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Newport Beach

Volume 7, Issue 6  |  January 21, 2022

Exciting times as FONBAS readies the site for city’s new, state-of-the-art animal shelter

Board members, volunteers and other “Friends” of Newport Beach Animal Shelter, or FONBAS, gathered Wednesday to commemorate the demolition of the existing building on the site of what’s to become the city’s new permanent animal shelter. The new home will be located on Riverside Drive in the Santa Ana Heights area of Newport Beach.

Led by a dedicated group of former mayors and community leaders, FONBAS was formed in 2017 as a non-profit organization to supplement the funding of special medical procedures, equipment and services for animals under city care. Early on, FONBAS entered what insiders affectionally called a “pup-lic/private paw-nership” with the City of Newport Beach. 

Exciting times as FONBAS group

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Courtesy of FONBAS

(L-R) Shelter volunteers Diane Pugh, Edna Daufen and Mary Forslund; Newport Beach Animal Control Supervisor Valerie Schomburg holding Officer Bubbles and Karen Howald; FONBAS board members Walt Howald, Tom Fischbacher, Hon. Evelyn Hart, Jon Langford and Robyn Grant

That partnership, along with a highly successful membership drive and a capital campaign, led to the purchase of the real property and the development of a founding membership of more than 500. 

“We are extremely fortunate to partner with the city and construction team at women-owned Slater Builders whose tradition of teamwork and responsiveness has guided us to today’s important demolition milestone,” said Tom Fischbacher, head of the FONBAS building committee. 

The end result will be the donation of the property and newly constructed state-of-the-art animal shelter to the City of Newport Beach for permanent use for the care and adoption of displaced animals. 

 Of the $3,000,000 needed for completion, $350,000 remains to be raised in order to complete construction and begin operations at the new site.

Founding FONBAS Board Member Hon. Evelyn Hart points out, “What is unique about the shelter is that 100% of the money to purchase the real property and build the facility is contributed from private resources and the public element is solely to accept a fully constructed and operational state-of-the-art facility.”

Exciting times as FONBAS Valerie and dog

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NBPD Animal Control Supervisor Valerie Schomburg holding Officer Bubbles

Once built, the state-of-the-art facility will include a single-story, 1,500-square-foot shelter, including a 750-square-foot kennel to house dogs, cats and other animals plus parking, a front-yard greeting area and a secure rear-yard exercise area. 

To participate or become a FONBAS member, go to

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