No more picking up stray animals - CCSPCA to focus on vet services instead

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Carlos Freitas came to the Central California SPCA and picked up Kuzumbe.

"I'm glad we have this kind of facilities for all these animals that people just throw away and abandon them. It's a very sad situation," says Freitas.

70 animals come into the shelter each day and the euthanasia rate tops 50% for dogs.

But now the Central California SPCA is moving in a different direction.

RELATED: CCSPCA to cut ties with City of Fresno; contract ends June 2020

It won't be renewing its contract with the city of Fresno when it expires next year but the non-profit shared its expansion plans.

Instead of picking up strays, the SPCA plans to increase vet services.

People will still be able to pick out pets but the task of picking up stray animals will be handled by someone other than the SPCA when their contract with the city of Fresno expires in June.

"Instead of being reactive and working on the stray population in the terms of picking up stray animals and dealing with them, we're going to be proactive in trying to prevent the pet over-population," says SPCA veterinarian Dr. Janice Breech.

Breech says the old hospital on site will soon be gutted and remodeled into a high-volume surgery center.

Right now it's used just twice a month to handle the line of dogs and cats that need their shots. Vaccinations, micro-chipping and other services will be available five days a week.

"What we wanted to do is use this empty facility and transform it into a low-cost affordable spay-neuter facility for the public," says Dr. Breech.

The city's contract is worth $4 million a year but the SPCA says all of that money went to Animal Control, which is handled by 16 people.

The SPCA will now move on while relying solely on grants and public donations.

"It does obviously change things here for the organization but we are looking toward the future for positive outcomes when it comes to this kind of change," says Walter Savari of the organization.

The SPCA says it was able to raise a million dollars in donations last year.

Savari says in many cities around the state, animal control is handled by the city rather than the SPCA.

"It's one of those old ways of doing things. We are one of the last few that are handling animal control," he says.

The city doesn't yet have a plan in place on how animal control will be handled in June though Mayor Lee Brand did tell us he planned to request a six-month extension with the SPCA as the city seeks a solution.
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