Our mission is to prevent cruelty to animals and promote the quality of life of all creatures through rescue, protection, placement, education, leadership and good example.

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

CCSPCA Student Essay/Bookmark Contest

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by CCSPCA

In preparation of the upcoming ASPCA Rachael Ray 100K Challenge and our efforts to reunite more lost pets with their owners than ever before, we are pleased to announce the opening of our annual Essay/Bookmark Contest featuring the important life saving topic of microchips. These contests are designed to engage and educate the children of Fresno and its surrounding areas in the importance of responsible pet guardianship.

“How do microchips help lost pets reunite with their owners?”
The essay contest is for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students and needs to be 200 words or less.

“Microchips help lost pets and their owners reunite.”
The bookmark contest is for 1st – 6th grade students.

Winning bookmarks will be printed and distributed as educational material throughout the year at all CCSPCA events.

All entries will be judged on clarity, originality, and aptness to the subject. Deadline for entries is April 30, 2014!

There will be 6 winners all together. The top entry winners of each contest will be awarded a certificate, prize medal, gift cards, and receive media spotlight. The winners will also display their essay/bookmark in the Education Hall and participate in the Award Ceremony held on Sunday, May 4, 2014 – the first day of “Be Kind to Animals Week.”

For complete details, download the contest rules below, contact the CCSPCA Education Department at education@ccspca.com or call 559.233.0115.

Download Your Entry Form

Download Contest Rules

The Dangers of Ingesting Chocolate

Posted on: February 11th, 2014 by CCSPCA

The Dangers of Ingesting Chocolate


Chocolate is in wide abundance this time of year. Even though we may give those we love chocolate as a sign of affection, giving it to your canine companion could be deadly. If a dog ingests chocolate it can sicken or even kill the dog. NO amount of chocolate is OK to feed a dog. Even small amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Truly toxic amounts can induce hyperactivity, tremors, high blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, seizures, respiratory failure, and cardiac arrest.

Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and a related chemical compound called theobromine, which is the real danger. Theobromine metabolizes much slower in dogs than humans. The more theobromine a cocoa product contains, the more poisonous it is to your dog. Unsweetened baker’s chocolate contains about 390 milligrams of theobromine per ounce — about 10 times more than milk chocolate and more than twice as much as semi-sweet chocolate. White chocolate contains very little theobromine. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is potentially lethal.

If your canine ingests chocolate take them immediately to your veterinarian.

Bullard High School Students “Volunteer for a Day” at CCSPCA

Posted on: December 27th, 2013 by CCSPCA

by Thalia Arenas, Humane Educator

On December 22 a group of Bullard High School students signed-up for our “Volunteer for a Day” program. Their volunteer time was an all-in-one service, as they received a presentation about the CCSPCA, toured our animal center, and volunteered right after.  The students put together some wonderful items for the animals: bird feeders, enrichment toys for the rabbits, horse treats, puppy pad rolls, and cat toys.   But most importantly, they socialized with our canines who needed a little extra exercise, time, and attention.  We look forward to next semester’s Bullard High students and invite other high school students to participate in the Junior Animal Advocate volunteer workshops at the CCSPCA.  For more information, please contact our Education Department at (559) 233-0115.
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Holiday Pet Safety Tip #1

Posted on: December 13th, 2013 by CCSPCA

Tinsel and other related products are sparkly to both you and your pet!  Make sure these decorations are out of paw and mouth reach of your pet.  If ingested, please call your vet or our CCSPCA Small Animal Hospital at (559) 237-1125 for more information.  Happy Holidays!

Pet Loss Support Group

Posted on: June 20th, 2013 by CCSPCA


Education Hall at 5:30pm

Last Wednesday of every month

Coping with the loss of a beloved pet can be difficult.

The Education Department of the Central California SPCA is opening its doors to people who are experiencing grief and need help healing from the loss of a pet due to death or other circumstance.

The sessions are free to anyone interested in joining.

