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Manteca is a low kill shelter
A volunteer checks on a dog at the Manteca Animal Shelter. - photo by HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin

Manteca’s animal shelter once had a reputation for euthanizing animals in fairly large numbers.

Not anymore.

Between the 6,100-square-foot state-of-the-art animal shelter that opened in 2011 at the corner of Wetmore and South Main streets at a cost of $2.1 million, a small army of volunteers, and a staff led by lead animal control officer Crystal Vandyhuizen, it’s a different story today.

“We are not a no-kill shelter but we can honestly say we are a low-kill shelter today,” noted Police Chief Nick Obligacion.

Six years ago cramped quarters in a 40-year-old shelter coupled with limited space to utilize volunteers for an aggressive adoption program or to place animals with rescue groups meant the olds were stacked against dogs and cats making it out alive. Dogs had a 25 percent chance of being euthanized back then. Cats fared worse with only a 1 in 7 survival rate if they made it to the shelter.

Those euthanizing rates have dropped drastically. Obligacion said it’s to the point where only vicious dogs and those too sick and old to place are put to sleep.

“Crystal had done a great at (leading the effort for) turning things around,” Obligacion said.

Besides working closely with a network of rescue groups throughout the region, the adoptability of pets has increased thanks to volunteers that are able to man the front desk. That means the shelter is now open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and rarely has to close due to animal control officers being in the field.

Obligacion said animal control officers have noted several things that pet owners need to do to conform to municipal law as well as common courtesy.
Dogs outside at an owner’s residence must be in a fenced in yard. That means dogs aren’t allowed to run loose in front yards unless they are fenced.

uIf dogs are tethered outside they must be on a chain that allows them to move at least six feet.

Owners of pit bulls must get their dogs spayed or neutered unless they meet various exceptions that require verification such as having a breeding permit, it is a show dog, or if there is likelihood it would suffer serious bodily harm or death.

Do not leave dogs in cars even with the windows cracked just as bit as they quickly overheat and can become extremely sick or die.

Dogs riding in vehicles must be within a secured container or securely cross-tethered.

Dogs are not allowed to run at large on any public street, road, alley, park, square, or other public space on upon any private property other than the property of the owner of a dog. All dogs in public must be on a lease.

Dogs must be licensed. They must be taken to the animal shelter for their initial licensing and have their shots including for rabies. The fee is $20 a year for spayed or neutered dogs and $50 for unsterilized dogs. There are 50 percent discounts for subsequent years of a three-year license is obtained.

For more information go to the city website at and go to the tab for police services and then look under animal services.  The animal shelter can be reached by calling 456.8270.

To contact Denis Wyatt, email