FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Construction continues on five acres near Airways Boulevard and Gap Drive, as the City of Fresno puts the final details together for a long-awaited animal shelter.
“This animal shelter is going to be more than a shelter. It’s going to be a place where people can feel confident that we’re going to care for the animals here,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.
The shelter, which will be operated by the city, consists of four buildings and an operating room.
According to officials, the shelter will have two full-time veterinarians and 57 employees. They say it will be able to hold 12,000-15,000 animals per year and the shelter’s proximity to the airport allows for easy transportation to other cities.
“There are communities that need them, that don’t have them. We can use our airport to send them to those communities so they can be adopted by families that will love them,” said Councilmember Mike Karbassi.
For the past several years, the city has been in a contract with the Central California SPCA. According to Mayor Dyer, the city spends roughly $7 million a year on animal control and shelter services.
When the contract ends in July, that money will be used for the new shelter.
“We receive complaints frequently about stray animals. We receive complaints about vicious animals, we receive complaints about the care of those animals when they’re in a shelter. So, the first thing we want to do is let people know that we’re going to take care of those three things,” Dyer said.
However, they’re still asking for help from citizens to turn those goals into reality. On Wednesday, they were presented with a $25,000 check from Kashian Enterprises and say they hope the generosity continues.
“It does take a lot of money to run an effective animal shelter. The contributions that we get from the community are critical,” Dyer said.
The shelter will open on April 1, but the city says it likely won’t be operational until July. To donate, you can visit the city’s website.