Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea tells Action News: "The county couldn't be happier with the services that have been provided by Liberty and the responses we've had from rescue groups in helping us save animals."
With the sudden loss of the Central California SPCA the county scrambled to get this temporary shelter up and running. The immediate goal is housing stray dogs. Karen Wilkins, owns the company along with her husband, Charles, a veterinarian. She says the company is going beyond its original mission of just picking up dangerous animals.
"It's any abandoned dog any dog that is loose on the streets and could be hit by a car. We've had a lot of people come in and redeem their animals. The pool man left the gate open and their beloved animal has run off for the day, we find them and put them in a safe place so the owner can come and get them. That's happened quite a bit," Wilkins said.
The dogs that remain unclaimed are placed for adoption with local animal rescue groups. Those that aren't taken are left here for adoptions and so far, none have been put to sleep.
Because of the County's budget constraints and the time limitations the county shelter does not currently take in stray or abandoned cats, unless they are injured or sick. Several abandoned kittens are being nursed back to health and will be placed with private animal rescue groups when they are well.
Fresno County has budgeted about $750 thousand for these services for the next year, and Supervisor Henry Perea is optimistic.
"Very happy. You know we've been doing daily inspections at the facility and their customer service is top notch. They are working very closely with the rescue community as more pets are coming in now we're making sure they are rescued."
While the county has this shelter up and running the city of Fresno is still working with the SPCA which said it wants out of the animal control business. The city and the SPCA have been trying to negotiate a temporary three month contract but have been unable to come to terms yet.
Perea hopes the city and the county can get back to working together on animal control in the coming year.