Fresno faces higher costs and no animal control alternative

FRESNO, California

"We are still performing all of our duties with the city of Fresno and we are still in negotiations with the city of Fresno," said the CCSPCA's Beth Caffrey.

The negotiations are over how much this service is going to cost. Assistant Fresno City Manager Bruce Rudd says the city has already budgeted more money.

"It's about 3.1 million dollars now as opposed to the 2.2 million we were paying before."

The city's bill went up after the CCSPCA said they didn't want to pick up strays in the city and county and get blamed for putting them to sleep.

The county took them at their word and opened its own shelter for a little less than the $1 million a year they were paying the CCSPCA.

The city is paying a million more, and looking for alternatives including continuing to hire it out, or make animal control a city service.

"We've got to evaluate whether we think a private sector solution is a viable alternative or if we need to take that over and bring it in as a city function," Rudd said.

The other option is a regional facility, in partnership with the county, which is looking at spending nearly two million to expand it's current temporary shelter.

Right now the city has no choice but to stick with the SPCA.

Fresno County officials have indicated a willingness to work with the city, but in the meantime are drawing up plans for a new, nearly two million dollars animal shelter to be located at the site of the present temporary shelter run by a private company called Liberty Animal Control.

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