County renews animal services agreement with Animal Friends of the Valleys

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Animal Friends of the Valleys has a contract with the Southwest Communities Financing Authority for animal services in unincorporated southwest Riverside County and five incorporated cities. The county Board of Supervisors approved a renewal of that contract Tuesday, June 30.

The supervisors’ 5-0 vote gives Animal Friends of the Valleys a contract which took effect July 1 and will run through June 30, 2025. The previous agreement, which was approved in June 2015, covered the period from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2020.

A November 2004 board of supervisors’ action approved the Southwest Communities Financing Authority which involves the cities of Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta and Temecula as well as the county for the unincorporated portions of southwest Riverside County. An October 2010 amendment added the city of Wildomar to the joint powers authority. The Southwest Communities Financing Authority was created for the purpose of financing and constructing an animal shelter in southwest Riverside County.

Animal Friends of the Valleys is a nonprofit organization which was called Lake Elsinore Animal Friends when it was founded in 1987 and changed its name in 2000 to reflect the additional communities served. In January 2006, a memorandum of understanding was approved in which Animal Friends of the Valleys would assist the Southwest Communities Financing Authority with the development and construction of the animal shelter and would operate the shelter following the completion of the construction. Animal Friends of the Valleys leased land in Wildomar from the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District. Construction on the 32,000-square-foot shelter began in 2008, and the shelter opened to the public in October 2010. The initial five-year operational agreement between the Southwest Communities Financing Authority and Animal Friends of the Valleys was approved in August 2010.

The duties to be performed by Animal Friends of the Valleys include custody of impounded or surrendered animals, identifying impounded animals with no owner contact including the posting of photographs on the shelter website by the following business day, conducting searches for guardians if information is available, treatment including temporarily transferring animals to another treatment center if the shelter’s treatment facilities are not sufficient, adoption, counseling and advising guardians who take an animal from the shelter, selling dog licenses for any dog at least four months old who is being transferred to a guardian and euthanasia and animal disposal if necessary. Animal Friends of the Valleys will also keep records of impoundments or surrenders including impoundments by municipal jurisdiction, immunizations, spaying and neutering, adoptions, returns to guardians and euthanasia including the reason.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.