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Newport Beach’s $3 Million Animal Shelter to Open in February

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The Newport Beach Animal Shelter, the first city-owned municipal shelter in Newport Beach, is set to open in Feb. 2023. The $3 million animal shelter was gifted to the city by the Friends of Newport Beach Animal Shelter (FONBAS). 

FONBAS is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to improving animal care in the city of Newport Beach. According to the Voice of OC, FONBAS raised $3 million over the span of five years in the hopes of saving enough to create a new animal shelter and improve animal care in Newport Beach.

“Newport should do a better job of caring for dogs, cats, and other domestic animals in need of help and a loving, caring home,” states the FONBAS website.

The new animal shelter, located at 20282 Riverside Drive, will replace the old shelter located only a few doors down at 20302 Riverside Drive. In 2020, FONBAS purchased the new shelter’s property for $1 million through individual donations and fundraising efforts. They also funded the $1.9 million construction of the new facility. 

FONBAS board member Robyn Grant explained the mission of the new shelter. 

“The new shelter’s chief goal is to boost the quality of care for the animals up for adoption in Newport Beach and surrounding areas,” Grant told the Voice of OC. 

The previous shelter caused residents concern after local kennels closed and certain spaying and neutering programs were suspended for animals held in the shelter, reported the Voice of OC. The previous shelter housed approximately 25 dogs, 20 cats and birds, chickens and guinea pigs.                                   

Due to a lack of funds to own an animal shelter, the city of Newport Beach contracted the Orange County Humane Society and other outside organizations to hold adoptable animals.

The Newport Beach Animal Shelter is larger and has a higher capacity. It features 21 kennels and a cattery that can hold around 50 cats, according to the Voice of OC. The city of Newport Beach will no longer need to lease an animal shelter from other organizations due to this improvement in shelter size and capacity. 

The gift agreement between FONBAS and the city of Newport Beach states that while initial costs for this new facility were covered by FONBAS, maintenance costs will be sustained by the Newport Beach city budget, per the LA Times. The city will also be in charge of maintaining and managing the facility for the next 50 years.

When asked how important it is that the city takes measures to expand its capabilities to help the local animals, pet owner and 1st year undeclared major,  UCI student Liam Kennedy gave his thoughts.

“It’s great they are giving pets who maybe didn’t have a chance at life another opportunity to find a home,” Kennedy said.

Sebastian Segovia is a City News Intern for the winter 2023 quarter. He can be reached at sdsegovi@uci.edu.