Well-known Fresno family donates money and land to county for animal shelter

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A well-known Fresno family wants to donate money and land to build an animal shelter and adoption facility for Fresno County. (KFSN)

A well-known Fresno family wants to donate money and land to build an animal shelter and adoption facility for Fresno County. Right now the county's animal shelter is at the old county morgue and supervisors said, though they appreciate the money the family is willing to donate, they just aren't entirely sold on the location.

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors made the motion Tuesday to move forward with considering an offer of $3-million and four acres of land off Highway 99 and Grantland Avenue from resident Derrel Ridenour who wants to help build the county's animal shelter and adoption facility.

"Essentially the project would include the donation of land, but the county would ultimately own the land in fee title," said David Pomaville, Fresno County Director of Administration.

Brenda Mitchell who runs the shelter said the animals need to be in a building and not in the parking lot of the county morgue. Where they are now, outside in cages-- something she said is not ideal when the sun is beaming during the summer.

"What we've got is fans, and that's pretty much the only thing to work with," said Mitchell.

Another challenge the animal shelter has is when it rains it floods the parking lot. So the county had to install pumps to pump that water right out into the canal.

"Flooding is not good anywhere, especially with the animals. But it's those kinds of little things that people don't think about on a day to day situation, and that's when you say we need to do better quickly," said Mitchell.

The board mentioned it wants the project to stay under $6-million, and because this is in the very beginning stages, it also wants to keep its options open for other locations to put the facility.

The board directed county staff to work with the Ridenours-- the donor family-- on determining the total cost for the facility and also a proposal agreement for the board to approve that would enable the county to accept the land and $3-million donation.
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