City announces plan to build $20M animal shelter near Fresno Airport

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – On Tuesday, the Fresno Mayor Lee Brand announced a plan to build a 30,000 square foot animal shelter on five acres adjacent to the Fresno International Airport.

Back in 1997, the city sold around 200 acres to Gap for its facility for $2. Years later, the company is returning the favor by selling 4.8 acres back to the city for its first animal shelter.

“It has taken years but I am pleased to officially announce the news today that the city has reached an agreement with the Gap,” said Fresno Mayor Lee Brand.

If all goes as planned, the shelter will be built by the summer of 2021.

“We have looked at a number of locations but Gap was the best by far,” said Brand. “It is centrally located, near the airport, and far enough away from residential neighborhoods to avoid traffic and noise issues.”

In the past, the city has contracted with Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to pick up the stray animals on the streets.

Councilmember Garry Bredefeld said once the shelter is finished that contract will end.

“It is long overdue and I think today is the first step to getting that done,” said Bredefeld.

According to councilmember Soria, in the past five months, the SPCA shelter processed over 10,000 animals.

“The time is now to move forward and ensure that we have the best facilities for all our little buddies and cocos in the city of Fresno,” said Soria.

The city estimates the building will cost $20 million and plans to pay for it through bonds.

The Gap also gave around 6 acres to the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno to use as they please.

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