Download the CCSPCA Pet Loss Support Group Flyer

The Story of Brutus (part 4): THE CONCLUSION

Posted on: May 31st, 2013 by CCSPCA

At approximately 8:30am I make contact with CCSPCA Small Animal Hospital staff and am advised of Brutus’s condition. I am advised that he is infested with whipworms, hookworms, and roundworms. In addition he is diagnosed with a blood virus that is most likely born from a tick. I request that a report be drafted for my files.

At approximately 9:00am I contact John at the Chaffee Zoo. We walk to the office where I speak with an assistant executive director. During our conversation, John’s story is verified. The witness is concerned for (or perhaps protective of) John and questions me regarding my authority to simply take an animal from someone’s back yard. I explain the process of seizing animals pursuant to California Penal Code 597.1. I also educate both parties on the responsibility of an individual to provide proper care for animals that are under their custodianship. In this circumstance, Brutus is, in fact, a stray dog and not owned by a known party. I advise them that If I were able to locate the known owner of Brutus, it is very likely that I would be filing criminal charges against them. I advise both parties that, based on the circumstances, I would not be filing criminal charges on John. I advised them that Brutus would have to remain at the CCSPCA for his stray period and that we would be providing him with veterinary care during that time

John expresses his desire to keep Brutus, stating that the dog is very friendly and caring, and that he has fallen in love with him. He becomes emotional and appears to be holding back tears as he explains to me how much he wants to help Brutus and keep him. The assistant executive director states to me that they would be willing to pay any fees and medical bills that may arise if John could get Brutus back. I advise them that I cannot make any promises, but that I will be discussing this case with management and will keep them updated.

I sit down with upper management and discussed the case with them. After examining the facts and the situation, I suggest that we cover the costs of boarding and medical care for Brutus, and allow John to reclaim the dog (provided no owner steps forward). All fees, amounting to over 200 dollars, are paid for by the CCSPCA.

Five days pass and Brutus has received ongoing treatment. He has become more active and playful. In the matter of a week Brutus looks to have gained nearly all of his weight back.

I contact John and he meets me at the CCSPCA, where he receives Brutus from us with instructions of his medication and a need for follow up treatment. John is advised that the case will remain open until Brutus has been fully treated. While originally upset for being accused of abusing an animal, John now expresses his gratitude for our help.

In this case, there was no evidence of intentional neglect or cruelty, or malicious intent to cause harm to an animal. While the suspect lacked the necessary funds to give immediate medical care to Brutus, he felt he was acting in the best interest of the animal. John was provided with education on the subject and was compliant with that instruction. At this time there is no evidence to pursue further action in this matter.


By Jesse Boyce, Humane Officer

Author’s Note: In every situation that Humane Officers encounter, it is vitally important (for the sake of a case’s integrity) that we remain emotionally separated from the many situations we encounter. A Humane Officer is first and foremost a detective. It is only through a systematic and logical process that any case of cruelty or neglect [of an animal] can or will be successfully prosecuted. I hope that the story of Brutus has helped to illustrate how that process works, and why we operate in the fashion we do.

Editor’s Note: The purpose of this series is to provide you, our supporters, with an opportunity to experience the process that our investigators go through when conducting a complaint of animal abuse.If you have not done so, please read part 1, part 2, and part 3.

The Story of Brutus (part 3): SUSPECT INTERVIEW

Posted on: May 23rd, 2013 by CCSPCA

It’s approximately 8pm at night when I notice that a missed call registers on my phone. Unfamiliar with the number and unsure of whether it is a suspect or witness involved in one of the many cases that I currently have open, I return the call.

The person who answers identifies himself as John, who has a missing dog and a notice left at his door. Initially, John comes across as defensive, but his demeanor quickly changes as I explain the situation and circumstances resulting in my decision to seize the dog from his back yard. Though he is still upset that someone had “broken” into his back yard, my explanation of the laws providing me with the authority to do so quickly dampen his frustration.

