Newport to consider new animal shelter

Stray pets from Newport Beach may soon be found in Huntington Beach, if the City Council approves a contract for a new animal shelter Tuesday.

The Orange County Humane Society, a privately run facility on Newland Street in Huntington Beach, has the backing of city staff who reviewed a number of proposals from nearby shelters.

OCHS already houses strays from Costa Mesa and Westminster .

Newport's contract with its current shelter provider, Dover Shores Pet Care Center in Costa Mesa, will soon expire. The facility on Newport Boulevard has been housing Newport animals since 1991. Its owner, Bruce Bauersfeld, wanted more fees from the city, so the city decided to solicit bids, according to a city staff report.

Both the OCHS facility and Dover euthanize animals, but the OCHS shelter has a higher rate as a percent of its population — about 30% compared with about 9% at Dover — according to Rob Houston, assistant to the city manager.

One reason for the low rate at Dover is because adoption and rescue advocates save many of the animals, especially feral cats, officials have said.

OCHS officials will allow these volunteers and pet adoption advocates to operate at its facility, according to the contract the city has negotiated. Also, it will give the city two days notice to find another option to euthanasia.

"I think it will be good for the city," said Councilman Steve Rosansky, who co-hosts "Pick-A-Pet," a public access television show that advertises animals up for adoption. "We feel that we've found a shelter that will meet our needs at a price that we can afford."

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