The city-county contract with the SPCA ends September 30th. That agency will continue to serve the community, but city and county leaders are required to provide their own animal control services.
The goal is to have a new agency and facility ready to go by October first, and a proposal for it in 30 days.
Clint Olivier, Fresno City Council President: "We can't just throw somebody in on that date. We have to be ready to go, which means whoever takes this over is going to have to have a facility ready, employees hired, uniforms made, and ready to go."
Henry Perea, Fresno County Supervisor: "We talked about how we use a combination of city and/or county facilities so that we have receiving centers."
Perea says there is one donor who's willing to build a new facility, but that's a long-term solution.
For the short-term, the board for this task force is looking at a few empty buildings.
Some suggested the old Mervyn's building on Blackstone and Ashlan, or the old Fresno Ag building up the street. The old juvenile hall facility was also mentioned as a possibility.
Wherever it ends up, many of the animal lovers at this meeting want it to be a no-kill facility.
Stacy Houk, Hope Animal Foundation: "The majority of people want to do the right thing. They don't want to see their pets euthanized. They don't want to see strays running at large. They need help on how to do that."
Officials are looking for community feedback on how to provide these services, and opened this morning's meeting to the public... Something the grand jury found the SPCA doesn't do.
Brenda Mitchell, Animal Compassion Team: "You have to show the community that we're going to save lives. So if that means an in-town facility and making it easier for people to reclaim their pets, i think those are things we have to remember to keep on the table."
Another goal is to have a measure ready for the november ballot that would address long term funding for animal control services.
County supervisors are hoping to have a presentation for that ready in 60 days.
City and county leaders will hold another animal task force meeting next week.