John claims that the dog, who he named “Brutus,” was a stray in Roeding park, and had been running loose for several days before employees at the Chaffee Zoo were able to capture him. He advises me that he had elected to take Brutus home with him and try to bring him back to health. He is adamant that he works with animals and cares about them, and would never neglect or abuse an animal. He states that veterinarians at the zoo have provided him with a bag of dog food and instructed him to keep him on a strict diet, as overfeeding him would be harmful. John states that he has now had Brutus for two to three weeks and claims that Brutus has gained some weight.

I advise John that within a two to three week period, if (aside from not being fed) Brutus was otherwise healthy, he should have been more or less at his normal body weight, assuming he was receiving a proper diet. I inform John that Brutus was examined by veterinarians and that we would determine if there are other conditions, such as illness or parasites, that are the cause of his emaciation.

I ask John if he has taken Brutus to see a vet. John says that he cannot afford vet bills, and has a friend who is helping him get a vet to see Brutus for free. I advise John that I understand his desire to help out animals in need, but by making the choice to do so, he is obligated to provide those animals with sufficient care, including medical care. John agrees to meet me tomorrow at Chaffee Zoo to speak with other employees, so that I can verify his statements.

(To be continued…)


By Jesse Boyce, Humane Officer

Editor’s Note: The purpose of this series is to provide you, our supporters, with an opportunity to experience the process that our investigators go through when conducting a complaint of animal abuse.If you have not done so, please read part 1 and

The Story of Brutus (part 2): THE NARRATIVE

Posted on: May 13th, 2013 by CCSPCA



Conducting a complaint of animal abuse

 by Jesse Boyce, Humane Officer

Editor’s Note: The purpose of this series is to provide you, our readership, with an opportunity to experience the process that our investigators go through when conducting a complaint of animal abuse.If you have not done so, please read part 1.

I am facing a white dog with ribs, hips, and spine clearly visible, giving credence to the validity of the complaint that was received by the CCSPCA. The dog, a breed of which I cannot at the time pinpoint (it’s not a pit bull), places its nose against a space between fence boards to sniff at my offered palm. I can more clearly see the state that the animal is in, and fail to observe from my vantage point signs of water, food or shelter.

I circle the property and find no easy access to it. I stand on a block of wood to peer over the fence and into the back yard. The dog follows me along the fenceline, wagging its tail now, but giving no further alarm. It seems interested in me and friendly. I observe a bowl of water. I see neither food nor feces, which indicates that either the dog has not eaten in some time or the owner is cleaning up after it. Based on all facts available to me at the time, I determine that it is necessary that the dog be immediately seized and provided with veterinary care.

At that time I contact the Fresno Police Department and request that officers stand by while I seize the animal. Upon their arrival, the gate to the back yard is opened by unscrewing the latch. The dog, which I am later able to determine is a Dogo Argentino, greets me with wagging tail and licking tongue. I place him on my lead rope and walk him to my vehicle. I open the back of my truck and instantly he jumps in. A Notice of Seizure and Declaration of Ownership are left at the front door.*

I take the dog to the CCSPCA Small Animal Hospital where it is immediately examined by our staff. I will be notified by staff once the cause of his condition is determined.

(To be continued…)

*Penal Code 597.1(f) states that if an animal is in imminent distress (in need of immediate medical care) a notice of seizure must be posted at the main entrance to a property along with a Declaration of Ownership, enabling the owner to request a hearing to determine if the seizure was legal, if they wish to contest such seizure. This satisfies an individual’s right to due process when being deprived of personal property.

A Dogo Named “Brutus” (part 1): THE COMPLAINT

Posted on: May 2nd, 2013 by CCSPCA

As I pull up to a duplex in the Tower District, I realize that I am responding to a complaint on a house that I have had to deal with twice before in the past. These complaints have spanned over the last year.

The first complaint was unfounded and resulted in no action. The second complaint regarded a dog being tied up behind the residence on a chain so short that it could not lay down, and it was forced to live in its own feces without food, water, or shelter. What I found was a dog on a chain with water and shade but no shelter, and otherwise appearing to be healthy. I left a Notice of Intent to Seize, giving the owner 48 hours to either contact me with proof of compliance or request a pre-seizure hearing before I took her.* After two days and receiving no response to the notice, I returned to the property and found that the dog in question was nowhere to be found. Pursuant to current state law, in cases where an animal is not in imminent distress, a pre-seizure notice must be given before a seizure can take place.

