Fresno County unleashes funds for spay/neuter program

Pilot program offers low-cost spay/neutering and rabies vaccinations as county’s animal shelter goes over capacity

A brown tabby cat in a recovery cage after getting its spay/neuter surgery. (Bernie Page Design / AdobeStock)
A brown tabby cat in a recovery cage after getting its spay/neuter surgery. (Bernie Page Design / AdobeStock)
Darren Fraser
Published March 29, 2024  • 
10:00 am

FRESNO COUNTY – Beginning April 2, residents living in the unincorporated areas of Fresno County may receive financial assistance to have their cats and dogs either neutered or spayed and vaccinated for rabies.

The county allocated $500,000 for the pilot program, organized by the Kirkland Foundation, Fresno TNR, Mell’s Mutts and Paw Squad 559. The program will operate on a first come, first served basis.

“The County of Fresno and the Board of Supervisors believe animal overpopulation is a public health issue,” Deputy County Administrative Officer Armina Flores said in a March 27 county press release. “The County is pleased to help local nonprofit organizations provide access to spay/neuter services for county residents and collect data to quantify the impact of these services.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a press release from the Fresno County Department of Public Health advising the public that the county’s animal shelter is over capacity. The shelter can only accept sick, insured, aggressive and orphaned nursing animals. No healthy animals will be accepted. 

To alleviate overcrowding, the county is asking the public to either adopt a pet or become a foster parent. The latter option affords Fresno Humane Animal Services (FHAS) more time to find homes for the animals.

FHAS also sponsors a program that allows individuals to hold animals on their property. FHAS provides leashes, food, vaccinations and medication.

“The Central Valley suffers from an ongoing animal overpopulation problem that can only be alleviated with easier access to low-cost spay/neuter programs,” said Kirkland Foundation founder Kyle Kirkland. “We believe that responsible County residents want to spay or neuter their pets and are pleased that the County has offered to fund this pilot program.”

Brandi Sherman is the founder of Fresno TNR (trap, neuter, release).

“In 2023, Fresno TRN spayed or neutered over 6,700 owned and community cats,” said Sherman. “There are thousands more that need the attention in neighborhoods throughout the County.”

Mell’s Mutts founder Elaine Gonzalez echoed Sherman’s sentiments.

“Although other spay/neuter programs exist, the demand for those services exceeds the support available,” said Gonzalez. “We’re thrilled that the County has recognized this public health issue and agreed to provide financial support to address it.”

Residents are encouraged to book appointments online at Cvfix.org. For more information on adopting, fostering, or sheltering animals, please visit www.fcdph.org/pets or https://www.fresnohumane.org/faq.

Darren Fraser
Reporter