Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Local SPCA Says Contract Extension Talks Are Dead

Aug 28, 2012

Talks between the Central California SPCA and the City and County of Fresno on continuing the organization’s contract for animal control services beyond October 1, 2012 have fallen apart.  County and city leaders had hoped to reach an agreement to extend the current contract on a temporary basis through the end of the year to give more time to find a permanent solution.

The organization's executive director Linda Van Kirk issued the following statement today:

Today we are announcing that we are holding fast to our October 1 deadline and are not proceeding with a new agreement. These were hard and painful decisions for us to make, as we are concerned for the welfare of the animals in our community. And we believe animals are worthy of our time, money and attention.

Having provided animal control services for decades, we know what it takes to manage such a high volume of homeless animals and we understand the difficult policy choices our government must make. But recently we had discovered, through meetings with the City and County and media outlets, that the City and County are choosing to take on a new direction with animal control as it pertains to strays. A direction we do not support.

The City and County are considering changing their local ordinances to no longer pick up all strays from our community’s streets nor take in strays from concerned citizens.

This Spring, the Central California SPCA announced that it would end its decades long contract in October, after animal rights groups and members of the city council criticized the non-profit agency over transparency issues and the number of animals euthanized each year. Earlier this month, only one bidder, Liberty Animal Control Services responded to a request for proposals by Fresno County to provide the services currently supplied by the Central California SPCA. 

Fresno City Council President Clint Olivier issued the following statement today on the failure of the talks:

After months of ongoing attempts to find a solution to the situation, the CCSPCA’s announcement comes as a great surprise to City and County leaders. This afternoon’s statement was issued during a time in which leaders were hopeful that they would find a resolution that included using the services of the CCSPCA. The CCSPCA’s made no effort to inform City and County officials other than through a letter sent by certified mail earlier in the day.

“The CCSPCA’s decision to end its relationship with the City and County comes as a great disappointment to me. I am sad this has transpired in such a manner, but I hope to continue to collaborate with other various stakeholders in an effort to create an alternative that provides the services once performed by the CCSPCA”, says Council President Clint Olivier.