With the knowledge of these past encounters in mind, I begin my investigation into this most recent complaint. There is no response when I knock on the front door. I locate a faded for-rent sign leaning against the front porch and attempt to contact the property owner to no avail. I walk along the pathway leading towards a house in the back of the property and discover that a newly constructed wooden fence had been erected.

While walking by the new fence line, I observe through its cracks, knot holes, and spaces that there is a dog present. It appeared to me, based on my many years of experience and training, that such a dog would have at least barked by the sound of my passing. Even so, I make additional noise by way of snapping fingers and whistles. The dog rises and approaches the fence, wagging its tail slowly. This I can only see partially, but still the animal acts subdued. Upon its approach, I see what appears to be an emaciated dog. This alone gives me probable cause to further investigate the situation, so I peer through one of the knot holes. What I find verifies my initial observation…

(To be continued ….)


by Jesse Boyce, Humane Officer

*Under California State Law, animals are considered to be personal property. The Constitution of the United States of America requires that an individual be provided with due process of law before they are deprived of that property. California Penal Code 597.1(f) satisfies this requirement when an animal is not in imminent distress.

Bookmark & Essay Contest Winners Announced!

Posted on: May 2nd, 2013 by CCSPCA

Bookmark-Contest-WinnerThe Central California SPCA has sponsored a bookmark and essay contest for students valley-wide. On Saturday April 20, 2013, the top three winners for both contests were presented with their awards at the CCSPCA’s Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue.

The contests were distributed to nearly 20 Central Valley schools and encouraged students to submit their creations. The bookmark contest was open to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. They were to create a pen drawing no bigger than a bookmark that showed their view about “Spay/Neuter Will Reduce Pet Overpopulation.” There were 118 entries for the bookmark contest. The schools that participated for the bookmark contest were: Cedarwood (Clovis Unified), Cox Mickey (Clovis Unified), Fort Washington (Clovis Unified), Harold L. Woods (Clovis Unified), Valley Oak (Clovis Unified), Harvest Elementary (Central Unified), Manchester Gate (Fresno Unified), Noresman (Fresno Unified), Olmos (Fresno Unified) and Martin Luther King (Stockton Unified). The winning bookmarks will be reproduced and distributed throughout the Central Valley.

The essay contest was open to 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students of the Central Valley. The essay topic was “How does spaying and neutering pets save lives and reduce pet overpopulation?” They were judged on clarity, aptness to the subject, and originality of thought. There were 10 entries for the essay. The schools that participated for the essay contest were: Edison Computech Middle School (Fresno Unified), Tioga Middle School (Fresno Unified), University High School (Fresno Unified), Yosemite High School (Fresno Unified), Fowler High School (Fowler Unified) and Thomas Jefferson Middle School (Madera Unified).

Contest-Winner-Fresno-CCSPCAThe top three winners for the bookmark contest are as follows: 1st Place – Melissa McNitt (Cedarwood Elementary), 2nd Place – Lisha Avila (Noresman Elementary) and 3rd Place – Savera Sheikh (Harold L. Woods Elementary). The top three winners for the essay contest were: 1st Place – Naandee Moua (Tioga Middle School), 2nd Place – Reyna Vasquez (Fowler High School) and 3rd Place – Janel Joya (Thomas Jefferson Middle School).

The 1st place winners received $50 gift cards to Barnes & Noble and PetSmart, a signed certificate, and 1st Place medal. 2nd Place winners received a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble, a $25 gift card to PetSmart, a signed certificate, and 2nd Place medal. 3rd Place winners received $25 gift cards to Barnes & Noble and PetSmart, a signed certificate, and 3rd Place medal.

Shown below are the 1st Place award winners, Marissa McNitt (Bookmark Contest) and Naandee Moua (Essay Contest).

by Sasha Bell


About the CCSPCA

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