On October 1st the SPCA will quit picking up the average of nearly one-hundred stray dogs and cats every day. The job will be left to the city and county.
Henry Perea told Action News, "The way it looks now we are going to do the bare minimum to care for animals in this community."
Fresno County had been paying the SPCA about one million dollars a year for the services. The city of Fresno was paying more than two million. But after being criticized for its high kill rate the SPCA announced it would go out of the animal enforcement business six months ago. The city and county had hoped for a contract extension until the end of this year. But the SPCA says no way.
Assistant City Manager Bruce Rudd says a plan is in the works, "We'll move forward and we'll come up with something and have it in place by October first."
The specifics haven't been worked out. UC Davis Veterinary School is offering consulting services for a short term solution. Perhaps using the old boot camp south of Fresno to house animals. A plan to ask voters to approve a tax increase for animal welfare is in the works.
"I think the real answer is the long term one," Perea said. "Is building a real shelter in this community that will care for animals."
The plan is to put that on the ballot in 2014, it doesn't address the immediate problem. But Perea says shelters in surrounding communities will be asked to pitch in, and animal rescue groups are being urged to find facilities.
As to hiring animal control officers, the city says they may be taking applications soon.
A private company has submitted a bid for animal control services but we're told that will take several weeks to evaluate.