SPCA official responds to criticism

FRESNO, Calif.

She also answered to criticism the shelter wasn't doing enough to save animals.

Thousands of adorable puppies and cute cats pass through the SPCA each month. But many of them end up being euthanized.

A group called "Fix Fresno" demonstrated at city hall on November 18. It demanded the SPCA be turned into a "no-kill" shelter.

But SPCA Education Director Beth Caffrey told the city council that is not a workable option. Caffrey explained, "Most no kill shelters are not open door shelters. They get to capacity, they're full and they will turn animals away."

Brenda Mitchell is part of "Fix Fresno." She volunteered and worked at the SPCA for seven years. Mitchell said, "The reality is that in order for the SPCA to take in everything, they're killing everything and we don't find that to be heroic whatsoever."

Caffrey disputed her former colleague's claims. She responded, "We try to give all animals as much time as possible."

Mitchell said the SPCA needs to improve its customer service and lower adoption costs. "It's much easier to kill animals but we have to stop that. There's a laziness that has gone into place there. There is a lack of effort."

But Caffrey said the number of animals keeps rising. She added the cold weather and the economy have pushed more people to give up their pets. "We understand why they're upset because they do want the animals to survive and we do as well. It's just difficult because we would rather work together than to be somewhat on opposing sides."

Caffrey agreed more can be done to save more animals but she says more funding is needed for educational and spay and neuter programs.

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