ADA-compliance work delays pet adoption center

Rianna, a Fresno resident, brought her tabby kitten Tigger to be vaccinated by ACT, which will soon open the Sofia Adoption Center.A local animal rescue organization that places pets into foster homes will soon be opening its 12,000 square-foot adoption center in South Fresno on a full-time basis.

The Animal Compassion Team’s Sofia Adoption Center at 2789 South Orange Ave. is in the process of coming into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards, and improvements are taking place both inside and outside of the building in the meantime.

“We still hope to open very soon,” said Brenda Mitchell, president of ACT. “But we want to make sure we’re ADA compliant before we open our doors.”

The adoption center had a tentative opening date of Oct. 1, but opening day is on hold for the time being. ACT is using the interval to make modifications to the structure; a large window will be installed in the wall of the cat room so that visitors to the center can see the cats without having to open a door.

ACT relies on a 100 percent volunteer staff to take care of the dogs and cats at the adoption center as well as the adoption center itself. Fresno Humane Solution, a non-profit created by Derrel Ridenour, Jr., owner of Derrel’s Mini Storage, owns the property and leases it to ACT for $1 a year. The adoption center, a former UC Davis testing facility, is named after a pet the Ridenour family had adopted.

“Sofia was the name of a Standard Poodle that the Ridenours owned that recently died,” said Joyce Brandon, a co-founder of ACT. “The center is named in honor of her.”

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