Fresno County grass-roots push seen for animal shelter tax

Neither the city of Fresno nor the county is stepping up to support a new tax for a countywide animal shelter. But that only has emboldened shelter proponents.

A loose coalition of animal rescue groups said Tuesday it's accelerating its independent effort to put a tax on the June 2014 ballot, hoping to secure money not only for a shelter but for the personnel to pick up and manage the county's large number of unwanted animals.

Organizers expect to soon start collecting the 20,000 signatures needed to take the countywide one-tenth-of-a-cent sales tax to voters.

“Sometimes the community has to step up to the plate, and this is one of those times,” said Derrel Ridenour, a Fresno businessman at the center of the ballot effort.

“We've been trying to get the politicians to support the measure, but that hasn't worked out.”

A rott-shepherd mix tries to get attention among his siblings at Fresno County's new animal shelter run by Liberty Animal Control Services at the old county morgue site.

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