By Carlos Correa

STOCKTON (CBS13) — City leaders are looking for ways to help keep the doors open at the Stockton Animal Shelter.

Just recently, the San Francisco SPCA which has been helping the organization provide services to the Stockton community has decided to opt out of their partnership.

John Bayley first moved to Northern California 16 years ago. It was here at the Stockton Animal Shelter where he adopted his first puppy.

“It was great. I mean, everything went just fine. Got sent to a vet and then I went to fix him and then we picked him up and he was a fabulous little dog,” said Bayley.

Bayley brought his dog to the shelter for regular checks ups and even dropped off strays. He was able to do all of that because of the shelter’s partnership with the San Francisco SPCA which provided the service after Stockton filed for bankruptcy. The two groups are now ending that relationship.

“It’s too bad because, I mean just given the statistics where they were putting down 83 percent and just adopting out a lot less and now it’s complete reverse,” said Bayley.

The SPCA is not renewing its contract with the Stockton shelter once it expires next June. The group is looking to free up some of its resources to help other communities in the Central Valley the same way it helped Stockton.

The decision has forced the city council to hold a special meeting to begin talks on the shelter’s future and how it would pay more than $1.6 million a year to maintain the same level of service it has relied on with the SPCA.

Since 2012, the SPCA has addressed sanitation and overcrowding issues. It’s helped lost pets like kern find their way back to their owners. People visiting the shelter just hope no animals will be euthanized because of SPCA’s departure.

“I don’t think they should be put down. I think they should be adopted out or be kept for as long as they can because I’m an animal lover and I don’t believe in them putting animals down,” said Troy Kelly, who lost his pitbull recently.

The Stockton Police Department oversees the animal shelter. In a statement, a spokesperson said “because this is an item to be discussed by council, we would not be able to make any comment.”

Meanwhile, pet owners just want the shelter to remain open.

“It’s pretty important or otherwise we would have dogs running all over the streets,” said Charles Ellis, Stockton pet owner.


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