A group that rescued nearly 100 animals from the Clovis Animal Shelter in 2012, thus preventing their euthanization, asked the Clovis City Commission to look into a reduction of adoption fees for animal rescue groups.
Hailie Marinovich, co-founder of Hope Defined Animal Rescue, addressed the commission during the public communication segment of the Thursday meeting. No action item regarding the rescue group or the animal shelter was on the Thursday agenda.
Marinovich said the not-for-profit group works with 10 other rescue groups around the area to market animals available for adoption at the city animal shelter, provide for long-term foster care and educate residents about problems with stray animals and those kept at the shelter.
In total, Marinovich said Hope Defined rescued 93 animals from the shelter, each time paying adoption fees of either $36 for animals 3 months or younger or $46 for older animals. The approximate $1,500 represents almost 13 percent of the group’s budget.
The group, Marinovich said, photographs every animal at the shelter available for adoption and posts the photos to a Facebook page with more than 4,000 likes. When an animal is requested for adoption, Hope Defined pays the adoption fee and cares for the animal until it is delivered.
With a waiver or reduction of fees, Marinovich said, more animals could be saved, thus eliminating euthanization costs.
Police Chief Steve Sanders — the shelter is under the umbrella of Clovis police — said the shelter euthanizes 100 to 125 animals per month, and the cost is $4.50 per animal for the materials. Marinovich noted those costs didn’t include labor from animal control officers or the costs of disposing of euthanized animals.
Sanders said he wouldn’t be against the commission doing a partial reduction of fees, but said the department had been down the road before on simply giving animals away to rescue groups. A small amount of rescue volunteers took the animals to shelters in other cities, Sanders said, and other municipalities weren’t keen on using their budgets to euthanize animals from Clovis.
Marinovich noted such activities happened before Hope Defined was established in 2011.
Commissioner Sandra Taylor-Sawyer asked Hope Defined officials how much they charged the people who adopted the pets. She was told the costs were in the range of $75, but any profit is usually wiped out by transporting animals to their new owners.
Commissioner Fidel Madrid suggested Hope Defined officials have a meeting with Sanders and other members of the police department to figure out something workable to bring to the commission. Mayor Pro Tem Len Vohs volunteered to attend the meeting.