies in the state who still provide animal control services. They say the decision to end their contract with the city and county now gives the agency a better chance of saving animals and local officials more control.

Central California SPCA officials say come October first, they're ready to focus on the agency's core mission.

Beth Caffrey said, "Which is educating the community, being out there to provide other services when it comes to animals."

SPCA spokesperson Beth Caffrey says while the decision to end its contract with the city and county of Fresno came as a shock to many, board members have been researching the issue for years. Among other things, they looked at successful humane societies throughout the state. According to Caffrey, in Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego, animal control is not provided by the SPCA. And euthanasia rates in those areas are lower than what it is in Fresno. "There are some really good examples about what's been done, what can happen in the future."

Madera County is one of those examples. The shelter, as well as animal control is governed by the Board of Supervisors. Director, Kirsten Gross is proud to say the euthanasia rate is 68%. 12 years ago -- it was 95.

Kirsten Gross said, "It works because we're a small community, and we have a lot of community support. We have a great volunteer program, they come in and help."

And it's that community support, Fresno officials say they will have to rely on as they try and figure out who will oversee the city and county's animal control.

Supervisor, Henry Perea says while he doesn't forsee the board taking over completely, he is in favor of a joint effort.

Henry Perea said, "What I see happening is the city and the county coming together, working with the rescue groups to find a new model to deal with the animals in our community."

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