VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) --After nearly 25 years the city of Visalia and the Valley Oak SPCA have ended their contract. The move saves Visalia money and allows the SPCA to become a no-kill shelter.
Last Saturday marked a new beginning for the Valley Oak SPCA. That was the first day the animal shelter began operating its own shelter and not one for the city of Visalia.
Early last year the city council looked at different options on what would be best financially for the city.
"At councils request, we also put together a city only proposal that would show how we can man and staff the faculty with our own staff," said Mario Cifuentez, City of Visalia Animal Service Manager.
Visalia officials said the move will save the city an estimated $224,000 a year and a proposal from the Valley Oak SPCA had a substantial increase of almost $300,000 a year.
The contract ended last fall but since then both sides are focusing on different priorities.
"Even in discussions with the Valley Oak SPCA, this allows them to focus on their adoption outreach education and allows the city to do the state mandated stuff which is the in-take of sick, injured, and vicious animals," said Cifuentez.
Cifuentez said animals are only put down when they're very sick or under court order.
The SPCA didn't have to move too far. Their shelter is now at a temporary site right next to the city's Animal Care Center which opened last spring.
"We were very excited to think, okay-- this is our opportunity to actually become a no-kill facility. And what that means is we'll go out to area shelters and pull animals from those shelters and re-home them through adoption," said Tami Crawford, Valley Oak SPCA.
Crawford is capital campaign manager for Valley Oak SPCA. She said they are also working pet shops in the Valley
The city of Visalia is also offering animals not claimed from its shelter to be put up for adoption with the SPCA.
"We're doing more adoptions than we have ever done in this organization. And we're working with more rescue organizations then we ever done. So were on the right path," said Crawford.
Crawford said the SPCA hopes to expand in the next year or so. Plans are already moving ahead to build a new facility near Plaza and Goshen Avenues in Visalia.
Crawford said no-kill shelters are open to more grants and donations, and those funds will help the Valley Oak SPCA expand.