FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno City Council has unanimously voted to establish a city-wide animal control department, which would take back control from Fresno Humane Animal Services.

Fresno Humane, which has contracted animal control for the city since May of 2022, will be phased out of the partnership, as the city plans to take total control by November.

Fresno’s Animal Center is one portion of the operation run by Fresno Humane.

However, it is owned by the city, which will take back control of the building’s operations as part of the council vote, which also includes over $6.7 million in funding for the new “Animal Center Department”.

Those dollars were set aside as part of the approved 2024 budget.

Those funds will in part be put towards what they hope to be two city veterinarians, which will provide spay and neuter services.

The city says over 4,000 animals or pets in Fresno require spay or neuter, which is required by state law for adoption.

They say the program, and veterinarians they are hopeful to hire will also crack down on an influx of city strays.

“We’re really hopeful that we’ll be able to recruit a quality vet. Having a vet on staff, will just be constant, right? It will have the capacity to be doing constant spay and neuter,” said Fresno City Manager Georgeanne White.

The city says until full-time vets are found, they will contract out for one.

The vote also added multiple animal resource officers, included in a grand total of 75 new positions for the infant program.

“We believe a lot of the folks that worked with humane would be interested in taking these on um, as city employees in the future. So, we have a little bit of a process to go forward before things are fully up and running,” said Fresno City Council President Tyler Maxwell.

We did reach out to Fresno Humane for comment but did not hear back.

However, Maxwell says there’s no bad blood between the organization and the city.

“We had a great relationship with humane. This was a mutual decision,” he said. “We believe that by bringing this in-house we can provide quality services, to make sure that we’re able to get as many cats and dogs in the shelter as possible, provide spay-neuter services, and eventually adopt them out.”