Newport Beach City Council Accepts Donation of New City Animal Shelter

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At the Newport Beach Animal Shelter “Topping Off” ceremony are (left to right) Newport Beach Councilmember Joy Brenner, Jonathan Stafford (NBPD), Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles, NBPD Lt. Joe Cartwright, Newport Beach Chief of Police Jon Lewis, NBPD Animal Control Supervisor Valerie Schomburg (holding Officer Bubbles, the FONBAS mascot), Newport Beach Councilmember Diane Dixon. Photo by Chris Trela

For the first time in Newport Beach’s history, the City has a permanent municipal animal shelter.

The City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 29 formally accepted the donation of a newly constructed animal shelter from Friends of Newport Beach Animal Shelter (FONBAS), a local nonprofit organization.

FONBAS has spent about five years raising $2.9 million in private donations to purchase property at 20282 Riverside Dr. and construct a new animal care and shelter facility. Under the donation agreement, the City of Newport Beach will now manage, operate and maintain the shelter.

“On behalf of the City Council, I’d like to thank FONBAS and all the private donors who contributed to make this new shelter a reality,” said Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon. “This was a tremendous effort and will make a big difference for animals under the City’s care.”

Interior of the under-construction animal shelter. Photo by Chris Trela

For decades the City contracted with private companies to provide veterinary care and shelter services for stray and abandoned animals. However, in 2017 the Police Department began managing operations at a temporary shelter at 20302 Riverside Dr. That same year, FONBAS became the officially recognized nonprofit to assist with shelter activities and raise funds for future capital projects.

Following the launch of a successful fundraising drive, FONBAS purchased the Riverside Drive property in April 2020 for $1 million. After raising an additional $1.9 million for construction, FONBAS broke ground on the new shelter in January 2022. The facility is nearing completion, and the City plans to begin operations at the new shelter in early 2023.

The 1,500-square-foot shelter includes a 750-square-foot kennel, a front-yard greeting area and a rear-yard animal exercise area.

For more information on shelter operations, please visit the NBPD website at

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