SPCA Contract Controversy, KMPH Reports Catch City Council's Attention

Katie Applin with the Animal Compassion Team was walking through the SPCA last Sunday when she saw Malaya, a tiny mixed-breed black and brown dog.

"She was hiding and cowering in the corner because she was pretty scared. I have a soft spot for the scared ones. So we went in there and picked her up. She went and cuddled right up into me and was just being super sweet," Applin said.

Katie told the staff there she wanted to rescue Malaya. But because her rescue hadn't signed the SPCA's contract, she was told no.

"I was upset and heartbroken for her. Because I know as a scared dog, she stands very little chance of getting out of this shelter alive," Applin said.

Katie and a friend went back to the SPCA Wednesday to check on Malaya.

"We walked over to rescue and Alan asked them what happened to this dog. And they looked it up and said it was euthanized," Applin said. "She was declined by rescue, I believe was the words they used."

But she wasn't declined by all the rescues, just those that had signed the SPCA's contract. And even though someone wanted Malaya, she was killed.

Stories like hers are catching the attention of city hall. And now council members want answers.

"This is a very serious issue," Council member Andreas Borgeas said.

At Thursday's council meeting, Council President Clint Olivier used excerpts from previous stories reported on by KMPH News Reporter Ashley Ritchie to address growing frustrations with the SPCA.

"I believe it was the board president of the CCSPCA, when asked by a reporter, 'aren't you concerned that you receive 2.3 million taxpayer dollars from the city and another million dollars from the county of Fresno?' His response was, 'who cares?'" Olivier said.

"This is an example of hubris. This is an example of a real closed door mentality. And it's something that concerns me very deeply," Olivier said

Olivier asked the city manager to look into options other than the SPCA providing services.

Other council members expressed their concern with the SPCA closing its meetings to the public.

Next week, the issue regarding the SPCA will be on the city council's agenda and council members will discuss the status of the SPCA's contract with the city.

KMPH did try and contact the SPCA. Our emails and calls were not returned.