The three-million dollar contract to provide animal control services ends September 30th. SPCA officials say they will have to go through a restructuring process. Whether or not people will be laid off, they still don't know. What they are sure about however, is ending their 30-plus-year relationship with the city and county of Fresno.
CCSPCA spokesperson Beth Caffrey spoke candidly Thursday about the agency's decision to end its animal control contract with the city and county of Fresno. The announcement was made Wednesday on a radio talk show, following accusations the shelter is not transparent, and doesn't do enough to protect animals.
Beth Caffrey said, "I think for our board of supervisors, that was a really tough decision to come to, because they do want to be there to protect the animals."
Caffrey says while the move cuts its revenue in half, it gives the agency more time to focus on its core mission. "We can't provide more spay and neuter opportunities for the community, we can't look at other things we'd like to do while we're still juggling animal control."
Caffrey tells Action News, SPCA officials will now rely on grants and community donations to re-coup some of their lost funding.
Meanwhile, Fresno leaders are trying to figure out who they can rely on to provide animal control services.
"47,000 animals came into their shelter in 365 days."
During Thursday's city council meeting, members voted unanimously to form a task force whose goal it is to figure that out.
Clint Olivier said, "Everything is on the table right now because we've got, starting right now, we've got 6 months to try and provide this service, whereas right now, it doesn't exist."
Animal rescue group members, who packed into the meeting, say, they stand behind both the city and county. "These people have hope finally, because we didn't have it before."
In fact, they've already stepped up, and offered to help.
Brenda Mitchell said, "The rescue groups have to be a part of that solution. That is one of the key steps to becoming a no kill community is getting your rescue groups involved."
The task force will also consist of county board members as well as rescue group representatives.