Forced to Grovel: Fresno Joint City-County Taskforce Seeks Extension after Animal Control Dispute
Back in March we relayed that the Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals informed Fresno County that it would terminate its contract because the organization no longer wished to handle animal control services for both the city and county of Fresno. The decision to part ways was partly fueled by criticism of the organization from the Board of Supervisors and City Council Members who called for more influence over its governance, as well as vocal animal rescue groups who condemned its high euthanasia rate. CCSPCA especially disliked the suggestion it should establish open meeting arrangements or accept a city or county representative on its board of directors. CCSPCA countered it was not a political entity and was not required to run its operations in that manner.
In response to the terminated contract, the county and city seemed intent on rising to the challenge to find a viable alternative and put together a joint city-county taskforce in order to develop a new animal-control process and facility for Fresno and Fresno County. While the contract with CCSPCA is set to expire in October, the joint task force realized that the undertaking is no small feat and that more time will be necessary, so the county has now asked if the organization would be willing to provide services through December.
The Fresno Bee reports: “County Administrative Officer John Navarette said the county and city aren’t likely to make it through the complex process of identifying a site for a new shelter, developing a request for bids and providing enough time for a new operator to hit the ground running before CCSPCA’s cutoff date. ‘This is our third or fourth meeting, and we’re still having the same discussions’ about where to put a shelter, Navarette said.”
The question is if the city and county have already burned their bridges with CCSPCA, the non-profit may simply be unwilling to lend a helping hand and maintain services for a few extra months. Another troubling point is that it seems unlikely an additional three months will provide sufficient time to put all the pieces in place when faced with the enormity of the task. Rescue groups aren’t pleased with the task force’s recommendation to extend the contract, as they have been among the most vocal critics of CCSPCA. For more, see here.