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Costa Mesa contracts with Newport Beach animal hospital for shelter services

Costa Mesa contracts with Newport Beach animal hospital for shelter services
Costa Mesa will begin contracting with Newport Center Animal Hospital and Pet Hotel Suites on Sunday for animal shelter and veterinary services. The Newport Beach business replaces the Orange County Humane Society in Huntington Beach, which had the contract since 2009. (Courtesy of city of Costa Mesa)

The city of Costa Mesa has entered a temporary agreement for a Newport Beach facility to provide animal shelter and veterinary services, officials said Friday.

The contract with Newport Center Animal Hospital and Pet Hotel Suites will last until a permanent solution is found, according to a city news release. The agreement begins Sunday at a cost of $20,833 per month.

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The indoor facility at 1333 Avocado Ave. contains cat condos equipped with perches. For dogs, there are play areas.

Newport Center Animal Hospital has 20 full-time employees and an in-house laboratory and will offer various veterinary exams, vaccinations and microchip placement. For the time being, it will not offer adoption services, Costa Mesa officials said.

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The center was established in 1972 and has been owned by Dr. Anthony Rizk since 2016.

“We believe the Newport Center Animal Hospital will offer high-quality care for the dogs, cats and other animals that are lost or abandoned in the city of Costa Mesa,” City Manager Tom Hatch said in a statement. “Because Dr. Rizk is experienced in shelter medicine, we think this is an ideal short-term solution for us and for our residents who care deeply about their pets.”

Costa Mesa’s contract with the Orange County Humane Society in Huntington Beach, the city’s animal services contractor since 2009, expires Sunday.

That facility’s owner, Samir Botros, told the city last month that he didn’t wish to renew the contract. The City Council rejected Botros’ proposal to build a new facility for Costa Mesa on Baker Street.

The Orange County Humane Society has come under scrutiny in recent years. Newport Beach terminated its contract in 2015 after animal-control officers alleged unsanitary and inhumane conditions there. Those concerns were echoed by some Costa Mesa residents.

Costa Mesa’s search for a permanent animal services solution is being spearheaded by the city’s new Animal Services Committee.

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