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July 29, 2016

Contact: Jean Pasco
(714) 834-7218

County Celebrates Groundbreaking for New OC Animal Shelter

Representatives from the County, cities and animal support groups gathered to celebrate the official groundbreaking for a new Orange County Animal Shelter in Tustin, an innovative facility that will replace the current shelter in Orange, which opened in 1941.

OC Animal Shelter Groundbreaking 3
Officials gather for the official groundbreaking. From left to right are: Director of OC Animal Care Dr. Jennifer Hawkins; Tustin Mayor John Nielsen; Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, First District; Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Fourth District; Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District; Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Michelle Steel, Second District; Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District; Mary Opel, acting director for site development for the South Orange County Community College District; County Executive Officer Frank Kim

“This is truly a historic and exciting day for Orange County,” Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District, said in opening the festive ceremony, attended by about 175 people. “This state of the art facility will provide for an improved living environment and our expanded programs should result in greater opportunities for animal adoptions and successful outcomes.”

Vice Chair Michelle Steel, Second District, thanked the large crowd, which marked the occasion with applause and cheers. “We look forward to the benefits this state of the art facility will bring to the animals and the animals it will serve,” she said.

Supervisor Todd Spitzer, whose Third District includes the former Marine base, said the new shelter will feature the best treatment policies for humane care, housing techniques and medical care. “This is a huge accomplishment after decades of effort,” he said. “It’s not just the building, it’s what happens inside that matters the most.”

Supervisor Andrew Do, First District, spoke of the benefits of pet ownership and said the new shelter “will help us return the favor to our pets and provide care to those who bring us so much joy.”

Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Fourth District, commended County real estate staff and Steve Franks, director of OC Community Services, for thinking creativity and working tirelessly to create the plan for the shelter, which will be used by the County and 14 contract cities. “This is a magical opportunity for us,” he said. “The cities are our long-term partners in this—they own this shelter.”

The County set aside $5 million to build the new shelter, slated for land on the former Tustin Marine base. Unforeseen delays intervened, leading the County earlier this year to complete a land swap with the South Orange County Community College District. The original location, which remains in the hands of the Navy, will eventually be deeded as replacement property to the college district.

The Board of Supervisors in April approved up to $35 million toward construction of the new facility, roadway improvements, utilities and other upgrades. The contract cities partnering with the County are Anaheim, Brea, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Lake Forest, Orange, Placentia, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin, Villa Park and Yorba Linda.

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