Dog Fight At City Hall: Who Will Provide Animal Control Now?

Brenda Mitchell with the Animal Compassion Team wasn't sure this day would ever come.

"We've been working for this as a community for so, so very long," Mitchell said.

Hundreds of local rescue workers converged on city hall Thursday, one day after the Central California SPCA announced it's ending its animal control contract with the city and county, effective October 1st.

"I was completely floored by the decision. It came out of the blue. I really regret that we had to find out about it on a radio program," Clint Olivier, Fresno City Council President, said.

"As I go through the information that was given to us, I think there might be some posturing going on. I'm pretty anxious to figure out how this is going to play out," Andreas Borgeas, Fresno City Council Member, said.

Whether or not the SPCA is bluffing, as many people think, the city now has six months to figure out another option.

"I imagine it's in the city's best interest and also SPCA's best interest to go back to the table and walk through some of the problems," Borgeas said.

"This city; it's the 33rd largest city in America. I'm confident that this city organization and also working in conjunction with the county can solve this problem," Olivier said.

Mitchell says the rescues are creating a board of directors, looking up possible locations for an animal control facility and getting together an all-around game plan.

"It's absolutely huge. If you've ever been involved with an animal rescue organization, especially one that's all volunteer and has nothing but donations, you'll find that every day of their lives is a daunting task," Mitchell said.

At the end of Thursday's meeting, the council approved forming a task force comprised of council members, county supervisors, the assistant city manager, the county administrative officer and local animal advocates.

That task force will work on finding a solution to who will control animal services after October. They hope to get started next week.