The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether (Or: THE CCSPCA MUST GO. NOW.)

Let's play a game shall we? You all have jobs, right? And you all not only get paid for those jobs, you have to answer to the people that pay you, right? So tell me - what would happen if you not only FAILED AT YOUR JOB 80 percent of the time, but refused to let your boss see what you were doing and how you were doing it? 

This is one of the last photos to be taken at the CCSPCA because of a crackdown by the current regime at the "shelter." Tell me, do this mother dog and her newborn pups look warm and well cared for to you? Would you allow YOUR pet to be kept in these conditions? By the way, YOU are paying for this.

If you told your boss to fuck off because you could do what you want once you got paid, you wouldn't have a job for very long, would you? Well Fresno, you employ a company called the Central California Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA is a name that doesn't have to be earned or certified in any way - you just have to BUY it...). You pay the CCSPCA $3 million a year to take in stray animals, to educate the public about the benefits of spaying and neutering animals, prevent those less-enlightened members of the public from being cruel to their animals and find a home for any animal that needs one. 

But can you guess what they actually do out on Hughes Avenue (just south of Belmont)? They kill 80 percent (or more) of the animals that come in the door of their "shelter." Last year that was around 40,000 puppies and kittens killed.* Not "put to sleep." Not "euthanized." KILLED. Sometimes cruelly (still alive and breathing as they're tossed into the plastic barrels used to dispose of the bodies). And this death came after they sat in terror in crowded, filthy pens. Some of these poor animals even spent their last 72 hours - that's how long the CCSPCA gives each animal to live because it would cut into their profits to let them live longer - in pain. Injured. Because according to the CCSPCA, these animals are "private property" and they can't do anything to help them. This despite an onsite medical facility and a well-paid, full-time vet on staff.

And who do Ms. Linda Van Kirk (the new Director who was supposed to "improve" things) and the other members of the CCSPCA's board blame for all of these deaths? YOU. And what do Ms. Linda Van Kirk and the other members of the CCSPCA's board do when people who care about animals try to help? When they try to make things better? They shut them out. They make it financially and operationally IMPOSSIBLE for the kind and caring and - more often than not self-funded - rescues that are trying to help to do anything. And guess what else? They want MORE MONEY. A MILLION DOLLARS MORE. And they refuse to let any member of the City Council or the Fresno County Board of Supervisors sit in on their board meetings or observe their day to day operations.

So tell me, are you happy paying taxes to a company that thumbs its nose at you, the city of Fresno, Fresno County and helpless animals? I know I'm not. Do you know why you don't know about any of this? Because local media is complicit for the most part. They salve their guilt by bringing Beth Caffrey and her daughter on once a week with ONE lucky animal that is chosen to escape death. And you don't hear about this because the CCSPCA pays the big-shot law firm McCormick & Barstow very handsomely to either quietly settle issues or to intimidate those who go up against them. 

This is a threatening letter, sent to the person who took and posted the above photo. Do you want to know what REALLY pissed Ms. Van Kirk and her cronies off? In the same time period, a letter to the editor by this person was published in the Fresno Bee. And it made the CCSPCA look bad. So bad, in fact, that  people in power (like the Fresno City Council) started looking at them again. The CCSPCA's response to the City Council? They told them they had NO RIGHT to ask questions.

Now, how many of you think that this is okay? How many of you want to know more about what Linda Van Kirk and the CCSPCA are doing out on Hughes at your expense? So why don't you pick up the phone or hit the Internet and tell Mayor "We have no money so we're cutting city services while paying these people without overseeing them" Swearengin or the Fresno County "We have to privatize trash collection, we need more housing developments and we have no money to pay the Sheriff's Department" Board of Supervisors how you feel?

The inmates are indeed running the asylum friends.

"Everybody knows that the boat is leaking. Everybody knows that the captain lied. Everybody got this broken feeling - like their father or their dog just died..." - Leonard Cohen

Be good to each other - and be even better to your pets... Jim

*(Note: There is no small debate about the ACTUAL number of animals killed and the percentage of animals in the door that represents. Since the CCSPCA refuses to be vetted by anyone, some in the rescue community rely completely on the numbers provided by them. I find it hard to believe a company that refuses to allow one of the people that writes their checks a seat on their board would be entirely forthcoming when it comes to stats. Based on that - and numbers I've seen and heard from people in the rescue community, my numbers are higher than the CCSPCA admits to.)


