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Historic Animal Population Problem in Orange Cove

The City of Orange Cove says it can't find homes for its strays, and could be forced to euthanize.

The City of Orange Cove is facing a historic problem with its animal population.

Now an entire valley community of Volunteers is banding together to save strays.

KSEE 24's Lemor Abrams has more on the challenge.

The Orange Cove Animal Shelter is nearly at full capacity. Dogs come in with no collars, no id tags, and no way to get back home.

Stray dogs and cats are a major issue in Orange Cove.

Animal Control only picks up the vicious or injured dogs.

Sylvester Perez is in charge of the shelter.

"At one point we had up to twenty four dogs and that became a challenge because now we can't move them out and the other option would be to euthanize them," said Perez.

Perez tells me the problem came to a head about a year ago when the SPCA stopped serving the county.

But volunteers have stepped in to find the animals homes.

Jolie Wiggins drives once a week from Fresno to Orange Cove, not only to walk and feed the dogs.

She's donated beds, and vaccinations.

And is now asking for a little from the city.

At a minimum...a spay and neuter program, and hot water.

"We've been able to save 87% of the dogs in the past nine months...what we've done is fairly outstanding considering the few resources we actually have," said Wiggins.

But for now, the city manager says an adoption center in Orange Cove isn't one of the options on the table.

He's trying to work a deal with Liberty Animal Control, which took over the SPCA's job to serve the county.

But as Liberty's director made clear at Wednesday night's council meeting, not all dogs will be held for adoption.

And these animals may not have too long to live.

The fate of the animals comes down to another city council meeting.

It'll take place in two weeks.
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