This shop on a piece of property owned by the city of Nyssa will be the new home for the county's only animal shelter. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

NYSSA – The area’s only animal shelter will move across the county after a decision by the Nyssa City Council last week.

The council agreed to a pact with Ani-Care Animal Shelter that allows the operation to relocate to a piece of city property by the end of the month.

Now, the nonprofit animal shelter is at 55 N.E. 2nd Ave. in Ontario, near the big water tower. The shelter, which focuses on relocating stray and owner-abandoned animals to new homes, will occupy an acre of land with an old shop at 200 East Locust in Nyssa.

“We had a piece of ground and they needed a place to go,” said Jim Maret, Nyssa city manager.

Maret said the city will lease the property to the shelter for $500 a month.

“It will help the city a whole lot,” said Maret.

That’s because the city will slash costs it incurs now when it must transport a stray to the shelter.

“I think it will be good for us. We had a property sitting empty and now we have revenue from there,” said Betty Holcomb, Nyssa mayor.

The new location in Nyssa includes a 1,000-square-foot shop, said Maret.

“We will still pay them a small fee every month. They are a non-profit and we are trying to help them out. We’ve had a lot of good response to it,” said Maret.

Ani-Care’s current relationship with the city of Ontario is “contentious,” said City Manager Adam Brown.

“We haven’t been contentious but they’ve made demands to pay them for services that were not rendered,” said Brown.

Brown said the shelter quit accepting stray animals from the city’s code enforcement officer “almost a year ago.”

“We stopped paying for services there because they were not providing them,” said Brown.

Brown said the shelter listed Covid for its decision to stop the intake of Ontario strays.

Brown said when the shelter moved into Ontario in June 2019, the city agreed to reduce the rent of the city-owned building the shelter used in exchange for a “small increase” in the city’s fee for its service.

Brown said the shelter paid $1,000 a month in rent. The shelter previously was at a location on Oregon Highway 201 before it moved into the city.

“We have been trying to work with them. But I have not seen any productive attempts to get back to the table. But we may still reach out,” said Brown.

Brown said the city paid $1,370 a month for shelter services.

Ani-Care did not return calls for comment for this story.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

Previous coverage:

PHOTOS: Ontario animal shelter looks to future

Ontario dog shelter moving to new location

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