  1. What can we do to help these animals?

    1. Thanks for reading and for asking how you can help, Jessie. If you have concerns about the things you're hearing about the CCSPCA, here is a list of city and county leaders. Please contact them. The mayor and the city council, as well as several county supervisors are aware of the questionable practices at the CCSPCA. YOUR comments, opinions and questions are critical in the effort to change what's happening to the animals out on Hughes (again, with YOUR TAX MONEY).

      CITY REPRESENTATIVES: Mayor Ashley Swearengin, (559) 621-8000, Councilmember Blong Xiong (District 1), Councilmember Andreas Borgeas (District 2), Councilmember Oliver Baines (District 3), Councilmember Larry Westerlund (District 4), Councilmember Sal Quintero (District 5), Councilmember Lee Brand (District 6), Council President Clint Olivier (District 7), (559) 621-8000. Most of these representatives have Facebook pages also and if you go to the City of Fresno website you can email them as well.

      COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES: Board of Supervisors-(District 1) Phil Larson, (District 2) Susan Anderson, (District 3) Henry Perea, (District 4) Judy Case and (District 5) Judy Case.

      Please speak up. The animals cannot speak for themselves. They need your voice.

  2. That was really well-written. I hope you write more about this issue. I also question the numbers of animals they admit to killing. I've seen (in recent years) numbers as high as 70,000.

    I wish there was a way to get across to Fresnans that they are paying to have at least somewhere between 80-100 pets killed every single day of the year (based on the 30,000 they admit to).

    Another angle to your story is this: the CCSPCA has a severe conflict of interest. Why don't they aggressively push (and pay for) spaying and neutering? Because it would reduce the numbers of homeless animals. If the numbers of animals unfortunate enough to find their way into that hell-hole were reduced, they could not demand $3.3 million a year from the city and county, and they wouldn't be able to keep begging Fresnans for another $3 million in donations. They would have to lay people off. Yikes, they might even have to take a cut in salary. Every single person involved with that corrupt cesspool has a vested interest in insuring that 100 pets will continue to be killed every single day.... just to keep the status quo. It's basic logic- most people will resist any change that will put them out of a job, or reduce their cushy perks.

    The animal's only hope is that the city yanks their contract and gives it to a no-kill group that is transparent, is overseen, and that is responsible to this community and the animals.

    Please keep writing about this topic!

  3. It's obvious.. the CCSPCA is non- non-profit- the 'PROFIT' Is going to the pocketbooks of the DIRECTOR.. and BOARD MEMBERS....hmmm... seems fishy to me... NO WONDER THEY DONT WANT THE PUBLIC TO NOT TAKE PICTURES...

    SHAME ON YOU CCSPCA- and SHAME On US.. for allowing this to go on...

  4. there should be a petition. Have people sign papers and sit outside that facility and torture those employers.. This is plain ridiculous. Many people want to adopt animals and I agree these prices are out standing.. They should go to hell.

  5. If by "torture" you mean "torment through continued public visibility that causes them great embarrassment," then I agree. As for the "go to hell" part, I think that might be a given already, but that's up to someone else to decide in the end. :-) Thanks for your support and your comment!

  6. Once again, the great folks at Fresno Bully Rescue knock the message out of the ballpark. (Great job Bridgette, Becky and everyone else!) For all of the people that have been contacting me to ask how they can help bring attention to the intolerable situation at the CCSPCA, here's your chance. Join FBR and the other rescues next week when the Fresno City Council calls them on the carpet for their behavior and lack of accountability:

    "Are you concerned with the controversy with our local CCSPCA and rescue groups and conditions at the CCSPCA? NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! If you would like to support action to allow the rescue groups, including Fresno Bully Rescue, to continue to help save animals from this facility, we strongly encourage you to attend the meeting of the Fresno City Council on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, 2600 Fresno St., Fresno, CA. Please allow your voice to be heard and support all local rescues with a tremendous show of support for the animals in our community. It is our hope that with a huge outpouring of support, real change can become a reality for our valley animals. **While understandably passions are high on this issue, if you choose to attend (and we hope you do!), we ask that you present in a calm manner and be respectful, professional and above all courteous to the Council and other members of the public.** You are invited to make appropriate and respectful signs showing your support to the meeting. THIS IS IMPORTANT! WE NEED AND APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT! THANK YOU!"


Dissenting opinions are always welcome and even encouraged because they help keep the author honest and can be a source of enlightenment. However, be advised that openly hostile and completely off topic comments or ad hominem attacks will be summarily dispatched to the Forbidden Zone.