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Mayor Wants This Thanksgiving to Go to the Dogs (and Cats Too!)



Mayor Jerry Dyer is popular with the dogs at the Fresno Animal Center. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Just four months after its summer opening, the new Valley Animal Shelter is at capacity.

The shelter, just north of Fresno Yosemite International Airport, is at its limit of 360 cats and dogs.

But Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer has a solution: a drive-thru foster program called Operation Wishbone.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the shelter (5277 E. Airways Boulevard) will foster out dogs (and cats) to families that want to take them. Getting out of the car is not even necessary. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“It’s a really good time to do this during the Thanksgiving holiday because we know that there are going to be families coming together. There’ll be more people to interact with the dog. And again, it will be a healthy environment for these dogs,” Dyer said.

Foster parents will be provided with a dog collar, leashes, and of course, doggie treats.

Busy Shelter

Fresno Humane Animal Services runs the shelter under a contract with the city of Fresno. Since its opening, the shelter has taken in more than 3,300 cats and dogs, mostly strays, Dyer said.

Animals staying in a shelter too long can experience health and behavioral issues, Dyer said.

“Animal centers are not designed to hold animals for a long period of time. It’s like a hotel or a motel. It’s for short stays,” Dyer said.

Dyer said adoptions are down this year. He said the city will engage in outreach efforts to rehome more pets.

“We’re full with intakes. We really just implore the public to come help us. We know that most of the dogs in our center have had a home. And so we’re always looking for their people to come get them. And we’re looking for fosters and adopters to just keep helping us save more animals every day,” Sally Breyer with the animal shelter said.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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