Strays picked up by Newport Beach Animal Control will now find shelter in Huntington Beach following a decision by city council during Tuesday’s meeting.
The city approved a two-year contract with the Orange County Humane Society for animal sheltering services, with the total cost not to exceed $94,000 annually.
Currently, animals are transported to the Dover Shores Pet Care Center in Costa Mesa. The city has been using the Dover Shores facility since 2001, according to the report.
“I was impressed with the services they provide there,” said councilmember Steve Rosansky about the new shelter location during Tuesday’s meeting.
It’s similar to what the city currently has, and in many respects, he added, exceeds what they‘ve had in the past.
The move comes after Dr. Bruce Bauersfeld, owner of the Costa Mesa center, submitted a written intent to terminate the agreement because he wanted to increase fees above what was agreed upon in the contract. According to the city, the current contract included adjusting the fees every two years according to the Consumer Price Index.
The city decided to start the bidding process and consider other options, according to officials.
The city was looking for a shelter that was nearby, could provide veterinary care, would agree to furnish financial statements and could maintain the city’s already low euthanasia rate.
The city received bids from four local shelters including Back Bay Veterinary, Dover Shores, Orange County Animal Care, and the OCHS.
Mindy Miller, operator of Miss Kitty’s Rescue group from Costa Mesa, gave her opinion about the new shelter during Tuesday’s meeting.
Miss Kitty’s Rescue has often worked with the Newport Beach shelter in the past, Miller said.
“I was pleased with many improvements over what we have had in the past,” Miller said. “But the one thing that jumped out at us was that they seem to have many cages that are half the size of other cages.”
There is no specific wording in the contract that requires animals from Newport Beach to be placed in cages of a certain size, Miller said, and she hoped it wasn’t too late to make a revision to include a minimum size requirement.
City Manager Dave Kiff reassured her that the city would do their best to ensure that the animals would be kept in the larger cages and they would need to monitor it closely.
Rosansky also wanted to note that the new shelter welcomes volunteers and encouraged residents to help out.
The option for the city to renew the contract for three additional one-year terms was left available as well.
The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) made an official announcement Wednesday, saying the partnership would become effective on May 1.