FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Fresno will soon be breaking ground without breaking the bank. The city secured a parcel of land for its new animal shelter for a one-dollar price tag.
“20 years ago we helped out The Gap, 20 years later Fresno is in need and because of that relationship the residents of Fresno are a lot better off today,” Fresno City Councilmember Mike Karbassi said.
He said in the late 1990s the city sold land near the airport to the clothing retailer for $2. Now the company’s selling about 4 1/2 acres back, to build the shelter.
Mell Garcia, the founder of Mell’s Mutts, said it’s fantastic news for anyone involved in the rescue.
“Currently we have one of the highest euthanasia rates in the entire United States,” she said.
Garcia said strays run rampant around the community, and right now a lot of people are scared to report them because they know they may be killed.
“This will bring definite change to our community. We hope that everyone is just as excited as we are. This means that we’ll have a new shelter. Hopefully, we’ll have lower euthanasia rates.”
Karbassi said that’s the plan.
“I think what people are excited about is they want us to do the best we can to achieve no-kill status because we love our animals,” he said.
Karbassi said the city wants to get in line with Governor Gavin Newsom’s vision of making California a no-kill state. Karbassi said he can’t discuss designs or specifics of the new facility yet, but said this land brings a solid foundation.
“This is an industrial area. It’s away from homes. It’s close to the airport. So if we have to ship animals in and out to get them adopted somewhere else we can do that,” he said.
Karbassi said they don’t have a timeline for construction yet, but now that the land is secured they’ll begin to discuss funding and he hopes to get the project going as soon as possible. The City of Fresno’s current contract with Central California SPCA expires in June.